History/Geography

Once named Ocean Park Heights in hopes of relating itself to the neighboring City of Ocean – now the community of Venice – in 1924, Mar Vista adopted its current name, and soon after, was incorporated as an independent city.  Its incorporation was short lived however, as Mar Vista residents, following the trend of other local cities, quickly began to seek greater access to Los Angeles’water supply.  By 1926, residents had weighed their options and decided to merge with the City, with the annexation becoming official on March 10, 1927.

By the 1950s, with Mar Vista growing into a vibrant community, residents and neighborhood associations decided to fight to prevent up-zoning in the area.  As a result of their effort, the area is considerably less dense than many of its neighboring communities.  Yet, despite this lack of density, Mar Vista today has grown into an economically diverse community, hosting nearly 38,000 residents, including Councilman Mike Bonin.

Mike’s Work in Mar Vista

Protecting Public Safety

  • Mike successfully led the fight for redeployment of hundreds of LAPD officers to neighborhoods patrols — including dozens to Westside neighborhoods — so they can better protect neighborhoods and build relationships with communities.
  • Mike pushed for hiring more firefighters, and has delivered more than $60 million in additional LAFD resources for the Westside.
  • Mike secured a new rescue ambulance for Fire Station 62, enhancing critical emergency services in the neighborhood.
  • Mike secured special transponders for our local fire engines, allowing them to have priority at traffic signals, improving response times.

Improving Transportation

  • Mike launched Westside Fast Forward – an initiative focused on giving people options to get around LA without being forced to sit in traffic.
    • Westside Fast Forward includes a wide range of exciting progress, including the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project – rail that will connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and then LAX. The project will be a game-changer for alleviating traffic on the Westside – especially in neighborhoods like Mar Vista.
      • The Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project is exploring an alignment that could bring the train underneath Centinela Boulevard, creating the possibility of convenient train stops in Mar Vista.
  • Mike launched the LAnow “microtransit” pilot project, an on-demand neighborhood shuttle serving Mar Vista, Del Rey, Playa Vista and Venice.
  • Mike delivered a series of pedestrian safety projects, including four signalized pedestrian crossings on Venice Boulevard, new crosswalks, 4-way stop signs, and much needed high visibility crosswalks at Charnock & Victoria and Charnock & McLaughlin.
  • Mike won approval for an expansion of Metro bike share into Mar Vista and the neighborhood was the first to receive the new Metro “Smart bikes.”
  • Mike secured funding to install new left-turn signals at the following intersections: northbound Centinela at Venice, Barrington/gateway, Venice/Wade, Palms/Sawtelle, Centinela/Ocean Park, Barrington/Gateway, Mclaughlin/Palms.

Sensible Development

  • Mike successfully pushed legislation to impose new fees on developers to pay for traffic relief projects, for affordable housing, and for park improvements.
  • Mike stood with Mar Vista neighbors to oppose a massive development at 12444 Venice — a project that was too tall and out of character with the surrounding area.
  • Mike stood with neighbors and successfully fought to close an illegal marijuana dispensary on Centinela Boulevard.
  • Mike secured funding and staffing for the Department of City Planning to launch an update of the community plan, allowing residents to have a greater voice in shaping modern land use, development, and housing policies in the neighborhood.
  • Mike vetoed the massive Paseo Marina development, which would have further choked traffic on Lincoln Boulevard.

Community Building

  • Mike is worked with neighbors to turn old Fire Station 62 on Centinela Avenue into a community space where groups and neighbors could meet and work to improve the neighborhood.
  • Mike helped cut red tape so the Mar Vista Farmers Market could continue operating on Grand View Boulevard.
  • Mike partners with the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce to host the “Make It Mar Vista” celebration of local small businesses.
  • Mike co-sponsors the quarterly Mar Vista Art Walk, the annual Green Garden Showcase, Bike Rodeo the Mar Vista, The Mar Vista Fall Festival and dozens of neighborhood block parties in Mar Vista.
  • Mike twice brought the popular CicLAvia street festival to Venice Boulevard, allowing thousands of people to enjoy downtown Mar Vista on foot or bike, and

Neighborhood Improvements

  • Mike worked to get permits expedited so the businesses could reopen quickly Mike is working with neighbors to turn old fire station 62 on Venice Boulevard into a community space where groups and neighbors could meet and work to improve the neighborhood.
  • Mike got new drought-tolerant landscaping planted at the LADWP property at Venice Boulevard and McLaughlin Avenue.
  • Mike secured funds for Mar Vista Community Gateway Sign Funding and Marker signs.
  • Mike secured funds $100,000 for Mar Vista Curb/Gutter Assessment Project to improve neighborhood — greatly enhancing pedestrian safety.
  • Mike worked with local organizations to find neighborhood artists to create engaging and vibrant public art on public utility boxes throughout Mar Vista.

Combatting Homelessness

  • Mike convened neighbors, service providers, and multiple levels of government to focus outreach services, as well as sanitation and public safety support on an encampment under the 405 freeway overpass at Venice Boulevard.
  • Mike is working with the Disability Community Resource Center to explore converting the DCRC headquarters at Venice Boulevard and Beethoven Avenue into supportive housing.
  • Mike worked with local non-profit organization Safe Places for Youth to open transitional housing for homeless young people in Mar Vista.
  • Mike is working with Community Corp. of Santa Monica to explore converting a currently vacant lot into 50 units of 100% affordable housing.

Great Streets Program

  • Mike designated Venice Boulevard as the district’s “Great Street,” installing 4 special pedestrian crossings, a protected bike lane, new public art and relandscaped the medians. The project has included sidewalk repairs, tree trimming, and enhancements to bus shelters. In the coming months, the project will deliver new solar-powered trash cans, electric vehicle chargers, improved street lighting, and additional public art.

 

For more information or if we can help, please contact:
Hannah Levien, Field Deputy
(310) 575-8461
hannah.levien@lacity.org