The Santa Monica City Council decided by a vote of 4-2 on June 9 to uphold an appeal to the Landmarks Commission’s decision to designate as an historic landmark an apartment complex at 301 Ocean Park Boulevard that was home to the city’s first female mayor, Clo Hoover. Approximately three dozen Santa Monica residents and stake holders showed up at the City Council meeting to give public feedback about the property’s historic landmark status, most of them pleading with the Council to uphold the property’s landmark status and deny the appeal. The Landmarks Commission designated the building a City landmark by a vote of 4-3 in January, but Trammell Crow Company appealed that designation on the basis that Hoover’s status as an important city official is not directly linked to the house in which she lived.
The building, a 47-unit apartment complex, was built and designed by Hoover and her husband, and served as her home for 45 years, including the years during which she served as City Councilmember and mayor.
There are six criteria for the designation of an historic landmark in the City’s landmarking ordinance, one of which has to be met in order for historic landmark status to apply. The Landmarks Commission found that the building at 301 Ocean Park meets one of the six criterion, that of a link to a person of historic significance. Many people argued at the Council meeting that the building is also architecturally significant for its garden-style design.
Mayor Ken Genser left the meeting during the discussion about 301 Ocean Park Boulevard, saying he could not give fair input due to the fact that he lives directly across the street from the property. Councilmembers Bobby Shriver and Kevin McKeown voted to deny the appeal and uphold the historic designation, but were outvoted by Councilmembers Richard Bloom, Gleam Davis, Bob Holbrook, and Pam O’Connor.
Next up was a continuation of ongoing discussions from meetings on April 14 and May 12 of The Redevelopment Agency’s capital funding priorities. On May 12, the Council identified a series of senior priorities for capital funding projects – those senior priorities total $206 million of the total agency funding capacity of the $283 million, leaving an additional $77 million to be allocated. The Redevelopment Agency asked the Council for direction in allocating the additional funds, and also noted a few recommended adjustments to the plans, including a reduction to $8.1 million in funding to Phase Four of the Municipal Pier Project to address deficiencies on the Newcomb pier. The agency also recommended a $2 million increase in funding a traffic signal improvement project, and reduced funding recommendations to the Lincoln and Pico Boulevard improvement projects because of concerns regarding project readiness. The Council discussion on the allocation of the remaining $77 million went past midnight, as did additional agenda items.
The next City Council meeting will be held on June 23.