January 27, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Planning Board Approves Division of Verizon Property:

Verizon California Incorporated will now be able to divide their property, located at 2909 Exposition Blvd., into two separate parcels.

The current parcel contains approximately 296,917 square feet (6.82 acres) which includes an office/warehouse building built in 1966, a warehouse/garage building constructed in 1970, and a carwash. The City staff report states that Verizon currently uses this site as a regional center for their telecommunications operations. The parcel is located in the City’s Light Manufacturing Studio District (LMSD).

City Planner Lily Yegazu explained to the Commission that the reason Verizon wanted to split up the property was so they would “be able to dispose of excess property so that they could operate more efficiently.” They intend to consolidate the functions of all their existing buildings into the buildings on the parcel they retain.

The 6.8 acre site will now be divided into two parcels, site A being 3.386 acres (147,491square feet) and site B being 3.430 acres (149,426 square feet). The size requirements of the divided parcels meet the minimum city requirements for parcels located in the LMSD.

Verizon’s representative, Michael Morgan, stated that originally Verizon was going to retain site A but it has now decided to continue its discussion with the City about which site they should retain. The current 6.8 site was originally created back in November 2006 after the division and sale of part a 9.2-acre site.

Commissioner Jay Johnson pointed out that this lot would be adjacent to a route currently proposed for the light rail project that will run through Santa Monica. He then cautioned his fellow Commissioners to “look very carefully at any changes to property adjacent to where the new light rail system is proposed.”

Johnson also mentioned that

the City’s update of its Land Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE) of its General Plan would allow uses to intensify in this area. He further noted that Verizon wanted permission to split the lot but the City had no idea what might be built there in the future. He questioned whether all these issues factored into the City Staff’s analysis and support of the split.

In the end, however, despite his reservations Johnson voted along with the rest of his colleagues to allow the split.

During the session, Senior Planner Paul Foley announced that the Planning and Community Development department had created a new division which will be called the Community and Strategic Planning Division. This division will concentrate on the LUCE update and related matters. He also introduced the division’s new manager, Francie Stefan.

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