City of Los Angeles Sued Yesterday Over Mike Bonin’s Plan To Convert Westminster Park Senior Center To Homeless Property Storage

Westminster Senior Center.
Westminster Senior Center.
Yesterday, an organization called Venice Kids Count filed suit against the City of Los Angeles seeking to prevent Mike Bonin’s plan to use the former Senior Center at Westminster Park in Venice for a homeless property storage facility. Bonin’s motion is Council File 15-1138-S8 if you want to read the history. They are also seeking a temporary restraining order. Here is a copy of their verified petition, and here is a copy of the 1950 condemnation order dedicating the park for recreation use only. Homeless storage is absolutely essential, but following the law is more essential than anything, and Mike Bonin1 gives the impression that he doesn’t feel himself bound in the least by the law. So that’s the news; more editorializing after the break if you’re interested.

Mike Bonin certainly can’t be surprised by the fact that his constituents filed this lawsuit; his own arrogance2 with respect to shady dealings with developers and other sketchy special interests has made it impossible for his constituents to deal with him except through the courts. His aides routinely ignore constituents’ concerns, dismissing them as out of the mainstream, all the while pandering to the whims of large-scale donors like Carl Lambert and Mark Sokol, who can seemingly get a meeting with Bonin any day they want one.

It’s possible that the people behind this suit are a bunch of Ryaveckian3 NIMBYs who actually oppose even the presence of homeless people in Venice, and if you follow this blog you’ll know that around here we’re all strongly opposed to that kind of pernicious nonsense. But even the whiniest NIMBYs have the right to expect that the City will follow the law. Even Mark Ryavec has the right to expect that. That’s more important than any specific outcomes. We can certainly all agree on that principle. The City has to learn somehow that it must not only follow the law, but must always appear to respect the law. Ideally litigation like this will make the City think carefully before acting and will check the habitual arrogance of the Council. So regardless of who’s right in this particular case, we support the suit itself. We also support the existence of a homeless property storage facility in Venice, but the City can find a legal place to put it if the park turns out not to be one. That shouldn’t be too hard.

  1. And the rest of his colleagues on the City Council.
  2. And the arrogance of his colleagues. This story could have happened (and does happen) anywhere in Los Angeles. Bonin’s just the one under the gun this particular time.
  3. Ryavec’s name doesn’t appear anywhere in the pleadings, but it’s got his fingerprints on it. The plaintiffs’ lawyers are from the same firm responsible for this foolishness.
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One thought on “City of Los Angeles Sued Yesterday Over Mike Bonin’s Plan To Convert Westminster Park Senior Center To Homeless Property Storage”

  1. I applaud the law suit against the city regarding the Senior Center. Also Westminister School will be assesed as part of the Venice Business Improvement District taking away funds for education and using those funds to support business interests.
    So vote NO on the BID. You have until Nov. 8th. I think in the long run, Bonin would like to close the school and give it to developers.

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