Santa Monica’s cityscape continues to evolve and change. One of those evolving elements – Bergamot Station – will come in front of the City Council this week to determine whether it is in compliance with the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) and complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
If Council members believe the Bergamot Area Plan satisfied both the LUCE Environmental Impact Report and CEQA, they will vote to adopt and implement the plan.
The Planning Commission spent several weeks discussing the Bergamot Area Plan before recommending its adoption last week.
Once realized, the Bergamot Area Plan would create “a new sustainable neighborhood” that, according to City staff, would conserve “the industrial character that has attracted a regionally significant creative community, including the Bergamot Art Center, and infuses new, transit-oriented pedestrian-friendly buildings with a mix of local-serving uses that can take full advantage of the opportunities coming with the Exposition Light Rail.”
“The Bergamot Plan vision describes a future that presents new ideas and old ones together, aiming for a vibrant, interesting future,” City staff said.
According to City staff, the Bergamot Area Plan “provides policies and standards for transitioning 142.5 acres of former industrial lands into an arts-focused, transit-oriented, mixed-use pedestrian-oriented neighborhood anchored by the Bergamot Exposition Light Rail Station.”
Key elements of the Bergamot Area Plan include circulation, housing, mobility, parking, preservation of character, sustainability, and transportation management.
“Equally important is that the plan area will be developed with retail and service uses that reach beyond the plan area to also serve surrounding residential communities,” City staff added. “Neighbors in the Pico and Mid-City neighborhoods will benefit from availability of additional nearby amenities such as restaurants, childcare facilities, personal services and shopping opportunities within easy walking and biking distance.”
The Bergamot Area Plan hopes to improve circulation and mobility within Santa Monica by building in new infrastructure “that serve pedestrians, cars, bicycles and buses, conveying all people safely and comfortably to their end destinations.”
To achieve multi-modal infrastructure, the Bergamot Area Plan proposes “breaking down the large industrial-era parcels into a block pattern that is consistent with the Santa Monica street grid has resulted in the identification of 10 potential new streets and 15 potential pedestrian and bicycle pathways that are designed to match the desired purpose of the particular area.”
Council members will be discussing each of the elements of the Final Bergamot Area Plan – and whether it is consistent with environmental regulations and the LUCE – at its July 23 meeting.
The agenda item comes two weeks after council members tabled a discussion of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP). At the July 9 meeting, only four Council members were present and the DSP was tabled until August in hopes a full dais would consider the issue.