Council members were presented with a status update of 20 past, present, and future projects last Tuesday night, with staff members assuring the dais that 12 of the developments already completed within Santa Monica are in full compliance with its respective development agreements (DA).
Of the other eight developments not yet in compliance, two of them – Agensys and Santa Monica’s Catholic Community – are still under construction. The remaining six, which includes four DAs entered into in 2011, have yet to commence construction.
According to city staff, DA compliance is not yet required for the six projects currently awaiting workers to start using shovels and jackhammers.
All 20 projects have standing agreements with City Hall. With each agreement, the developer is granted an exemption to various zoning ordinances if they agree to provide certain community benefits in return.
The status of the 20 projects was part of an annual review by the council “to determine good faith compliance with the terms and conditions of the Agreements.”
“Each Development Agreement contains unique time frames, obligations, and requirements,” a staff report to council members stated. “The obligations can be one-time or ongoing; some are fees, some are actual physical improvements, and some are ongoing services.”
The 12 projects deemed in compliance include: Yahoo Center, Saint John’s Health Center, Rand, Lantana East, Lantana South, Maquire Thomas, the Water Garden, the Abroretum, Santa Monica College’s Parking and Pool, Bayview (Sheraton Delfina), Paseo Del Mar, and National Medical Entrprise (Viacom).
The remaining six projects that have yet to commence construction include The Village, Hill Street Partners III, Colorado Creative Studios (Lionsgate), 702 Arizona Avenue, 401 Broadway, and 1317 Seventh Street.
Five DAs are currently in the early stages of being created, according to staff.
Staff presented each of the 20 projects, outlining in detail the purpose of the DA, when the agreement was entered into, and, where relevant, the development’s status of compliance.
The presentation and staff report also delved into the new Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program, which applies to each DA, either new or amended, approved in conjunction with the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE).
According to staff, eight DAs have a provision for a TDM Program, which calls for effective and efficient management of a transportation strategy to help reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips.
All of the projects implementing a TDM Program either have a substantive space dedicated to bicycle parking spaces, agreed to provide shuttle service to the Expo Line once it arrives in 2015, pay a “Transit Station Fee,” or combine any of the above.
Council members determined there was indeed good faith compliance among the 12 completed DAs.
Staff and the council have been reviewing DAs since 1982, when an ordinance was enacted requiring developers to consider providing community benefits in exchange for exemptions to zoning ordinance that, for example, restrict height.
The next DA compliance review will be in January 2013.