Logo horizontal ruler


About Us Contact

Workshop Gives Santa Monicans Chance to Help Forge Vision for Industrial Area

By Lookout Staff

July 19 -- Santa Monicans on Saturday can weigh in on the future of the city’s industrial corridor, where jobs have gone from blue to white collar and prime land is being snatched up by developers.

The five-hour long Industrial Lands workshop -- the next step in the City’s ongoing effort to update the Land Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE of the General Plan -- will focus on issues affecting the potential of the industrial areas over the next 20 years.

“We will discuss continued light industry and entertainment office uses; creating new neighborhoods with basic infrastructure, including roadways, sidewalks and parks (and) possible workforce housing,” planning officials said in a statement.

The workshop -- which starts at 9:15 a.m. at the Santa Monica College Concert Hall -- will also focus on “promoting walkability and access to multiple modes of transportation, including future light rail; supporting the arts community, and the Open Space policies,” officials said.

The workshop comes at a time when NMS Properties is moving ahead with plans to build some 1,000 single-room units in the industrial corridor, bounded by Centinela Avenue, the 10 Freeway, Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.

While the five proposed buildings abide by the letter of a new law to encourage affordable housing, City officials worry they will bypass public and environmental review, are not required to provide much parking and open space and don’t address a critical shortage of affordable family housing.

They also worry that the buildings, which take advantage of height and density bonuses, may throw a wrench into plans to redevelop Santa Monica’s light industrial corridor under new zoning options being reviewed by the City.

The City Council in April rushed through an emergency ordinance to dramatically slow the projects’ permitting by requiring that they undergo a potentially lengthy and costly public process. The developer is likely to take legal action.

Once a thriving industrial strip that included such companies as Papermate -- whose factory on Olympic Boulevard cranked out six million pens in 1971 -- the area has become a Mecca for media companies and high-end offices.

The rising real estate prices have long displaced a vibrant community of artists that lived in “Dresherville,” a sprawling complex of industrial bungalows where NSM Properties plans to build 623 single room units, and in storefronts in the light manufacturing district.

City officials would like to address how the proposed housing developments may impact future land use in the area -- which has been suggested as a potential location for artists' lofts and studios.

As part of the first update to the City’s General Plan in a quarter century, City officials and community members are attempting to forge a “comprehensive vision that takes into account the city’s social, cultural and institutional values, as well as overall character and identity,” planning officials said.

Registration for Saturday’s workshop will start at 9 a.m.. The workshop will take place between 9:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the SMC Concert Hall, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

The workshop will feature a discussion with a panel of experts in the morning and breakout work sessions in the afternoon for participants to express their views about the area’s future.

Participants should RSVP to ensure accurate refreshment count. By sending an email to shapethefuture2025@smgov.net or calling 310.458.8341.







Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2008 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.
Footer Email icon