In what could be described as a year of big ups and downs for Santa Monica, here is The Mirror’s run-down of the top headlines from the year.
Please note that some of the following stories took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• The City of Santa Monica sent Saint John’s Health Center back to the drawing board regarding its new parking plan, which fell short of the minimum amount of spaces required.
• On April 3 the Santa Monica Planning Commission recommended a 53-unit development at 1318 Second Street move forward for consideration by the City Council.
• AMC Criterion 6 officially screened its last film March 28. The six-screen, 1,600-seat multiplex will give way to a retail store.
• An alert Santa Monica resident who dialed 911 while witnessing a car burglary in progress early April 2 in the 600 block of 19th Street helped lead police to the arrest of 22-year-old homeless man on a burglary spree.
• Food trucks patrolling Main Street in the Ocean Park neighborhood were told to be mindful of the time, as the Santa Monica City Council approved at its April 9 meeting an expanded prohibition of late night street vending during certain holidays.
• Malibu-based Marquis Property Company Ltd acquired the one-acre development site at the south corner of Ocean Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard in Santa Monica to build 20 “ultra-luxurious” villa homes and penthouses. Marquis acquired the one-acre site at 301 Ocean Avenue from developer Trammell Crow for $21 million.
• The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved April 9 an ordinance allowing pedicabs to operate in most of Santa Monica.
•- The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center announced a fundraising campaign to support “artistic incubation” and the continual creation of productions physically born at 1310 11th Street in Santa Monica.
• Three men aged in their early 20s from Reno, Nevada were arrested on suspicion of armed robbery at Tala Jewelry at 1302 Montana Avenue on April 14 just before 5 pm. Two 24-year-old suspects – Darveyon Terrell Davis and Delina Frank Banks – were located and arrested within hours of the burglary. The third suspect – 22-year-old Donya Shannon Conner – was taken into custody April 15 after being found in the restroom of the McDonald’s at 2902 Pico Boulevard just before 7 am.
• The Santa Monica City Council approved April 9 a resolution that would establish new parking rates in downtown structures for disabled tenants living in 100 percent affordable housing in the area, particularly where onsite parking is unavailable.
• Anti-airport advocates prepared for their first formal interaction with City Council members who will decide the fate of Santa Monica Airport (SMO) when its current contract with the Federal Aviation Administration expires on June 30, 2015. A special City Council meeting dedicated to discussing the future of SMO was held April 30 at City Hall.
• Production companies and filmmakers were told they had to go through Film L.A., Inc., if they want to obtain a film permit to shoot in Santa Monica. Council members unanimously approved the agenda item April 9 as part of its consent calendar.
• Private fitness trainers and City Hall made headway in coming to terms with how exercise instruction may take place at select public parks and the beach in Santa Monica. The City Council unanimously agreed April 23 to look into loosening regulations for personal trainers who offered classes at Palisades Park and other public areas. Council members directed City staff to put together an ordinance that would effectively serve as a middle ground.
• “Totem” will be the new Cirque du Soleil production that will be in the parking lot just north of the pier in 2014, as Santa Monica City Council members unanimously approved City Manager Rod Gould on April 23 to finalize a contract to bring the acrobatic performances back to Santa Monica.
• Council member Ted Winterer and Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day asked City staff April 23 to include in development agreement (DA) negotiations a request that the project produce “the greatest amount of photovoltaic panels feasible given the rooftop configuration and orientation of proposed buildings.”
• The Santa Monica City Council approved April 23 a $2 million-plus contract to resurface a portion of Lincoln Boulevard and a $4 million-plus sale of a city-owned parcel on Michigan Avenue.
• An elderly woman carrying a baby in a Bjorn type carrier was struck by a car on Ocean Avenue near Alta Avenue in Santa Monica just after 10 am on April 17.