Big trouble in little Santa Monica.

I just read this article from curbed. There is trouble brewing in the fancy, Google-fied, $3,000-for-a-one-bedroom Venice. The LA Times reports that “Venice residents said the mood of the boardwalk area changed drastically about a year and a half ago, with the influx of large numbers of homeless youths, many from the Pacific Northwest.” People started noticing more open drug using and dealing, fighting, and other hooliganism, and aggravated assaults went up 16%. Add to that the boardwalk vending situation, which as we know got pretty competitive and aggressive before the city passed a new ordinance last year refining what vendors can sell and how they get a place on the boardwalk. In response to all of that, the LAPD started enforcing a curfew between midnight and 5 am; as a result, “dozens of transients migrated farther inland to an encampment at 3rd and Rose avenues, near Google’s offices.” And then last month, the city tore down the encampment, “throwing out tents, blankets, cellphones, computers and other personal possessions.” Eleven of the people targeted have filed a claim against the city. Meanwhile, the California Coastal Commission says the curfew isn’t even legal because it curbs beach access, but the LA City Attorney says the boardwalk counts as part of Venice Beach park rather than as a state beach. With all the cleanup lately, one homeless man “who occasionally slept at the beach before the curfew enforcement” tells the LAT “I wouldn’t be surprised if this area became a little Santa Monica, with corporate businesses forcing out the independents.” Image via Chad McDonald

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