January 20, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Council to Ponder Redevelopment Issues, Airport, Outdoor Dining:

The City of Santa Monica will undergo quite a bit of construction over the next five years. Assuming, of course, there are funds available to make the City’s ambitious plans come to fruition.

As the Santa Monica City Council reconvenes for its regularly scheduled meeting tonight at City Hall, council members will be mulling over a resolution to oppose a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to abolish redevelopment agencies (RDAs) throughout California.

In general, RDAs are critical to municipalities, as it allows them to take from property tax revenues to fund various projects in a given area; among the areas within the City where redevelopment funds are allocated include downtown, Ocean Park, and earthquake recovery. Some of the more prominant projects dependent upon RDA funds are the Civic Center Parks, the Exposition Light Rail line terminus, and the Santa Monica High School facilities update.

Other issues on the council’s agenda for its Feb. 22 meeting include looking into proposed design plans for the new Pico Library branch; defining the role of Santa Monica Airport to the City; the City’s investment policy; and increasing rates for restaurants to maintain outdoor dining licenses.

A special joint meeting with the Redevelopment Agency is on the docket, as the council will be considering approval of a revised investment policy and whether to execute agreements associated with Parking Structures 1 through 8.

Yet another issue on the council’s agenda potentially affected by the proposed abolition of RDAs is the new Pico Library branch at Virginia Avenue Park. The council, which recommended the project in 2009 and allocated $12.8 million in RDA funds to it, will be reviewing and providing input on the proposed design.

The Santa Monica Airport, another hot topic where the RDA is concerned, is also on the council’s Feb. 22 docket. Specifically, the Council will consider whether it should execute a professional services agreement “to analyze the general economic and fiscal impacts of the current operation and activity at Santa Monica Airport” and “to facilitate the visioning of the future role of Santa Monica Airport within the community post 2015.”

Also on the table is a proposed increase to outdoor dining license fees. Restaurants within Santa Monica are subject to monthly fees in order to provide its customers with outdoor seating. The council’s decision this week would potentially increase the monthly fee restaurants pay to the City.

Finally, the council will also be discussing the designer selection process, specifically how it should determine the best designer to choose for a capital project.

Tuesday’s meeting will be in council chambers at City Hall.

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