July 31, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Pier Parking Changes Ahead:

There was probably a time when a driver could drive his or her vehicle onto the deck of the Santa Monica Pier and comfortably find a parking spot – a time many may say is now over.

However, the time may soon come when vehicles may not be allowed onto the Pier at all, but instead be redirected toward an area directly adjacent to one of the City of Santa Monica’s most iconic venues.

In a vote on March 27, the Santa Monica City Council approved a new plan that would move Pier parking to a new area while also ensuring the safety of those walking along its deck.

The new plan would take away 270 current parking spots on the Pier deck and replace it with a three-story garage. It would cost City Hall about $300,000 to draw up the preliminary design plans.

“The confluence of cars and pedestrians on the Santa Monica Pier creates a number of potential safety hazards,” a staff report to council members stated. “Relocating the parking from the Santa Monica Pier deck would mitigate the safety concerns while providing the opportunity for the development of more visitor, recreational, and coastal-related uses. The adjacent beach maintenance area may be a site for replacement parking.”

In addition, by adjusting the Pier’s parking options, the council’s action also provided an organizational groundwork for the upcoming Pier Master Planning effort that will guide the Santa Monica Pier into the future.”

There are currently 230 parking spaces on the Pier, less than half of the number available prior to the 1983 storm; back then there were 471 parking slots.

As part of the Land Use Plan (LUP) of 1991, the City “identified the goal of relocating vehicular parking off the Santa Monica Pier” in order to “facilitate using the vacated area for additional visitor attractions and public open space.”

“The addition of parking adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier would provide safe and code compliant access in addition to augmenting parking in the Coastal Zone,” the staff report stated.

As stated in the staff report, a modified LUP that was adopted by the council in 1992 states “A minimum of 471 parking spaces shall be provided to serve the Pier. This is the amount of parking which existed on the Pier before it was damaged by storms in 1983.”

“The provision of this parking may be phased as redevelopment of the Pier occurs, as long as adequate parking to serve Pier development is provided prior to or concurrent with the occupancy of any new development on the Pier. Parking may be relocated off the Pier, either within reasonable walking distance to the Pier, or in remote parking lots, if an effective shuttle system is implemented to transport people from the remote lots to the Pier,” the amended LUP continues.

The proposed parking structure would feature a central elevator and a rooftop bridge to the Santa Monica Pier, affording pedestrians, especially the disabled persons and families with small children greater ease, comfort and security of access. Furthermore, an issue with public parking on the Santa Monica Pier is the damaged done to the Pier deck, with substantial loosing of deck boards as well as wear and abrasion which could compromise the structural integrity of the Santa Monica Pier. A significant amount of maintenance to the Santa Monica Pier is required to repair deck boards along vehicle access ways and deck parking lot.

The proposed parking structure location would potentially be a three-story structure “designed to preserve viewsheds and to simultaneously organize and aestheticize the beach maintenance area.” Staff had conducted a study that determined such a structure with 280 parking spaces would adequately serves as a replacement lot. It would be located north of the Pier and adjacent to Lot 1N, which is the same parking lot that abuts Pacific Coast Highway and served as the home to Cirque du Soleil.

Owned by City Hall with commercial spaces leased out to individual vendors, the staff report states about six million people visit the Pier annually to take in the venue’s carousel, amusement arcades, food service establishments, and beach oriented retail shops. A portion of the Pier is home to a plethora of fisherman as well as a Harbor Guard Office, a bat house, and “a display area for pier history and maritime related issues.”

The Pier was originally built in 1908 and was expanded in 1916. City Hall has owned the Pier since 1953. It was scheduled for demolition in 1973 before local citizens organized a grassroots campaign to save what is now one of the City’s signature landmarks.

The Coastal Commission Review informed staff it was “in favor of removing the parking from the Pier deck to further enhance pedestrian uses of the Santa Monica Pier.”

Relocating the Pier parking from the deck to an adjacent lot or structure would fit nicely with the arrival of the Expo Light Rail in 2015, as “increased pedestrian traffic” in the area due to the Metro’s terminus at the nearby Fourth Street terminus.

Plans also call for a rebuilt Pier bridge, enhanced pedestrian and bike access, and “minimized vehicular access.”

Looking ahead, staff was directed to move forward in developing plans for the lot adjacent to the Pier to be primed for new parking. Accordingly, staff will also seek a design consultant by the summer “to provide initial design and cost estimate and appropriate funds for design and cost estimation anticipated to be no more than $300,000.”

By Fall, staff is expected to return to council with the initial design recommendation and financing strategy ready for approval.

in News
Related Posts

Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) Director Patty Wong announced recently that she will leave Santa Monica to take on the...

City Council Prioritizes Housing for Historically Displaced Households

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At its meeting on July 13, Santa Monica City Council made changes to Santa Monica’s Affordable Housing Production Program and...

Homeless Man Charged with Hate Crime in Assault of Korean Woman in Santa Monica

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Melvin Taylor faces charges in connection to July 23 incident By Sam Catanzaro Hate crime charges have been filed against...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs, Claims no Wrongdoing

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa...

Two Arrested for Main Street Bike Shop Burglary

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Two suspects were arrested for the burglary of a Main Street bike store after the owner witnessed the crime via...

Council Selects Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Helm Santa Monica

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has...

Ocean Park Library Set to Reopen

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New self-service hours begin July 28 By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch is set to...

Police Tase Suspect Following Santa Monica Beach Stabbing

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

32-year-old man arrested Sunday evening on Santa Monica Beach, suffers head injuries in arrest By Sam Catanzaro As part of...

Santa Monica Beat: Santa Monica Beat – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Serial Killer Arrested by SMPD Sentenced to Death * New Grants...

Santa Monica May Ban Lobbyists From Serving on Boards and Commissions

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

City Council instructs staff to draft ordinance to bar paid policy advocates from serving on board, commissions, task forces   By...

Water Near Santa Monica Pier Remains Questionable as Beach Closures Lifted Following Sewage Discharge

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Edify TV: Local Cafe Supporting Foster Youths

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe recently opened its first California location in Santa Monica, delivering not only unique coffee and...

Santa Monica Experiencing 9-1-1 Call Outage

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Update: As of 3 p.m., 9-1-1 phone service in Santa Monica has been fully restored. Please call or text 9-1-1...