By Sam Skopp
Members of Santa Monica City Council, City staff, and the greater Santa Monica community gathered at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club on 4th Street Saturday to discuss ways in which Santa Monica’s downtown could be both preserved and bettered to best serve its current and future residents.
The event included a structured presentation, featuring a panel made up of Central City Development Group president Hamid Behdad, Adobe Communities CEO and President Robin Hughes, and private real estate investor Dan Rosenfeld. The presentation also included contributions from other individual speakers, which included multiple members of Santa Monica’s City Planning Department, as well as a number of video interviews with members of the Santa Monica community about their visions of a better downtown Santa Monica.
Breakfast and lunch were provided to all attendees at the free event, who after the presentation, participated in breakout discussions with one another before the event wrapped up. The event drew a sizable crowd, which filled all of the seating provided in the large clubhouse space.
The impetus behind the community gathering was the Downtown Community Plan (DCP), which includes directives to improve Santa Monica’s wellbeing index, preserve historic and unique buildings, provide affordable housing to families, serve Santa Monica’s senior community, and more, all of which was discussed in detail by the event’s speakers, as well as broken down into slides displayed at the clubhouse’s entrance, according to the DCP.
Personal experience factored into panel-member Dan Rosenfeld’s involvement with the DCP.
“By the time [my wife and I] had a second child, we couldn’t afford a home,” said Rosenfeld, about the plan’s initiative to prioritize affordable housing for families.
“We need to provide housing that actually works for families,” added Travis Page, who is part of Santa Monica’s City Planning Department.
Affordable family housing was just one of many issues factored into the larger DCP. For more information, visit downtownsmplan.org.