Sites are located at 1217 Euclid Street, 1211-1217 14th Street and 1146 16th Street
By Dolores Quintana
During the Santa Monica City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 14, the issue was raised and a plan was set in motion to use three Santa Monica city parking lots as sites for future affordable housing as part of the city’s housing element plan.
A resolution to this effect was brought to the chamber with the intention of the Council adopting it so the project can move forward. The sites are located at 1217 Euclid Street, 1211-1217 14th Street and 1146 16th Street.
The three properties are close to UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center and Council member Phil Brock brought up the point that many of the patients at the medical center may have conditions or disabilities that create a need for convenient parking that would be available for the center, especially near the west side of 14th and Wilshire and on the east side of the parcel. He stated that there is a row of businesses, specifically a business called Acology Shop, where customers might have issues getting to the business easily if parking is not available close to the business. Acology Shop is a muscle training company that helps people with back injuries and other disabilities. Brock asked if the developer could be asked to include parking for these businesses.
Isla Scott of the Housing and Human Services Division noted that having sufficient parking for these reasons is an important part of this proposed Request For Proposals (RFP) and future development. She said that the city will be asking respondents to show conceptually what their approach would be to replacing parking as part of their proposal.
Scott said that the first steps in the process would be to make the exempt surplus land declaration and to identify a development team for the process. They plan to release the RFP no later than June 30. When asked by a council member, Caroline Torosis, how long this process will take, Scott said that after the RFP was released, it would probably take seven to nine months to gather thoughtful bids from contractors, evaluate the information and return to the city council to identify the development team. Torosis then asked if it was true that they expected one team to develop all three sites and that the RFP would be sent out “far and wide” to potentially get the best options to which Scott responded that it would be.
Mayor Gleam Davis asked if it was true that the discussion of whether or not parking would be part of the development of these sites was not part of the action that the city council was presently taking and verify that the action was only to declare the parcels exempt surplus land which Scott affirmed and stated that the actions had to be in line with the entirety of the housing element plan.
The council then held a voice vote and the motion passed unanimously.