Wednesday, December 05, 2007

an empowered and informed member of society

This summer I blogged about trouble at a pretty weird (but cool) multiunit building in Venice that Mike and I checked out one year when we were deciding whether to renew our lease or not (we did renew). The owner of the building didn't exactly follow the rules when he built the place - his permit allowed him to build to 30' and he built to 34' - and the surrounding neighbors didn't like the aesthetic of the place.

Well, there is more. Curbed LA tells me that the Venice City Council has voted to require the owner to comply with the 30' limit. Meaning the structure will most likely be torn down (unless he can somehow remove the top floor, but having seen the building, I doubt that would work, even if it were a cost-efficient alternative). It sounds like he broke some other rules - renting out too many units and somehow illegally obtaining electricity.

Still though, I feel bad for the guy. He really tried to do something different. The building has concrete floors with radiant heat and is entirely comprised of fiberglass windows/walls that open and close panel by panel. It was a bit commune-like (a Borg-inspired commune, if you will), with residents leaving doors open and wandering from unit to unit. Call me a cynic, but I have a feeling that if someone came in and built some run-of-the-mill townhomes that didn't comply with the building permits on that land, they wouldn't have received the same ruling.* And if you can't build a weirdo hippie commune box in Venice, California, then where oh where is there a place for such a thing in this great country of ours??

*Yes, I was the law student in Property class that got into a fight with my classmates about aesthetics zoning and restrictive covenants. Dammit, they should have left the people who built the jack-o-lantern house alone!!

1 comment:

Lawfrog said...

I'm in Houston where there is no zoning. Makes for interesting neighborhoods to be sure. I was never much for Property in law school, but toss a good ole Tort case my way and you've got yourself an argument:)