January 16, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Lawsuit Filed Against Plaza Development

Slow-growth group says City is violating Surplus Land Act

By Sam Catanzaro

A slow-growth group has filed a lawsuit to halt the development of an 11-story, 240-room luxury hotel proposed on publicly-owned land in downtown Santa Monica.

The proposed development, known as The Plaza at Santa Monica, is an 11-story, 240-room luxury hotel, with 106,800 square feet of creative office space, approximately 40,000 square feet of open public space and 48 units of affordable housing at 4th Street and Arizona Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica.

Negotiations were put on hold in July after slow-growth group Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) filed a complaint arguing the property should be reserved for public use under the California surplus land act. In August, however, Santa Monica City Council voted to continue negotiations with developer Clarett West, deciding the job, housing and revenue it would generate outweigh the risks of pending litigation.

On Friday, September 25 SMCLC filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging the City of Santa Monica is failing to abide by the Surplus Land Act, which requires the City to offer publicly owned land for affordable housing, park and recreational or open-space purposes.

“Residents have been forced to sue because the City refused to follow the law. This is the only remaining major parcel of publicly-owned, undeveloped land in our downtown and the City is negotiating to privatize it. Public land should be used for a public purpose,” said Diana Gordon, SMCLC’s co-chair. “This is unacceptable: Our city needs affordable housing and needs more open space. SMCLC’s lawsuit seeks to compel the City to pursue these community priorities on our public land.”

The lawsuit asks the court to issue a peremptory writ of mandate, requiring the City to stop its negotiations with the developer of the 4th and Arizona project and comply with the Surplus Land Act.

“The City’s conduct demonstrates the abiding hold that developers and those special interests that benefit from their projects have over our city government; a hold so strong that the City Council has put aside its professed support for affordable housing and open space,” SMCLC said in a press release.

The City of Santa Monica and Clarett West were not immediately available for comment.

Related Posts

Tsunami Advisory Issued for Santa Monica

January 15, 2022

January 15, 2022

No damage expected for Santa Monica beaches By Sam Catanzaro A tsunami advisory remains in effect for Santa Monica following...

Santa Monica Vons’s Development Sees Design Changes

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

Santa Monica’s 710 Broadway development design changes shown in new renderings By Dolores Quintana The 710 Broadway Project developer has...

Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule? – Part 2 Our Downtown

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

This is the 2nd of five weekly articles looking at the history and current condition of Santa Monica’s beachfront environment...

Bel Air Megamansion ‘The One’ Is Finally Being Put up for Sale

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

$295 million asking price for infamous property By Dolores Quintana The One, the most famous of all the megamansions and...

Burglar Arrested After Victim Recognizes Him Wearing Shirt

January 13, 2022

January 13, 2022

Mynor Calderon arrested in connection to January 6 incident By Sam Catanzaro.  Santa Monica police recently arrested a home burglar...

Pier Vendor Arrested for Burning Other Vendor With Oil From Hot Dog Cart

January 13, 2022

January 13, 2022

Arrest made in connection to November incident By Sam Catanzaro Police recently arrested a Santa Monica Pier street vendor for...

Santa Monica to Begin Accepting Applications for Families Displaced by Construction of Freeway and Civic Center

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

Below Market Housing for Historically Displaced Households pilot application window to open January 18 By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica will...

Local Mountain Lions Show First Reproductive Effects of Inbreeding

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

“It’s quite severe,” says the lead researcher in UCLA study  By Sam Catanzaro UCLA scientists tracking two local mountain lion...

Cedars-Sinai Urges Blood Donations

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

As 2022 begins, Cedars-Sinai is facing a critical blood shortage and is encouraging prospective donors to give blood as soon...

Santa Monica Issues Permit for Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

Dispensary would be located at 1416 Wilshire Boulevard By Dolores Quintana The medical marijuana dispensary Harvest of Santa Monica has...

Nearly 2,000 Tests a Day Available at New Santa Monica Covid Test Facility: Santa Monica Beat – January 10th, 2022

January 10, 2022

January 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.*  Nearly 2,000 Tests a Day Available at New Santa Monica Covid Test...

A New Years Glimpse Into Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule?

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

It’s a New Year, a make-or-break year for Santa Monica!! How much do you care about your city and it’s...

NYC-Based Developer Finalizes Acquisition of Major Santa Monica Residential Development Site

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

Tishman Speyer to begin construction in late 2022 on its first LA-area residential project By Sam Catanzaro An NYC-based developer...

Opinion: Attorney General Spurs on Big 2022 Housing Battle

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There will be plenty of political battles next year, starting with likely reelection challenges to Gov....