January 19, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Lionsgate Project Moves Forward:

The first Development Agreement (DA) crafted under Santa Monica’s hyped Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) was unanimously approved by a shorthanded Santa Monica City Council on July 26, allowing the Lionsgate headquarters and Colorado Creative Studios project to move forward (with some design review stipulations).

Council members also approved the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and adopted a Statement of Overriding Considerations and Mitigation Monitoring Program for the property located at 2834 Colorado Avenue, where the Colorado Creative Studios project would be erected. The DA and EIR call for the building of a four-storey, 191,000-plus square foot “creative arts/production facility” at the site. The project would establish Lionsgate’s corporate headquarters at the new campus.

“The proposed project retains and creates employment opportunities in multimedia, entertainment, and creative arts, which advances the goals and policies of the LUCE,” said Paul Foley, the City’s principal planner.

While the DA was approved, it was not without an exhaustive discussion of whether a conditioned designed process would be attached to the project to ensure that the look and feel of the future buildings are consistent with the surrounding community. Accordingly, the approved DA came with a stipulated direction to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) to “pay particular attention to building transitions, neighborhood compatibility, streetscape, building form, setbacks, scale, and context in relation to Colorado Avenue and the residential uses of the north (as well as the Roberts Center project to the east).”

The project is expected to provide nearly $1.8 million in benefits, including the extension of Pennsylvania Avenue through the project site (between Stewart Street and Colorado Avenue), a financial contribution to the impending Exposition Light Rail line, widened sidewalks, local hiring incentives, and the offering of internships to Santa Monica College students.

“In 2010, (LUCE) designated the mixed-use creative district for the continued facilitation of studio-related uses, thus enabling Santa Monica to maintain a strong presence in the field of creative arts,” Jack Walter, of Colorado Creative Studios, told council members. “Lionsgate will continue to be an anchor studio enhancing Santa Monica’s reputation as the center of the entertainment industry.”

Hank Koning spoke to council members on behalf of the City’s planning commission and explained the Lionsgate project was worthy of approval by the council as it maintained the LUCE’s vision. “This project substantially conformed to (the) goals of the LUCE,” he said. “The applicant has agreed to a lot of the conditions that we put in.” Koning added that his fellow planning commissioners still had an issue with some of the setbacks, and while one commissioner suggested the project include some external public art, it was not a requirement.

Several public attendees, many of them Lionsgate employees, spoke to how keeping the entertainment conglomerate in Santa Monica was financially viable and would keep jobs in town.

However not all were in support of the project. Brenda Barnes, a stakeholder from Village Trailer Park, said the Colorado Creative Studios DA should be considered simultaneously with the DAs of the two adjacent capital projects ¬– The Roberts Center and Village Trailer Park. She alleged it was illegal to consider each DA individually.

“This is a Ponzi scheme. We heard last week that Lionsgate lost $60 million last year, so they are going to borrow money for this project to make up for that,” Barnes said with a crack in her voice. “We need a park. We need real meeting areas. Instead we get sidewalks and gutters.”

While some audience members purported that the Colorado Creative Studios project does not allow for a 50:50 housing-to-jobs ratio, Mayor Richard Bloom pointed out that the 50:50 split of housing-to-jobs applied to the overall balance of projects within a given region, not to individual projects.

Other residents called for an area-wide management plan to maintain consistency of projects in a specific region and fulfill the vision of the LUCE. Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis said each of the projects are at different stages of the DA process and too far apart from each other to be considered simultaneously.

Still others were concerned residents of the Village Trailer Park would be displaced or “evicted” because of the Colorado Creative Arts project and Lionsgate headquarters.

“This is the Village that has been there for decades,” Crystal Anderson said. “It would be undue hardship for these people to be forced to move their home so that developers could make big money. Do we need more homeless?”

On the contrary, Walter, of Colorado Creative Studios insisted that the Lionsgate project is 200 feet from the Village Trailer Park. “The future of the Village Trailer Park is not dependent on what goes on this piece of property,” he said. City Attorney Marsha Jones Moutrie added it was not up to council members to talk about the potential closure, no matter how far-fetched or realistic, of Village Trailer Park in its current form.

Council members Bobby Shriver, Kevin McKeown, and Terry O’Day were not present at the July 26 council meeting. Council will not hold its regularly scheduled meeting on August 9 and will return to chambers on August 23.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel to Turn Amber as Part of Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Pacific Park joins nationwide COVID-19 memorial Tuesday night By Chad Winthrop The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel will light up...

City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission: Santa Monica Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Edify TV: Overhaul for Canyon Property?

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

A unique Santa Monica Canyon property may be getting an overhaul. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions: Santa Monica Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions...

65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Santa Monica Pier Closed for Five Days in a Row

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

City cites warm weather forecasted for Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro With temperatures reaching the 80s expected, city officials are...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Fire Department Rolls Out Vaccinations

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

SMFD helps with rollout across county  By Chad Winthrop Beginning this month , Santa Monica Fire Department firefighters and paramedics...

SMC and MLK Westside Coalition’s 36th Annual Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Mon, Jan 18, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Online Only at 9am on Jan. 18th – Visit: MLKjrWestside.org  The Rev. Dr....

Assemblymember Richard Bloom Announces Intention to Run for L.A. County Supervisor

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

State rep. looking to replace Sheila Kuehl in 2022 By Sam Catanzaro With incumbent Supervisor Sheila Kuehl signaling she won’t...

Man Jumps to Death at Santa Monica Place

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Man jumps off parking structure in Monday suicide  By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide Monday after jumping off...