Downtown Santa Monica and the ‘Community Plan’ that isn’t

The City’s focus on maintaining the character of our environment has recently shifted from the neighborhoods, to the Downtown. “Storm clouds” are gathering with an impending clash between residents, developers and City staff over the future of our City’s core. In 2010, the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) was approved. Its implementation has taken … Continue reading Downtown Santa Monica and the ‘Community Plan’ that isn’t

Six Questions about the Downtown Plan

The City of Santa Monica is currently engaged in finalizing its Downtown Community Plan (DCP). This Specific Plan is generally bounded by Lincoln Blvd., the 10 freeway, Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Blvd and is supposed to govern development in this area till 2030. SMart (Santa Monica Architects for a responsible tomorrow) recognizes that different factions … Continue reading Six Questions about the Downtown Plan

NEW CODE HAS BIG PLANS FOR OUR SMALL CITY

Last week’s article discussed Urban & Architectural Design (www.SMDP.com 1/16/16) and this week’s article will discuss Process, Zoning & Conclusions as related to Urban & Architectural Design. “The fates of cities are decided in the town hall.” Le Corbusier As populations increase in urban areas, densification is inevitable. The question then becomes- how much and … Continue reading NEW CODE HAS BIG PLANS FOR OUR SMALL CITY

Santa Monica: Manhattan Beach or Manhattan, New York?

The Planning Commission is currently reviewing the Downtown Specific Plan. This document will govern what is built in the downtown area (Wilshire to the Freeway and Lincoln to Ocean) until 2030. Because of its location in the heart of Santa Monica, this plan will determine the City experience for the vast majority of residents, workers … Continue reading Santa Monica: Manhattan Beach or Manhattan, New York?

Toward a better zoning code

The City Council is getting ready to approve a controversial new Zoning Code. Many would describe the currently proposed code as incentivizing development instead of managing it for a more neighborly, sustainable City. While the proposed Zoning Code has many contentious parts, the most significant controversy centers on the Boulevards where the proposed changes will … Continue reading Toward a better zoning code

Too long in length and too short in safeguards for a better City

As a community, we have spent more than six years establishing goals and objectives in defining the LUCE, a new general plan for our city. Then we set out to address the zoning code that codifies and implements the vision in the LUCE, but after five more years, the process failed to produce a document that … Continue reading Too long in length and too short in safeguards for a better City