Three ordinances survived the first step in being amended by the Santa Monica City Council earlier this month, with each scheduled to be formally approved tonight, Feb. 28 as part of its second reading. The ordinances involved multifamily housing units, community events, and interim development procedures.
One ordinance amendment would alter the Municipal Code to allow the expansion of a multifamily residence located in an area zoned for single-family use. City Hall believes the new ordinance, once formally adopted after second reading, “may encourage owners to retain their existing rent controlled units rather than remove units from Rent Control, demolish and redevelop the site.”
The issue came to the council after Daniella Kuhn, who currently owns a legal, nonconforming four-unit residence on Euclid Street, sought to expand her unit “to accommodate a growing family.”
A legal, nonconforming property is often a multiunit residence that exists in a zone of single-family residences. Prior to this amendment, residents of multi-family properties located in a single-family zone could not expand or improve upon their property.
The second ordinance amendment would, due to space constrictions, change the Community Events Ordinance by requiring a permit for any activity or event held on the Third Street Promenade of 75 people or more; the previous threshold was 150.
However, permits for events at city parks or at the Santa Monica Pier still require 150 or more people in attendance.
Filming events are also included within the purview of the amendment. Under the amended ordinance, all permitting authority for events and filming would be centralized with the Public Works Department.
Finally, Interim Ordinance Number 2356 will be amended to “increase the permitted number of restaurants to two per block on the east side of Main Street, north of Ocean Park Boulevard.” The amended ordinance would also require all “publicly-available parking spaces” located in public parking structures to be replaced “in the event of their removal, redevelopment or conversion.”
Interim Ordinance Number 2356 established the interim development procedures that governed construction during the implementation of the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE).
According to the staff report, “this recommended change would help connect Main Street to the Civic Center and new Palisades Garden Walk by increasing the amount of activity and foot traffic, ultimately resulting in greater demand for retail on the northern portion of Main Street.”
In all, there are five second reads slated for a vote at the Feb. 28 council meeting; the other two second reads include an amendment to help combat secondhand smoke in new hotels and the requirements governing green building design, construction, and waste handling.