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City Adds Last-Minute Terms to New Airport Campus

By Ann K. Williams
Staff Writer

July 25 -- With an August 29 deadline for the Fall semester approaching, Santa Monica College may have to leap over a whole new set of City-generated hurdles barring student access to its new Bundy campus.

If the City gets its way, the College will have to move its shuttle service away from the airport immediately and join the Cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles in extensive talks that will cover much of the same ground as the Master Plan that has already cost the College more than $362,000.

If the College goes along with these terms, the City will grant it a short extension of an agreement that allows students to walk onto the campus “to facilitate start up of the 2005 fall semester,” according to a City Staff report on the agenda for Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

The College has called a special meeting Monday to frame a response to the City staff report. A closed session will follow to seek advice from legal counsel about initiating litigation.

The City staff report asks the College to remove its shuttle service from the airport so that Bundy campus students can park at the lot the shuttle uses now.

Only if the College agrees to remove the shuttle will the City extend its agreement to allow pedestrian access from the lot to the campus. And that extension will end on October 15, less than halfway through the semester.

The City is still unwilling to consider allowing cars to enter the College’s 609-space parking lot from Airport Avenue.

Instead, the City is recommending that “the City, Los Angeles, and SMC immediately commence discussions to cooperatively identify parking and traffic management solutions for SMC operations system-wide,” not just at the Bundy campus.

These meetings will generate a traffic study which will “recognize and address concerns of Santa Monica and West Los Angeles residents.”

“Its completion is a necessary precursor to consideration of vehicle access,” said City staff.

On November 22, 2004, the Airport Commission demanded that the College complete a Master Plan before the City would consider giving cars the right to drive from Airport Avenue onto the campus.

The College presented its Master Plan, -- which included a detailed traffic analysis and summaries of its meetings with campus neighbors -- at a meeting of the College Board of Trustees on July 6.

The special meeting of the College Board of Trustees will be held 6:30p.m. Monday July 25 in Room 117 of the Business Building at 1900 Pico Boulevard.

The City Council will meet Tuesday night, July 26 to consider the City staff proposal.

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