The Plaza at Santa Monica…. “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”

Yogi Berra’s legendary words were echoing in the ears of residents in the wee hours Wednesday morning when the City Council instructed staff to move forward with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for The Plaza at Santa Monica project. As a concession to the many opposed, the EIR is to base its primary findings on … Continue reading The Plaza at Santa Monica…. “It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again”

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IS SANTA MONICA’S HEART FOR SALE?

The Plaza at Santa Monica asks a very simple question of our downtown: Is our downtown the real center of our City or is it just a giant ATM for developers? If the downtown is to be the center of our city, it needs to have a commanding central open space that can be a … Continue reading IS SANTA MONICA’S HEART FOR SALE?

A dangerous rise in development agreements

Curb your DA’s. No, we’re not talking about District Attorneys, but rather the propensity of our planning staff to negotiate Development Agreements (DAs) with the owners of substantial chunks of our fair city. These agreements invariably allow development that goes beyond zoning restrictions, i.e. heights, setbacks, buildable area (FAR), parking requirements, and has a negative … Continue reading A dangerous rise in development agreements

Sustainability on the backs of Santa Monica residents

A recent SMa.r.t. column on sustainability compared the City of Santa Monica’s residential and commercial sectors’ progress towards the City’s sustainability goals. Initially, it appeared that the residential sector was on track while the commercial sector was lagging. While this is still the case, the actual picture is more nuanced, as is the path to … Continue reading Sustainability on the backs of Santa Monica residents