January 25, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Planning Commission Discusses Zoning Ordinances Updates:

As Santa Monica continues to contemplate what the city will look like in the next 50 to 100 years, the Planning Commission considered and discussed potential updates to the City’s zoning ordinances. While no decisions were made at the Jan. 11 special meeting, planning commissioners and consultants pondered a few ideas of how City Hall will manage development in the short, medium, and long terms.

The primary objectives of the Zoning Ordinance Updates include: implementation of the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE); qualitative improvement of new development and design; ensuring the community at large and development applicants are provided with “greater clarity” of project expectations; improvement of the permit review process; accommodation of twenty-first century land uses, activities, and needs; and, the creation of “a more user-friendly, graphically rich, clear and concise document.”

“This really is the technical stuff, but it’s vitally important in order to turn the LUCE, which everyone put so much effort into, into something that’s really going to make a difference in the community,” Vivian Khan, a consultant with Dyett & Bhatia, told commissioners.

Kahn said the toughest challenge is outlining clearly and specifically what is expected and required by zoning ordinances while still leaving enough room for creative design.

“What we keep hearing from everybody is (the) want for greater clarity. People want to know what the requirements are,” Kahn said. “On the other hand, there’s definitely a recognition that you have to have flexibility in order to get the kind of creativity that we see in some projects and the City seems to so much want.”

Three types of zoning code approaches were presented at the commission meeting on Jan. 11: Euclidean, Performance-based, and Physical Form-based.

According to the Dyett & Bhatia presentation, a Euclidean zoning code approach is utilized by most American cities, allowing for separate zones for commercial, residential, and industrial. Based on the zoning code of Euclid, Ohio, the Euclidean approach generally disapproves of dissimilar uses within a zone, though some mixed-use development is allowed.

By comparison, performance-based zoning allows for more architectural creativity and focuses more on how specific land uses operate within the context of the zone. Accordingly, performance-based zoning is more difficult to administer since it is not form-based, but relying on this approach means less reliance upon architectural design and public hearings as a “condition of approval to ensure land use compatibility.”

Finally, physical form-based zoning promotes what a specific building, street, or neighborhood should look like; however, the zoning codes do not prescribe limitations or restrictions on land-use. As the presentation pointed out, physical form-based zoning “tends to be highly proscriptive” and is considered a more “holistic” approach.

The goal was to decide on the proper mix of zoning approaches that will direct how Santa Monica will develop for decades to come. What that plan will look like will involve an extensive discussion between staff, planning commissioners, and council members.

Kahn pointed out whatever direction City Hall does decide to go in, the intent of the LUCE is what will help guide how the zoning ordinances are ultimately updated.

“What the LUCE does is it establishes a policy, a very specific policy,” Kahn said. “What the zoning ordinance will do is refine that as long as it (the zoning ordinance) is consistent with the policy.”

Commissioner Chair Jim Reis noted the process in updating Santa Monica’s zoning ordinances was on the right path.

“I’m very supportive of the early review process, get everyone involved,” he said.

Council members are expected to be brought into the discussion on Feb. 28. Once the council provides its input, the zoning ordinance updates will undergo a design review in March. The process is expected to continue through the spring.

in News
Related Posts

Arnold Schwarzenegger Involved in Brentwood Crash

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

No injuries reported in Friday incident By Sam Catanzaro Arnold Schwarzenegger was involved in a multi-vehicle crash in Brentwood Friday. ...

Report Finds That Santa Monica Spends Nearly $5 Million on Homeless Outreach

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

By Dolores Quintana A new report shows that the City of Santa Monica spends nearly $5 million on homeless outreach...

Homeless Man Violently Attacks Two Residents With Ties To City Council: Santa Monica Beat – January 24th, 2022

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.*  Homeless Man Violently Attacks Two Residents With Ties To City Council*  Families...

City Breaks Ground on Water Self-Sufficiency Project

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

City Representative Sunny Wang explains what the new improvements to the Arcadia Water Treatment Plant will mean for local residents..Video...

Euro Investment Firm Buys Santa Monica Whole Foods Property for Over $50 Million

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Whole Foods Santa Monica property sold to Deka Group By Dolores Quintana One of Europe’s largest investment firms has purchased...

Preliminary Injunction Granted to Halt Demolition Of Parking Structure 3

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

January 24 hearing set following LA Superior Court Judge ruling By Dolores Quintana The Santa Monica Bayside Owners Association’s (SMBOA)...

Westside Home Prices Rising?

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Redfin report shows 11.1 percent increase in median home prices By Dolores Quintana Are Westside home prices rising?  On the...

Film Review: “Don’t Look Up”

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

FILM REVIEWDON’T LOOK UPRated R138 MinutesReleased December 24th As with other Adam McKay movies, such as Vice and The Big...

Anti-Vaccine and Mask Rally Coming to Santa Monica This Weekend

January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

Ocean Avenue protest will draw 300-400 people Saturday By Sam Catanzaro 300-400 people are expected to attend an anti-vaccine and...

Popular Taco Spot Coming to Santa Monica

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Tacos Tu Made opening in former Obica space By Dolores Quintana A popular taco spot is opening its first Santa...

Arrest Made in Murder of Brianna Kupfer

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Shawn Laval Smith in police custody By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man suspected of the murder of Brianna...

Police Say Suspect in Brianna Kupfer Murder Case Has Been Seen in Santa Monica

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

UPDATE: Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody, after being located and...

160 Santa Monica City Employees Have Confirmed COVID Infections

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Public Works employees record most cases among workforce By Dolores Quintana Among Santa Monica city employees there are a total...

Effort to Recall LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin Falls Short

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Final tally 1,350 signatures short of required amount  By Dolores Quintana The group that attempted to recall Los Angeles City...

World’s Largest Wildlife Crossing Set to Break Ground

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Crossing over the 101 Freeway set to break ground this spring By Sam Catanzaro The world’s largest wildlife crossing will...