June 20, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Light Rail Maintenance Facility Continues To Draw Fire:

Santa Monica has been looking forward to having a light rail in the City by 2015 but controversy about the placement of the project’s maintenance facility has been raging for months.

The controversy began after the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) stated that the only suitable location for the project’s maintenance facility was the Verizon property (located on Exposition Boulevard near Stewart Street) which is located across the street from a residential neighborhood. Neighbors were concerned because the facility would need to be operated 24 hours, seven days a week, by three shifts of employees, would generate noise, increased traffic, and health hazards from the materials being utilized there.

In July the City and the Expo Construction Authority proposed a split alternative to help allay the fears of the neighbors which would use the Verizon site, an adjacent Santa Monica College (SMC) parking lot and the City’s 1800 Stewart Street property across the street. That proposal was also rejected by the neighbors, caused opposition from The Lionstone Group (which has a lease agreement with the City for 1800 Stewart Street), generated additional costs, and created more environmental impacts.

At the August 11 City Council meeting the City and Expo proposed a new alternative which utilizes a portion of the Verizon site, the SMC parking lot, a portion of the City Yard for a shared parking facility, and a 120-foot buffer for most of the frontage facing residents on Exposition Boulevard. However, most of the neighbors continued to object and many stressed that the Expo Authority just had their first meeting with them on August 10. Linda Pierre Avila comments summed up the neighbors objections when she stated, “The Pico Neighborhood should not serve as the City’s sacrifice zone for everyone else’s greater good.” The neighborhood is already housing the 10 Freeway, the trash transfer yards, and the recycling center. “ Now, the Pico Neighborhood is being told they most shoulder yet another burden, the light rail maintenance yard, with its attendant environmental impacts of noise, vibration, possible carcinogenic paint fumes, and diesel exhaust fumes from industrial operations performed on the rail cars.”

Also objecting was Peter Gutierrez, an attorney for Maguire Properties, the owner of the Lantana Entertainment media Complex which is directly behind the Verizon property. Guiterrez explained that Lantana was “concerned that the sensitive uses at the Lantana complex have not been identified by Expo or the City as uses that would be affected by the noise and vibration from a maintenance yard at the Verizon site.”

Pico resident Darrell Clarke who is also a former Planning Commissioner spoke in favor of the new alternative by noting it would not have the same negative effects as a freeway or a dump transfer site nor was it as bad as the current Verizon site except it would create nighttime noise that could be mitigated.

Bergamot Station’s representative, Howard Robinson, also spoke in favor by stating this new alternative honors the new Land Use and Circulation Elements proposed concepts.

School Board member and Pico resident Oscar de la Torre told the Council “the community expects that you will protect the health and welfare of the residents even though the Expo Authority has the ultimate authority.”

During the Council discussion Mayor Ken Genser stated that the site between 9th and 11th Street which runs along Colorado should also be explored as a potential site because it isn’t near a residential neighborhood. He noted it might be more expensive to buy the businesses out that are located there but in the long term it might be worth it for Expo. He also stressed that the mitigation measures necessary for the new alternative would also be costly because of its proximity to a residential neighborhood.

The CEO of the Expo Construction Authority, Rick Thorpe, told the Council his agency “could move along with both sites (the new alternative and the site at 9th and 11th Streets) simultaneously.”

In the end the Council unanimously voted to recommend that the Expo authority consider both sites and continue meeting with the community.

In other business, the Council voted to allow the Jonathan Club to continue to lease three beach parcels for their private use. They also conducted a study session on the revision to the scope of work and schedule for the California Incline Project, the status of the Palisades Bluffs Project, and the proposed relinquishment of Lincoln Boulevard from the Santa Monica Freeway to the City’s southern limits.

Lastly, the Council adjourned in memory of Eunice Kennedy Shiver, the mother of Council member Bobby Shriver and founder of the Special Olympics.

in News
Related Posts

Pride-Colored Towers Vandalized During Pride Month for Two Straight Years in Palisades

June 20, 2024

June 20, 2024

L.A. County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath Stated That the Graffiti Will Be Removed By Zach Armstrong For two consecutive years, pride-colored lifeguard...

Film Review: Hit Man

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

FILM REVIEWHit ManRated R115 MinutesLimited run in theatres May 24th – June 7th, Released June 7th on Netflix Based on...

What to Expect at This Year’s “Pier 360 Beach Festival”

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

The Festival Will Honor Jeff Ho, Iconic Surfboard Shaper and Founder of the Zephyr Surf Team, and Kathy Kohner Zuckerman,...

Judge Blocks Barrington Plaza Evictions, Citing Legal Violations

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Owner Douglas Emmett Inc. Sought to Evict Nearly 600 Tenants Last Year, Citing Safety Upgrades The eviction of hundreds of...

Yoga Gurus Sentenced for Defrauding Malibu Doctor

June 19, 2024

June 19, 2024

Dr. Sawusch Had a Successful Medical Practice in Pacific Palisades and Amassed Significant Wealth Through Investments A federal judge sentenced...

Thief Steals $4K of Jewelry from 3rd Street Promenade Store

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The Owner Says a Similar “Smash-And-Grab” Incident Took Place Earlier This Year By Zach Armstrong A Ring camera placed inside...

Homeless Man Arrested in Santa Monica for Burglary and Arson

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Suspect Faces Multiple Charges After Incidents Patrol officers responded to a commercial burglary call on Saturday, May 25, at approximately...

Baby Blues BBQ Reopens in Venice Nearly Two Years After Devastating Fire

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The Eatery Has Been Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and the Food Network By Zach Armstrong Almost two years after...

Tech Entrepreneur and Developer Company Buy Promenade Shops for $103M: Report

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Acquisitions Include 1202, 1222, 1225, 1232, 1339, and 1344 Third Street Promenade Federal Realty Investment Trust has sold eight parcels...

Malibu Volunteers on Patrol Quell Car Fire, Prevent Brush Blaze

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

VOPs Respond Quickly to Incident on Kanan Dume Road. Malibu Volunteers on Patrol Unit 100V3 responded to a car fire...

Acclaimed Sandwich Pop-Up Opens Flagship Store in Santa Monica

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Bread Head Was Launched by Chefs Alex Williams and Jordan Snyder By Zach Armstrong Bread Head, a Los Angeles eatery...

Brand New, Six-Bed Palisades Mansion Hits Market at $34M

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

The lower level boasts a bar, lounge, wine tasting room, home theater, and a full spa with a gym A...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Slain Jameson’s Pub Manager Described as a “Provider and Father Figure” by Loved Ones

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

His Last Days Were Spent Taking His Niece and Nephew Out for Ice Cream By Zach Armstrong  Family members, friends...