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  • 02/21/2020 8:36 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    In Santa Monica, both market-rate and affordable developers must guide housing projects through a review process that takes one to three years.

    But with a forthcoming state mandate to zone for roughly 6,000 affordable units and 3,000 market-rate units between 2021 and 2029, putting new housing through a lengthy and expensive review process is no longer feasible, Planning Commission Chair Leslie Lambert said Wednesday before the commission voted to support expediting the process for 100% affordable housing and market-rate housing up to 60 feet tall that conforms to existing standards.

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  • 02/21/2020 8:15 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    One of the region’s largest business groups is exploring a new strategy for tackling Southern California’s housing crisis: asking Los Angeles voters to upzone sections of the city, allowing larger and taller residential buildings on commercial boulevards and in other areas.

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  • 02/21/2020 8:13 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    lected officials are supposed to protect the interest of their constituents. That’s not the way it works in Santa Monica.

    Taxpayers are at the bottom of the list of our Councilmembers’ priorities. First are developers, followed by businesses, tourists and staff.

    Last week the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City reported just one of the extraordinary perks (besides a “Taj Mahal” office building with a private art gallery) staff enjoys.

    Some two-thirds -- 1,400 -- of our over-compensated City employees drive to work solo in their cars and then park free...

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  • 02/19/2020 8:16 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Local officials could allow affordable housing to be built by-right to incentivize the production of 6,000 units of housing for low and moderate-income households over the next eight years.

    Santa Monica and other Southern California cities rich in jobs and public transit will be required to accommodate more housing than ever before under a forthcoming state mandate aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis. Santa Monica will likely receive a mandate to zone for about 9,000 new units between 2021 and 2029, two-thirds of which must be affordable for low and moderate-income households.

    City Hall could take its first step toward meeting that goal Wednesday, when the Planning Commission will meet to discuss recommending that City Council vote to permit 100% affordable housing projects to bypass the city’s public review process.

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  • 02/19/2020 8:14 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A coalition of neighborhood and slow-growth groups sent an ultimatum Tuesday to City officials and the developer of "The Plaza at Santa Monica" -- withdraw the proposed project or we will fight to stop it.

    The nine groups predicted they would defeat the 357,000-square-foot mixed-use hotel development proposed by Clarett West on City owned land in the heart of Downtown.

    The project includes a 240-room luxury hotel, 106,800 square feet of creative workspace, approximately 40,000 square feet of open public space and 48 units of affordable housing, according to the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

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  • 02/18/2020 10:05 AM | Angelica Jue (Administrator)

    Calls on DOT of consider mini horses as viable service animals

    It's not every day you see a horse on a plane, let alone in first class. But Fred the Mini Service Horse went wheels up with a purpose.

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  • 02/17/2020 8:18 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, issued on Thursday, shows an oval-shaped patch of Central California slipping back into moderate drought. This is after a couple months where the Drought Monitor showed the state to be almost drought-free.

    But did the drought in California ever really end? Climatologist and weather expert Bill Patzert thinks Southern California continues to be mired in a two-decade drought, and he uses rainfall figures for downtown Los Angeles to illustrate his point.

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  • 02/17/2020 8:10 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Santa Monica is increasingly becoming a city of Millennials who are shaping its economy, social views and policies, Mayor Kevin McKeown said Wednesday in his State of the City address.

    Millennials -- those between 25 and 40 years old -- hold well paying tech jobs in what has become known as "Silicon Beach" and are helping to drive up housing prices, the Mayor said.

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  • 02/14/2020 7:38 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    In 2017, when California relaxed the rules for obtaining building permits for accessory dwelling units — otherwise known as ADUs or “granny flats” — on single-family residential properties, it ignited a building industry gold rush of sorts and ushered in the dawn of the microdeveloper.

    Now, legally permitted ADUs are becoming more commonplace as property owners build from scratch or transform carriage houses, backyard cottages and garage apartments into units that proponents say can ease Southern California’s housing crisis.

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