VENICE – Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod attempted to draw a proverbial line in the sand – actually a line 35 feet in the sky – on Tuesday.

He contended that 35 feet was the maximum building height desired by hundreds of people who have voiced their opinion at public meetings and more than a thousand who have signed a local petition.

“It’s clear what the public wants – 35 foot to the peak of the building, nothing above 35 feet, no height exceptions, period,” Feinsod said. “That’s what the public has asked for, over and over again, thousands of comments, signatures on petitions.

“Hundreds of people showing up to our meetings, that’s what they want, I don’t know what the problem is.”

He added that he believed most people wanted no exceptions, including any decorative elements — “no frou frou stuff, nothing.

“Why we cannot respect that, I fail to understand.”

Venice Planning Director Roger Clark used this graphic to illustrate the current downtown height limit, at left, and how a proposed change in the land development code change would eliminate the possibility of an unlimited height for a mechanical appurtenance on a structure with a peaked roof.

Related:Issues remain as Venice council schedules Monday workshop on land development regulations

In the debate over the building heights, the city’s land development rules should allow, Venice Planning Commission Vice Chairman Bill Wilson countered that the input Feinsod referenced represented a only small percentage of all Venice residents.

“Mr. Mayor, I think we have 23,000 people, approximately, in this city and you’re saying a thousand or thousands – that means another 20,000 that you haven’t heard from,” Willson said. “So don’t speak for me, because I know as a citizen, a voting citizen how I feel.

By AKDSEO