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Venice: Planner's Intention for the Ocean Front Walk

November 10, 1994

The original deed for my Ocean Front Walk property from Abbot Kinney and his partners declares that no cesspool, goats, cigar stand, candy store or other enterprise could be put on the property. Further, the house that was to be built had to be set back from Ocean Front and the public. These conditions point out a fact that all the articles (Westside, Oct. 23, etc.) miss: Kinney and his partners planned a community in which the commerce and entertainment were confined within about a two-block radius of the piers and the rest of the Ocean Front Walk was for residences and a few attendant neighborhood services. They understood that the beauty of the beach as a physically and mentally rejuvenating natural resource was what drew the crowds. The Ocean Front was planned for the fortunate few who could build homes and the thousands who could escape the heat and stress of the city and come for a stroll; expected, of course, to end up at the piers.

Abbot Kinney's dream crested long ago. Today's tidal wave of entrepreneurs should understand that the beach is our prize! Silly cosmetic make-overs will not redress the fundamental demise of the Ocean Front Walk because it was never intended to support a commercial zone.

GORDON ELKINS

Venice

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