Our Opinion on the Recent LA Times Article
A recent LA Times article discussed the Department of Building and Safety’s ruling on Ginosi’s operations at our Sunset and Gordon location. Although the author gave a good overview of the official decision, there are a few points which we would like to clarify.
In response to the investigation by the Department of Building and Safety and their ‘evidence of day-to-day’ rentals, we want to be clear that we have never hidden our activities at Sunset & Gordon. In fact, we do not dispute the fact that we offer day-to-day rentals at the location. It is our stance that our activities do not violate Los Angeles law.
Los Angeles tax law is very clear when it comes to transient occupancy. From the outset, Ginosi was quickly and easily able to interpret the law and determine our obligations under it. Since 2013, Ginosi has proudly paid these taxes which are used by the city to improve the community as a whole.
Conversely, the zoning laws that apply to Ginosi are much less clear. Ginosi spent significant time and money investigating Los Angeles zoning ordinances and could not find a clear law prohibiting our short term rentals at Sunset. The Department of Building and Safety also undertook a two month inter-departmental research effort regarding short stays. Eventually, their investigation used several obscure zoning ordinances to declare Ginosi’s usage of the property illegal without a conditional use permit.
According to Constitutional law, people must have a reasonable opportunity to know what constitutes “unlawful” conduct. When a government entity enforces a law that is so unclear that a reasonable person cannot tell if they are breaking it, the law violates the first essential of due process. Both Ginosi’s investigation and the Department’s research outlined earlier clearly show just how difficult existing zoning law was to decipher. The law is vague and does not necessarily support the hotel use argument that the Department maintained in their ruling.
CIM’s claim that it “does not condone unlawful activities or operations at any of its properties” and “has been proceeding diligently to remove Ginosi,” implies that CIM was in the dark about the legality of Ginosi’s business. CIM and Ginosi have a long history together and it was CIM that invited Ginosi to begin operations at Sunset. The invitation stemmed from the advantages they observed in Ginosi as a tenant. Ginosi helped CIM keep occupancy rates high, provided extra security and cleaning staff, and always paid its rent on time.
The statement that CIM has not collected rent since March of 2015 is also misleading. CIM failed to inform Ginosi at the outset of the lease that its Certificate of Occupancy was set to expire shortly after Ginosi moved in. Without the Certificate of Occupancy, CIM is not legally allowed to collect rent. The fault in this situation lies with CIM and not Ginosi, who has partners across the United States and Europe that can attest to our reliability as a business partner.
Finally, we would like to assure all of our neighbors, not only those at Sunset and Gordon, that Ginosi takes its responsibilities towards the community very seriously. We have clearly defined rules that we make clear to our guests before check-in. We also have security and background check procedures that filter problem guests before they arrive. Tenants who share a building with us can be confident of our commitment to being a good neighbor at all of our locations.
Ginosi has not decided whether it will appeal the Department of Building and Safety Determination. Whether we choose to move forward, we felt it important to share our perspective on the LA Times article in a public forum.
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