Tells of mobile home park residents’ concerns with project

To the Editor:

Residents of Santa Monica-owned Mountain View Mobile Home Park spoke at the May 10 City Council meeting, entreating the council for someone from the city with whom they could have discussions about numerous, very serious issues they have with city management.

Documented were issues of environmental pollution, immediate physical safety, destruction of their public trees and personal property, and a lack of appropriate planning in the installation of new homes and the upgrading of utilities.

One particularly horrifying account came from a young mother who appeared to be beside herself with a command from park management that she remove the fence enclosing her tiny yard. She said it is there to protect her children, 2 and 4 years of age, from street traffic.

The city reportedly installed a neighboring home so unnecessarily close to her space that they destroyed some of her fence in the process, enabling her 4-year-old to run out into street traffic.

Outside the meeting I heard of the installation of utilities on the wrong properties, the destruction underway for some time now of beloved mature trees, and the alleged retaliation by city staff against those daring to stand up for their rights.

I was there as a “treesaver” to insist council do away with a newly minted category for public trees – those without any of the protections granted all public trees in our forest master plan. This new distinction was created for the mobile home park’s residential park just as residents are working to preserve trees living within inches of their homes, in part because they clean the terrible dust-filled air and provide some shade.

Will our city respond to these residents, or will we all later pay for this lack of oversight when lawsuits are finally brought?

Cosmo Bua, Santa Monica

Group has concerns with Venice Post Office plans, proposes new uses for annex site

To the Editor:

We would like to share with your readers the reasons that the Venice Stakeholders Association has decided to oppose the planned sale by the U.S. Postal Service of the historic Venice Post Office.

This structure represents one of the few remaining federal Works Projects Administration projects in our community. It has a lush, period public hall and its murals depict notable moments in our community’s history.

While the Postal Service maintains that the structure will be preserved under a state historic preservation designation, we understand that this designation has not yet been awarded.

We also understand that it will not ultimately prevent demolition, should a new owner wish to make another use of the site. This protection simply allows an interested government entity or a private party to purchase the structure to avoid imminent demolition, which leaves the future of the structure in perpetual doubt.

We believe the only course of action for the Postal Service is to maintain possession of the post office and move the sorting operations for Venice (or for the section of Venice near and around the post office) into the post office building, with the rest being moved inland to less expensive property.

Further, we earlier proposed that the postal annex site on Grand Boulevard be converted to a community and arts center and a public park. We have called for the city and county of Los Angeles to sponsor a park bond act for this and other meritorious parks projects throughout the county, as was done some years ago with Proposition A.

The proceeds would be used to fund the purchase and retrofitting of the building and site to this new community use.

Proposition A provided $10 million for the refurbishment of the Venice Boardwalk and many other park projects in Los Angeles County, and this mechanism is certainly available in this instance as well.

Mark Ryavec, President, Venice Stakeholders Association