January 20, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Bergamot Area Plan Pushes Forward At Santa Monica City Council:

After extended deliberation by planning commissioners, the Bergamot Area Plan – an extensive document that may greatly alter Santa Monica’s traffic circulation, air quality, and land use – was finally in front of Council members for discussion March 12.

With community members providing input during the public hearing, the four Council members in attendance agreed to push the plan forward and allow City staff to begin the environmental review process.

“This plan has personality,” City Planner Peter James said. “It’s a plan that blends the desire for conservation of beloved resources or buildings or uses with a desire for new uses, exciting ones that begin to create the community that we’ve been talking about.”

James added the plan promotes a “cohesive community” in balancing the promotion of arts with local business interests, while also addressing traffic concerns.

Yet James also said achieving the Bergamot Area Plan’s vision will require a lot of “hard work.”

To borrow a line former Council member Bobby Shriver used to use, James pointed out the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the Expo Light Rail Line, which is expected to be operational within Santa Monica by 2016.

“The big motivator behind all this is the Expo. It’s coming. It’s really real,” James told Council members, adding construction has already begun on the Expo Line at Centinela and Cloverfield.

Located along Olympic Boulevard near 26th Street just inside of Santa Monica’s eastern border, the Bergamot Area Plan, once realized, hopes to create a “complete neighborhood,” where the already established arts community in that area would be combined with new housing and jobs, open spaces, restaurants, and a “multi-modal transportation network.”

Walkability is a major theme of the Bergamot Area Plan.

“The Plan’s intrinsically sustainable approach connects jobs and housing to transit, and forges new walking and biking paths to reduce vehicle trips. It fills gaps in local services and amenities, and introduces the urban forest into a former industrial area,” City staff stated. “The Bergamot Area Plan looks toward the future, incorporating the best thinking about complete, secure and healthy communities.”

Some statistics of the Bergamot Area Plan:

• Two land use conservation districts will be created;

• 10 new streets and 15 new bikes lanes to be added;

• 140 acres of industrial land to be converted;

• 3,400 daily transit riders once the Expo Line opens.

The core components of the Bergamot Area Plan include: open space, urban form, and street networks; land use; circulation and mobility; arts and culture; economic sustainability; and, utility infrastructure.

Overall, the draft Bergamot Area Plan was well received.

Still, Council members took advantage of their first true consideration of the Plan to make some suggestions.

The minimum size of apartment units was one key concern. In previous land use deliberations concerning residences, Council members have expressed a desire to have a healthy mix of apartment sizes to promote both families and working professionals to populate the area.

Council member Gleam Davis was worried about how specific – or “prescriptive” – the Plan was in its design requirements and suggested it have some more flexibility.

James replied the areas where the design requirements were “prescriptive” applied to portions of the Plan that abutted existing residential areas, where perception of building mass and access to light and air were of greater concern.

Affordable housing was also brought up, with Council member Kevin McKeown urging City staff to consider matching the range of units available with the diversity of jobs the Bergamot Area Plan hopes to achieve, keeping consistent with its vision to be a complete, walkable neighborhood.

Some residents did speak on the draft Bergamot Area Plan. One stated community members might need more time to digest the Plan because of the density of information presented. Yet another speaker echoed Davis’ sentiment and suggested the Plan be more flexible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances and prevent unintended consequences.

Another resident – Crystal Anderson – was worried portions of the Bergamot Area would effectively spill into the Pico neighborhood and adversely affect the lifestyles of long-time residents in that area.

The draft Bergamot Area Plan has taken about two-and-a-half years to put together.

Mayor Pam O’Connor and Council member Tony Vazquez were both absent from the March 12 meeting. Council member Bob Holbrook was at the meeting earlier but had to excuse himself early to tend to a family emergency.

in News
Related Posts

City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission: Santa Monica Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Has Appointed An 11 Member Civilian Police Oversight Commission...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Santa Monica Pier to Close, Farmers Market Shortened for Inauguration Day

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Library curbside service suspended as well By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica is closing the Pier and shortening the farmers market’s...

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel to Turn Amber as Part of Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Pacific Park joins nationwide COVID-19 memorial Tuesday night By Chad Winthrop The Santa Monica Pier ferris wheel will light up...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Edify TV: Overhaul for Canyon Property?

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

A unique Santa Monica Canyon property may be getting an overhaul. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions: Santa Monica Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council Votes Mayor Himmelrich And Team To Keep Council Positions...

65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: The Westside’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Santa Monica Pier Closed for Five Days in a Row

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

City cites warm weather forecasted for Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro With temperatures reaching the 80s expected, city officials are...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

Santa Monica Fire Department Rolls Out Vaccinations

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

SMFD helps with rollout across county  By Chad Winthrop Beginning this month , Santa Monica Fire Department firefighters and paramedics...

SMC and MLK Westside Coalition’s 36th Annual Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Mon, Jan 18, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Online Only at 9am on Jan. 18th – Visit: MLKjrWestside.org  The Rev. Dr....