Since 2004, Santa Monica has been working on its vision of how the City should develop the next 20 years. The product of that work, the Draft LUCE (Land Use and Circulation Elements) document was released in November 2009. The Planning Commission began its review of the document in November, but like the City Council, the Commission didn’t make any decision and likely won’t until early 2010.
In December, the Commission approved Santa Monica’s first bed and breakfast to open in a city landmarked building at 2219 Ocean Avenue. The Commission also greenlighted a new Surgery and Oncology Center in September that is being developed by the Arnon Development Group for 1217-31 16th Street. The Commission had begun its review of the project in May of 2009 but made no decision at that time because concerns about the project’s overall design and its neighborhood compatibility.
The Commission also recommended in June that the City Council should initiate the Development Agreement (DA) negotiation with Maxser and Company, Ltd. for a new hotel/residential/commercial project. A DA negotiation process is usually undertaken when a project’s parameters fall outside the City’s zoning codes and if the City can obtain substantial public benefits by allowing the project to be built. The proposed project would incorporate the 710 Wilshire Boulevard landmarked parcel, the Enterprise rental car agency property at 718 Wilshire Boulevard, the parking lot located at 1213-1233 7th Street, and the parking lot at 1218 Lincoln Boulevard.
In May, the Commission approved a project which includes a landmarked property to be located at 2001 Main Street; A six-unit condominium project for 1703-1715 Ocean Front Walk that will incorporate many sustainable features was given the go ahead by the Commission in March. The developer, SHC Santa Monica Beach Hotel, III, LLC, aims to have many green features help the project receive a Platinum. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building certification.
Lastly, the Commission gave the necessary approvals last January for a new four-story commercial building to be built at 1427 4th Street. Currently, the site contains a two-story high building housing a Michael’s craft store. The current building is listed on the City’s Historic Inventory as a potential contributor to the Downtown Historic District. At approval time, the property’s owner, SM Partners Ltd., agreed to hire a historic resource consultant to ensure that the new building would be compatible with the potential historic district.
Two new Planning Commissioners were appointed by the Santa Monica’s City Council in 2009. Ted Winterer began his term in May by filling the seat vacated when Gleam Davis was appointed to the City Council and Jason Parry’s term began his term in September after Terry O’Day left the Commission. Also after O’Day’s departure, Commissioner Hank Koning became the Commission’s Chair. Koning had previously been the Commission’s Vice-Chair. The Commission’s new Chair Pro Tempore is Jim Ries.
Contact Hannah Heineman