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Saint John's Must Provide More Parking, City Says

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

April 3, 2013 -- Santa Monica City Officials told Saint John's Health Center (SJHC) Monday that its plan to replace the parking spaces it had leased at the Colorado Center was not enough.

The City notified Saint John's officials that their plan to replace the 450 parking spaces that it had leased at the Colorado Center until last week came up at least 210 spaces short of what would be needed to manage the hospital's peak traffic.

“The proposed Parking Management Plan does not provide the requisite number of spaces to serve as a replacement to the Colorado Center lease,” Planning Director David Martin wrote in a letter to Saint John's officials dated March 29.

“Your submittable shows a minimum deficit of 210 parking spaces which would need to be remedied through the provision of spaces either owned by SJHC or leased with terms similar to those in the Colorado Center lease,” he wrote.

The hospital planned to provide a total of 1,208 parking spaces, but according to the 1998 Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), if Saint John's ahd built the parking garage, the hospital would have provided 1,440 parking spaces.

Saint John's officials submitted a revised parking management plan to the City after it learned in December that Equity Office at the Colorado Center would terminate its lease with the hospital.

In their proposed parking plan, Saint John's officials argued that the spaces at the Colorado Center were underused, with only about 190 spaces being occupied daily.

Saint John's leased the 450 parking spaces as part of an amendment to the hospital's 1998 development agreement (DA). The original DA included the construction of a 442-space underground parking garage.

In 2011, the City Council voted to amend the DA and allow Saint John's to find the equivalent parking in off-site locations in lieu of building the garage.

The City's response to Saint John's plan is the next step in a lengthy process that could end with City requiring the hospital to build the parking garage if it fails to address the City's objection.

“They owe us a response at the end of April,” said Senior Planner Roxanne Tanemori. That response should address the City's concerns about the 210-space deficit, she said.

City officials would then get 60 days to review the revised plan. If the plan is determined to address the deficit, City officials could then give Saint John's the green light.

If not, the hospital would get another chance to revise the parking plan before the City would require that the parking garage be built, since the DA amendment allows the hospital to forgo constructing the garage if Saint John's can “provide at all times parking that is functionally equivalent to the previously-approved North Campus Subterranean Parking Garage,” according to officials.

If the City requires the hospital to build the garage, the decision could be appealed to the City Council.

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