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Planning Board Approves Housing For Artists:

Santa Monica’s Planning Commission unanimously approved the required documents for the construction of a two-story, 22-unit artist live/work loft building with a height limit of 29 feet can be built at 1630 Stewart St.

The 2.57-acre site is located on the northwest corner of Stewart St. and Pennsylvania Ave., within the City’s Light Manufacturing and Studio District (LMSD). The site is currently home to a 66,206 square foot production studio with a surface parking lot. The approved project will be 18,818 square feet and include a two-level, 135 space subterranean parking garage. Units will be available for rental only.

This project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) noted that this project would have “significant and unavoidable transportation/traffic impacts.” Thus, it was necessary for the Commission to approve a Statement of Overriding Considerations. The significant and unavoidable impact, according to the City staff report, is adding daily traffic trips on Yale St. between Colorado Ave. and Broadway.

The Commission agreed with City staff about the public benefits of the project, which were a “well-designed project that implements City urban design policies on an under-utilized portion of the light industrial-zoned parcel; contributes 22 additional housing units to the City’s overall housing goal; and contributes $51,796.55 to fund the development of affordable housing elsewhere in the City” outweighed the unavoidable impacts.

Two Yale St. residents spoke in favor of the project. Last year, they had been opposed when the building’s height was proposed at 45 feet. Michele Page told the Commission she now supports the project because “the scale of this project is in keeping with the neighborhood.”

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