Santa Monica’s City Council took the next step to move the City’s ongoing update of its Land Use And Circulation Elements forward by endorsing the “Industrial Lands Principles” that were developed by the community through a series of workshops.
Below are some of the main principles from the City staff report endorsed by the Council on November 13.
1. Industrial Land Use Principles – “Maintain support for the City’s Industrial Lands as an important part of its economic and job base. Preserve the opportunities for appropriate large/small employers.” Require mixed-use commercial-residential buildings at mass transit nodes.
2. Urban Design Principles – “Assure that buildings are appropriately scaled to their surroundings and the City. Assure pedestrian scaled sidewalks and streetscapes.” Provide retail along ground floor of primary pedestrian streets.
3. Open Space/Park/Recreation Principles – “Provide opportunities for new or expansion of public open space/parks/recreation space.”
4. Transportation Principles – “Provide greater connectivity and continuity for vehicles and pedestrians through the large blocks. Move toward a jobs housing balance in the corridor through mixed-use development.”
5. Parking Principles – “Consider shared parking facilities for commercial development through a parking district. Create centralized parking to eliminate on-grade parking lots.”
6. Implementation Principles – “Develop implementation plan to assure coordination of transit systems.”
7. Sustainability Principles – “Santa Monica is committed to meeting its existing needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Partnership among the City government, businesses, residents, and all community stakeholders will be utilized to achieve a sustainable community.”
Some residents who spoke disagreed with City staff’s interpretation of the principles supported by residents at the workshops. Katherine Eldridge told the Council, “I have attended all workshops held this year. What is presented here [in the staff report] is not what the long-term residents have stated they want. They want to hold development that impacts our traffic problem and damages our neighborhoods. They want to preserve existing housing, housing elements, and small family business. They want a hold on height and density.”
On the other hand, community members representing the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the Arts Commission expressed their support for the principles and the process that developed them.
The Land Use and Circulation Elements are part of the City’s General Plan.
The next workshop, on December 6, will focus on transportation.