In what was at times another high-stakes, high-drama year across Santa Monica, here is The Mirror’s run-down of the top headlines from December 2012.
Please note that some of the stories mentioned took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• Santa Monica’s controversial Nativity scenes found a new home on private property at 2700 Ocean Park Boulevard, which will remain in place through the first week of January.
• The Santa Monica Film Festival returned with 22 screenings at the Aero Theatre on Montana Avenue.
• The Santa Monica Museum of Flying opened its new 3D flight simulator and welcomed the arrival of Santa Claus on a vintage World War II bi-plane.
• Resident Sara Bayles picked up trash between towers 26 and 28 on Santa Monica Beach for the 365th non-consecutive time.
• Pam O’Connor was appointed Mayor and Terry O’Day Mayor Pro Tem after the new City Council members were sworn in.
• The saga of Village Trailer Park at 2930 Colorado Avenue took a new turn as the new look City Council voted to rescind the second reading and adoption of its Development Agreement.
• Council members approved the proposal to establish the Santa Monica Tourism Marketing District to help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for the City’s hotels.
• City staff was directed to explore whether a state-of-the-art movie theater could still be built in downtown after AMC bowed out of negotiations for a complex at the current Parking Structure 3 location at 1320 4th Street.
• Residents at the Mountain View Mobile Home Trailer Park at 1930 Stewart Street in Santa Monica sued their landlord, the City of Santa Monica, for $121 million, citing failure to maintain the trailer park, civil rights abuse, and emotional distress.
• Council members tabled a decision on whether to grant tax exemption status to the new owner of the “House of Rock” estate at 2009 La Mesa Drive.
• City Hall contemplated new applications procedures for Development Agreements to alter the pace of growth in Santa Monica. Council members vowed to continue looking at this issue in 2013.
• City staff was directed to look into how Santa Monica can maintain affordable housing units.
• Planning Commissioners reviewed how to balance urban form with open space and arts/culture. The Bergamot Area Plan will continue to take shape in 2013.