After little discussion, Santa Monica’s Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the City Council that the Lantana development agreements be amended so that the developer, Maguire Properties, should give the City of Santa Monica $356,200 instead of constructing outdoor playground improvements at Edison Elementary School.
The amendment is necessary because after the voters from the cities of Santa Monica and Malibu approved a $268 million facilities bond measure (Measure BB) last November, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) decided to completely rebuild the Edison Elementary School site. The outdoor playground improvements had been part of the original development agreements for the construction of two studio buildings at 3030 Olympic Boulevard (Lantana East) and 3131 Exposition Boulevard (Lantana South) approved by the City Council in September of 2004. Whenever a developer proposes a project that differs from Santa Monica’s zoning codes, they must enter into a development agreement with the City and offer public benefits.
In this case, the developer not only offered to construct the outdoor playground improvements, they also offered an annual operating subsidy for the City’s Playground Joint Use Partnership facility at the Edison site of $35,600 per year for five years. Members of the partnership are the City of Santa Monica and the SMMUSD. Commission members and City staff made it clear that the subsidy as well as all the public benefits that were part of the original agreement would still continue.
City Planner Bruce Leach noted at the January 16 meeting that City staff and the School District’s staff supported the proposed amendment.
Commissioner Gleam Davis expressed her support for the amendment: “I’m the Chair of the School District’s BB Advisory Committee and we’re very excited about rebuilding Edison but we didn’t want to lose this opportunity.”
The developer originally agreed to construct a new restroom/storage/office building, an eight-foot-high chain link security fence between the playground and school buildings, and new playground equipment comparable to other Playground Partnership sites.
According to the City staff report, the Lantana East project will include a new three-story, 64,105-square-foot entertainment production/post-production studio building with a two-level subterranean parking garage providing parking for the existing building plus 200 spaces for the proposed building. The Lantana South project will be a new three-story, 130,000-square-foot entertainment production/post-production studio building with a one-level subterranean parking garage providing parking for the existing building plus 364 spaces for the proposed building.