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Sunday, October 21, 2007

SNEAK PEAK: Venice Beach Ordinance 42.15 (DRAFT/Comedy Script)

Venice Beach 42.15 Draft:
This joke of an ordinance violates people's civil rights by saying if someone wants to set up an easel or table to paint the sunset, they can get a ticket. I really don't know why the City of Los Angeles under Villaraigosa is such a mean-spirited, combative force. IT MAKES NO SENSE WHY THEY ARE SO HELL BENT ON DESTROYING THE CULTURE OF THAT LITTLE STRIP ON VENICE BEACH THAT THE WHOLE WORLD COMES TO ENJOY.






A. Except as specifically exempted in subdivision 3, no person shall engage in vending upon any public beach lands or beach properties adjoining the waterfront of the Pacific Ocean, or upon any immediately adjacent boardwalk, sidewalk or public way between the southerly boundary of the City of Santa Monica and the northerly boundary of the City of El Segundo and between the northwesterly boundary of the City of Santa Monica and the northwesterly boundary of the City of Los Angeles.

1. Findings and Purpose. The City Council of the City of Los Angeles finds and declares as follows: [CLICK READ MORE FOR ENTIRE ORDINANCE DRAFT]

(a) The Venice Beach Boardwalk is a major tourist attraction in the City of Los Angeles, historically significant for its performance and visual artists as well as free speech advocates. Unregulated vending adversely affects the historic character of the Venice Beach Boardwalk by deterring tourists from visiting and shopping along the Boardwalk resulting in an economic and cultural loss to City. Due to its unique characteristics, the Venice Beach Boardwalk requires its own set of rules and regulations different from other public parks in the City;

(b) Unregulated vending along the Venice Beach Boardwalk from tables, pushcarts, stands, or by persons impedes the orderly movement of pedestrian traffic and may make the Boardwalk unsafe for pedestrians by limiting the City's ability to effect crowd management and control;

(c) Unregulated vending along the Venice Beach Boardwalk may impede the ingress and egress of emergency and public safety vehicles by creating physical obstacles to emergency response and administration of aid to those in need of immediate medical attention and to victims of criminal activity;

(d) Revitalization of the Venice Beach Boardwalk requires a vibrant and stable merchant, artist, performer and free speech advocacy community. Unregulated vending could serve to undermine the Boardwalk's commercial life by reducing sales from local merchants thereby eroding the City's tax revenues due to unfair competition, and by offering additional opportunity for the sale of stolen, defective or counterfeit merchandise;

(e) Unregulated vending causes visual clutter/blight along the Boardwalk, impeding views of the beach and the Pacific Ocean threatening the City's ability to attract tourists and preserve businesses along the Boardwalk;

(f) Unnecessary, excessive and annoying noise detrimental to the public health, welfare and safety, and contrary to the public interest, on the Venice Beach Boardwalk harms residents, businesses, and the historic character of the Boardwalk, diminishing the quality of life for those who visit, live or work on or near the Boardwalk;

(g) The amount of space on the Venice Beach Boardwalk that is available for performing and visual artists and for political advocacy is limited due to the size of the Boardwalk and the large crowds of visitors that the Boardwalk attracts. Prior to the City's Board of Recreation and Parks Commission establishing a program for assignment of spaces, there were numerous altercations over the locations and amounts of space that any one person or organization could use. Frequently, the altercations became violent requiring law enforcement response to preserve the public peace. Persons wishing to secure spaces often arrived at the Boardwalk prior to dawn and created loud noises in setting up their displays, thereby disturbing the public peace and requiring law enforcement response. Unregulated, the Boardwalk became a lawless area, where only the strongest and earliest arrivals could secure space to exercise their rights of free expression without threat of intimidation. It is, therefore, necessary to regulate the use of the limited space on the Boardwalk to prevent breaches of the public peace and to allocate the limited space available fairly to all who desire to use it for lawful purposes.

(h) To preserve the Venice Beach Boardwalk’s rich history of fostering new artists, including many of the preeminent artists of the mid to late 20th Century, the City needs to give preference for limited spaces along the Venice Beach Boardwalk to artists who predominantly create their own works of art.

2. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following words or phrases shall have the following meanings:

(a) Donation. A gift; a voluntary act which does not require anything in return.

(b) Food. Any type of edible substance or beverage.

(c) Goods or Merchandise. Any items that are not food.

(d) Pushcart. Any non-motorized mobile device used to vend.
(e) Vend or Vending. To sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, solicit offers to purchase, or to barter food, goods, merchandise or services in any area from a stand, table, pushcart, motor vehicle, bicycle, or by a person with or without the use of any other device or other method of transportation, or to require someone to pay a fee or to set, negotiate, or establish a fee before providing goods or services, even if characterized by the vendor as a donation.

(f) Vendor. A person who vends. This includes a vendor who is an employee or agent of another.

Inextricably Intertwined Speech Zone (I-Zone). An area on or near the Venice Boardwalk located at the Windward Plaza area and on the Boardwalk south of Navy Street and north of Paloma Avenue, designated by the City in which the City will allocate spaces for the vending of goods that are inextricably intertwined with speech.

Performance/Free Speech Zone (P-Zone). An area on the Venice Boardwalk located south of Paloma Avenue and north of 17th Street, designated by the City in which the City will allocate spaces for performers and speakers, but in which vending shall be prohibited except as provided in paragraph (a) of subdivision 3 of this subsection.

Board. The City’s Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners.

City. The City of Los Angeles, a municipal corporation, acting by or through any of its officers, employees or agencies, including, but not limited to, the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

Person. An individual or organization composed of more than one individual.

(l) Program Rules. Rules adopted by the Board consistent with this section.

3. Exemptions from the general prohibition on vending.

P-Zone exemptions. Subject to the permit requirements of subdivision 4:

(i) Any person may vend newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, bumper stickers, patches or buttons; and

(ii) Performing musicians may sell recordings of their performances; and
(iii) Any person may provide food, goods, merchandise or services free of charge on condition that they shall display in their designated space, fully visible to the public, a placard provided by the City stating “Donations appreciated. No contribution required.”

Vending any item in the P-Zone not exempted by this subdivision is a violation of this section and is subject to the penalties described in subsection D.

(b) I-Zone exemptions. Subject to the permit requirements of subdivision 4:

(i) All exemptions applicable in the P-Zone also apply in the I-Zone; and

(ii) Any person may vend the following items: expressive items which have been created, written or composed by the person, or are inextricably intertwined with the message of the person vending the items. Such items may include, but are not limited to, books, cassettes tapes, compact discs, video digital discs, paintings, photographs and sculptures. For purposes of this paragraph, expressive items shall be deemed to have been created by the vendor only if they have been predominantly authored, performed, recorded, filmed, or otherwise made or assembled by the vendor.

(c) Exemptions applicable to all areas. The following activity may occur in all areas covered by this section, provided that no person may set up a display table, easel, or other furniture, use a pushcart or other vehicle or place any item on the property defined in subsection A except in the P-Zone or I-Zone:

(i) Any person may vend newspapers, leaflets, pamphlets, bumper stickers, patches or buttons; and

(ii) Any person may vend any other item that is inextricably intertwined with speech.

4. Permit System. The Board will designate spaces on the Venice Boardwalk for allocation in the I-Zone and the P-Zone according to rules promulgated by the Board consistent with this section. There shall be at least 120spaces designated in the P-Zone and 100spaces designated in the I-Zone.

(a) Permit Applications for the I-Zone. Any person desiring to occupy an assigned space to vend items in the I-Zone shall file an application for a non-transferable permit with the Department of Recreation and Parks. The application shall require:

(i) The applicant’s name and a mailing address at which the City may provide notice to the applicant;

(ii) A description of the goods or merchandise for which the applicant seeks a permit;

(iii) A declaration that the goods or merchandise for which the applicant seeks a permit are expressive items of the applicant’s own creation or are inextricably intertwined with the message of the applicant.

(b) Permits required for use of space in the I-Zone. No person shall occupy space in the I-Zone unless that person possesses a valid permit issued by the Department of Recreation and Parks. After 12:00 p.m. (noon), any permit holder may use an unoccupied space in the I-Zone subject to all other provisions of this section; provided that if the permit holder to which the space was assigned arrives after noon and requests to use his/her assigned space, the person not assigned the space shall forthwith without delay relinquish the space to the assigned permit holder.

(c) Permits required for assigned spaces in the P-Zone during Peak Season. During the “peak season,” defined as the Saturday before Memorial Day through November 1 of each year, any person desiring to occupy an assigned space shall obtain a permit. An application requesting a peak season permit for the P-Zone shall only require the applicant’s name. P-Zone permits shall not be valid in the I-Zone. During peak season spaces shall be assigned to persons possessing a permit according to the rules promulgated by the Board consistent with this section.

Exception: During peak season after 12:00 p.m. (noon) any person, whether or not a permit holder, may use any unoccupied space in the P-Zone subject to all other provisions of this section; provided that if the permit holder to which the space was assigned arrives after noon and asks to use his/her assigned space, the person not assigned the space shall forthwith without delay relinquish the space to the assigned permit holder.


No person shall alter or reproduce any permit issued pursuant to this section, nor shall any person possess an altered, reproduced or falsified permit document. A violation of this paragraph shall be subject to the penalties described in subsection D.

(e) Conduct subject to administrative enforcement. The Board may adopt rules consistent with this section for space allocation and reasonable time, place and manner regulation of the I-Zone and the P-Zone. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of subdivision 4, violations of rules promulgated by the Board shall be subject to administrative enforcement by the City as follows:

(i) A permit may be revoked in accordance with the Program Rules adopted by the Board for violations of any provision of this section or the Program Rules. Revocation shall occur upon a third violation of a Program Rule, a third violation of the conditions set forth in this section, or a combination of any three violations of the Program Rules or conditions set forth in this section. A notice of violation of the Program Rules may be appealed to the Department of Recreation and Parks District Supervisor. Revocation of a permit may be appealed to a three-person board consisting of: a representative from the Park Advisory Board designated by the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners; a member of the Venice Neighborhood Council appointed by the Neighborhood Council; and, the General Manager of the Department of Recreation and Parks or the General Manager's designee. No action of the three-person board may be taken by less than a majority of its members. The conclusion of the applicable appeal process shall constitute an exhaustion of administrative remedies pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.5.

(ii) Only those persons who obtain I-Zone permits may invoke the administrative appeals process described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph. Persons vending without a permit in the I-Zone shall be subject to the penalties described in subsection D.

5. Conduct subject to criminal penalties. Conduct in the P-Zone or the I-Zone prohibited by the following paragraphs shall be subject to the penalties described in subsection D:

(a) No person shall place or allow anything in any designated space that extends beyond the boundaries of the designated space.

(b) No person shall place or allow any item (except an umbrella or other sun shade) exceeding four feet above ground in any designated space, nor shall any person cause or allow a designated space to be enclosed on more than two sides.

(c) No person occupying a space shall leave such space for a period longer than 45 minutes without first removing all items therefrom.

(d) No person shall occupy more than a single space at any given time, nor shall any person, business or group solicit another person to obtain or occupy a space on their behalf.

(e) No person shall purchase, sell, barter or exchange any assigned space with any other person.

B. Use of City Property Prohibited. No person shall use any City-owned or maintained street furniture or structure, including but not limited to, any bench, planter or trash receptacle installed on public property, in connection with their artistic performance or for the display of anything whatsoever.

C. Noise.

1. No person, group or business shall create any noise, or allow the creation of any noise, which causes the noise level to exceed the following Lmax levels between 9:00 a.m. and sunset:

(a) 85 dBA, when measured at a minimum distance of twenty-five feet from the source of the noise;*or,

(b) 107 dBA, when measured at a minimum distance of one foot from the source of the noise.*

*These numbers will change depending on the conditions of the Boardwalk as noise levels will vary depending on the number of people on the Boardwalk. The City’ noise abatement team is currently in the process of measuring noise levels at the Boardwalk both at peak hours and when the Boardwalk is not crowded.

2. Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the City from enforcing other provisions of this Code relating to noise.

3. No person or business on either the east or west side of the Boardwalk shall utilize any speaker or sound reproduction system at a volume that exceeds 70 dBA, when measured inside the premises of another building or structure while the doors and windows to the premises are closed.

4. No person or business shall interfere with or resist the taking of any noise measurement authorized by this section.

5. No person shall use a speaker on the public property described in subsection A unless it is placed on the ground and is no more than three feet in height.

D. Violations. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of subdivision 4 of subsection A, any person violating a provision of this section shall be guilty of the following:

1. First offense. Infraction.

2. Second offense. Infraction.

3. Subsequent offenses. The violation of any provision which would otherwise be an infraction shall be a misdemeanor if the person who has violated such provision has previously been convicted of two or more violations of this section within the 24-month period immediately preceding the current offense. For this purpose, a bail forfeiture shall be deemed to be a conviction of the offense charged.

E. Opening and Closing Hours. No person shall engage in activities not otherwise prohibited by this section between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.

F. Posted Notice. The City shall post signs in the P- Zone and the I-Zone providing notice of the rules of use of each Zone consistent with this section.




Anonymous Anonymous said:

Skimming this just out of curiosity, it seems that people can sell their own artistic creations and recordings but not commercial items available to anyone, like tshirts, incense and creams and such.

That makes sense, since that stuff is competing with the merchants in stores who pay rent, taxes, all that.

It does not say you can't sell your own paintings, caricatures and all that stuff. But not at a fixed price, just donations? (I didn't read it carefully.)

If you abided by the noise levels, you'd have been banned from City Hall when you first showed up. Too bad they have no rules while even an outdoor beach does.

Behave yourself and you'll be fine.

You gotta grow up and follow rules.

October 21, 2007 9:30 PM  

Anonymous spicoli said:

Hey Bud (9:30 PM)...What's your problem? If this is Mr. Hand, why don't you just say so. And remember, No eating: E-A-T-I-N-G! And my civics teacher just told me the law is illegal. And my economics teacher told me it's gonna cost the city millions. And my society teacher told me it is messing up the culture of the community. But, especially the civics teacher, bro...because like when the city continues to ignore a Federal judges wishes...it will end up costing the city millions.

Do the plaintiff have to pay taxes on THOSE earnings you uptight a-hole?

October 21, 2007 9:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dear 9:37:

So you had a "society teacher?"

It sure as heck wasn't a high society teacher. Or a grammar teacher.

But you know what, I don't like you from how rude and low-class you are, so here's the thing: you'd scare off the tourists and guess what, the nice little ladies from Iowa and Thousand Oaks don't come to see a bunch of foul-mouthed guys eating.

Actually, the ordinance seems to read that you can have food there, just not sell it. "Donations" ok. Sounds generous to me.

Thanks for the legal advice. I'm sure you, matt and your whole crowd are mainly concerned with the fiscal impact on our citizens.

As one of those citizens, I think this ordinance is very generous. Like I said before, they just don't want you selling the same junk the stores do with their overhead. But if you can draw or play the banjo, you're free to get "donations" and even sell your CD's.

Now, go back and tell that society teacher her lessons didn't stick.

October 21, 2007 10:36 PM  

Anonymous matt dowd said:

hey 10.36
ur an idiot too.
the bill of rights was not meant to be interpreted with 'generous'.
this ordinance basically says you can SELL a CD, or a political button, all along the boardwalk. If you want to SELL anything else (including paintings and photos), you have to go to a special 'zone'.
(way down the end)
donations is a crock. its a f*cking big mistake, and I already warned them.

the federal law is simple: " a court may not parcel out the unprotected speech from the protected speech".

we also got LIFETIME PERMITS already!!! with a contract.

all they can do is 'provide ample alternative means of communication', which this is not.

forget 'generous'. how would you like me to lock you in a box all day, then be 'generous' and let you out for 5 minutes.

here's where they're f*cked...
allowing CD's to be sold. since when does my song "f*ck you city hall" have preference over my canvas that says the same??????

but I'm not wasting any more breath on trying to explain this to you, I'll just sue the City for every other cent they haven't already wasted.

don't hate me, I didn't write the First Amendment. and I'll be damned before I let the east side commercial shops selling their sh*t from China take precedence over THE REAL VENICE ATTRACTION- the west side expression.
(sale notwithstanding).\

theres a right way to do it, and a wrong way.....and guess who's been trying for 20 yrs to get it right....not me.
I just got here and already I understand it as proved by our defeat of 'nominal utility sales'.
another ordinance based on 'sales'.

see you in line at the bank....I'll be the guy with the wheelbarrow full of money.

October 22, 2007 8:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is simple: commercial vs. free speech.

If you want to engage in a business dealing, rent space on the boardwalk like the other commercial vendors.

If you want to express your opinion or religious view, you're welcome to do just that.

As a tax payer, I'm not interested in donating public property so you can sell your goods. And as someone who believes in the constitution, I'm all for another's right to expressing free speech and religious beliefs.

In other words, Zuma - while I think you're a loud-mouthed idiot, I support your right to express yourself and your half-witted opinions. I don't support you trying to commercially market them on public property.

October 22, 2007 12:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

matt, you are acting pretty unhinged.

I'm only someone who visits Venice once in a while, brings the tourists once a year or so.

Yeah, we watch the mimes or a band or something like that, but a bunch of guys with anger management issues who just hate and sue city hall are not exactly "attractions."

You admit "I just got here," so did they kick you out of Auckland? Why do you come here to harass our citizens? Boasting about trying to shake down the city for a barrelfull of money is nice.

You don't have to accept a donation if you think it's not enough. If a guy offers you two dollars.

If you had a bunch of paintings lined up, how would anyone know they were yours? You could be trying to sell other people's stuff. You can paint on the spot and get a donation. With a CD if it's got your mug on it, then it's yours.

Your lyrics about city hall don't sound like a big hit, but if they don't violate decency laws, then that's what you're capable of as an "artist."

Honestly, there are so many genuine performers who just want a shot at publicity. A bunch of angry guys with no talent who brag about shaking down ME and my taxpayer homies, makes me hope you get what's comin to you. And that's not my money, loser. Allowing "street performers" was never meant to be a "job" for grownup men, I'll bet. It's a shot at getting one.

Come to think of it, you can take a bunch of ordinary immigrants from the south, hand them a guitar and sombrero and tell them to sing a Mexican tearjerker, and they've got more talent and draw right there.

If they're lucky, they'll get hired to sing at a restaurant.

You really think the world needs more cheezy factory paintings or tshirts? If they want that stuff, they can walk to an area where people paint, and choose one.

If I want commercial stuff, I'll go to a store merchant who will be there the next day and the next, so someone is there to back it up.

The city is doing buyers a favor by protecting them, seems to me.

October 22, 2007 12:43 PM  

Anonymous matt dowd said:

you know nothing.
you DO have to accept the donation if its not enough.

otherwise its not a donation.

read it first.

thats why its fucked.

I'm not unhinged.
but federal law says a judge has to decide whats communication and whats not.

federal law says that selling art is protected.

if the City wants to ignore the facts, then I'm sorry, you want to fuck with people's rights, yes, I'll sue.
but I will warn you first.

don't be threatening me. I didn't even come here from Auckland either.

talking shit shows you up real quick. let me fight this battle please, I studied it, I know the issues, I know the artists, I'm a performer and a vendor.

I wrote an ordinance thats legal and enforceable. based on one we already signed.

don't hate the guy who's actually participating in the american process.

love your point about buyers needing protection from the City and getting a favor. lol.
the nanny state comes to the boardwalk.

final point: the constitution protects people we don't like. otherwise they would've burned Mayor Sam at the stake already for everything he said right here on this blog.

nobody said you had to like me. but rights is rights, don't mess with them, or you'll have to pay.

I never sued till they gave me a permit, then they changed all the rules and said fuck you.

yeah, I got no talent.
but I sure pissed you off good, thats gotta be a talent right there.

October 22, 2007 5:37 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

matt, you are really, really unhinged and hostile, foul-mouthed, aggressive

NOT what anyone wants to see on that boardwalk or anywhere. That video of you and hunt screaming at Rosendahl's deputy shows how you really are.

Yeah, the public needs to be protected from you. And now, you're NOT using "the american process," you are abusing it.

Go back to where you came from, and try this there.

The more you respond, the more you show how hostile and vindictive you are.

Get a job.

Support yourself in a decent manner and if you really think you're an "artist" although you then admit you're not -- just a performer, which anyone hopping on one foot can claim -- rent a gallery or find an appropriate place for it. All you'd have to do is rent a table.

The public is not required to give you space to sell your stuff because you refused to rent it.

Making "a living" by suing decent, hardworking people because you refuse to follow the laws (you claim you're smarter than all the city lawyers and officials, and they are supposed to follow YOUR laws? You're as full of self-deluded grandeur as zuma dogg then).

The city and state daring to have laws to protect the public from potential fraud, misrepresentation and other abuses for which merchants renting stores or space would be prosecuted, is "nanny state?"

Boasting how you'll rake in a "wheelbarrow" of money by abusing the american openness which allowed you to come here, is reprehensible.

You are all such angry, hostile people -- yeah, the fun and spirit of Venice, all right.

October 22, 2007 6:26 PM  

Anonymous Beck said:

I wrote a song about Oct 22 6:26PM back in the 90's. It's called "Loser". Hope you enjoyed it.

October 22, 2007 7:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Beck, you were being autobiographical and hey, since you're having so much fun and spreading the joy, might as well get a day job. Any job.

No one in the city supports your trying to shake us down instead.

You're just mad because you have no talent, aren't any kind of artist and admit it, and so you guys keep admitting over and over, you prefer to sue instead of abiding by the laws or working.

I wouldn't care what you do over there, but when you're filing law suits at a time when our taxes keep getting raised to pay for basic city services (something Sam and Zuma, in classic schizo form keep bitching about), you want us to pay you off so you don't have to work or follow the laws?

You don't have a case. Get a job.

October 22, 2007 8:25 PM  

Anonymous shady crybaby shutter-upper said:

8:25 pm,

Shut up you shady crybaby.

(Facts are something you should start considering.)

October 22, 2007 8:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Dear "shut up" shady crybaby shutter upper --

So what was that about you crying about being denied your "free speech" and lack of "artistic expression"?

Yak, yak all you want, but we're not paying to have you violate our space and society and shake down taxpayers.

October 22, 2007 9:23 PM  

Anonymous matt dowd said:

omg you haters are so touchy.
the wheelbarrow is my way of referring to the 'american way' of courts awarding punitive damages to plaintiffs.
courts warn parties of consequences and juries may award punishments, for repeated, capricious acts deliberately violating one's civil rights.

to imply that I sue for a living and have never worked nor intend to is plain fallacy and anonymous defamation.

I deal in facts, you obviously live in la la land

October 22, 2007 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

matt, you have a pretty messed up version of "the american way" as suing in court to get what you want.

Especially against taxpayers. You of all people, with all the complaining about taxes and lawsuit payouts and alleged misuse of city funds that goes on in this blog.

When my parents and many more came to this country as immigrants, they said "I only want to contribute and make this country a better place," they never sued or too advantage of handouts or shakedowns. My father said, "when I die, I don't want one person to be able to come forward to say I hurt this country, only helped." And he will go that way.

You are trying to fool yourself that you are doing something "good" but no one else is supporting you, and thinks it's all disgraceful.

If you are an "artist" follow the laws or rent a place of business. Sometimes shop owners/renters need a little extra income and could let you use a cheap corner of theirs.


October 22, 2007 10:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1052 you dummy...you can't just sit there and say follow the law when the city ignores the law. you really should shut your pie hole since you kinda don't know what you are talking about.

October 23, 2007 12:54 AM  

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