Santa Monica’s City Council amended the Bayside District’s leasing guidelines by deciding to permit restaurants in the Promenade pavilions either with or without alcohol service.
At the April 10 City Council meeting Kathleen Rawson, Executive Director of the Bayside District Corporation, expressed Bayside’s support of the Council’s move by stating the “leasing guidelines should be a template for the future” and they should be “as flexible and open as possible.”
Activist Jerry Rubin objected, saying the decision is “opening up a can of worms” since selling beer and wine outdoors can cause public safety issues.
Councilmember Kevin McKeown also objected to the amendment and was the only Councilmember to vote against it. In his view, the amendment makes a general policy and could detract from protecting “the importance of the Promenade as our public gathering place.” He did, however, support the contractual agreement with the restaurant that will be coming into the pavilion near Arizona Avenue, and which will be selling alcohol.
Mayor Richard Bloom disagreed by stating, “These types of uses are going to be limited under any circumstances because there are only two pavilions.” Continued Bloom, “What we’re doing today is conforming to one part of our law with a policy decision that has already been made.” That policy decision was made back in 2005 when the Council voted to allow restaurants that serve alcohol in the pavilions.
The Council also approved, with no discussion, amendments to the City’s code so the Planning Commission or the City Council could modify special Conditional Use Permits (CUPs), standards for existing nonconforming neighborhood markets. The issue came up because the CUP for Farms Market, which has been located on Montana Avenue for 50 years, will expire later this year. This market is nonconforming because it is over 3,000 square feet.
Lastly, the Council adopted a resolution for the City to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Energy Coalition for an energy efficiency program called the “Community Energy Partnership (CEP).” According to the City staff report, the “CEP programs include: the PEAK curriculum taught at several SMMUSD middle and elementary schools; Community Efficiency Tune-Ups offering energy efficiency products and information to residents and small businesses; and torchiere and compact fluorescent light bulb exchanges offered at selected City events. The CEP is comprised of 10 participating Southern California cities [including Santa Monica], the Energy Coalition and serving utilities Southern California Edison (Edison) and Southern California Gas Company (Gas Company).”