The Mansionization of Santa Monica

In the 1980s, Santa Monica’s single family zoning code was rewritten and modified to prevent the “mansionization” of small homes on small lots, from being built out to the maximum allowable height without setbacks and articulation of the facades. The revised codes were written with the intent to restrict maximum height vertical walls being built … Continue reading The Mansionization of Santa Monica


Santa Monica’s Path to Net Zero

The City Council recently voted to accelerate Santa Monica’s adoption of the State’s new “Net Zero Energy” policy (NZE.) Although slated for adoption by 2020, the City will now require that Residents reduce their energy use by 15 percent starting in 2017 and be fully compliant by 2020. The Commercial sector has been held to … Continue reading Santa Monica’s Path to Net Zero

Money and Energy in Santa Monica

For years Santa Monica has been a willing participant in a variety of urban and civic experiments. These range from widespread rent control to sustainable buildings, to the comprehensive (and controversial) LUCE masterplan for much of the city. Now the city is embarking on a new experiment: the new City Services building, to be constructed … Continue reading Money and Energy in Santa Monica

SM.a.r.t. A House Divided Cannot Stand

Following the election, our city remains as divided as ever. Are we an urban, or a beachfront city? Who will determine our future- developers or residents? Will we continue seeing sunlit skies, trees, local merchants, and children playing in our parks? Will we walk, drive, and bicycle safely? Will we preserve what’s iconic about Santa … Continue reading SM.a.r.t. A House Divided Cannot Stand