It’s a short agenda for the Sept. 27 council meeting but at least one item will generate significant interest from the public.
Council is scheduled to discuss conceptual plans for expanding park space at the Santa Monica Airport. The agenda item includes approval of $1,113,561 (including a 10% contingency) to provide design services and authorize the Director of Public Works to issue any necessary change orders to complete additional work within contract authority.
City Hall has repeatedly stated its desire to close the airport. Council unanimously passed a resolution in August calling for the closure of the airport in 2018, directing staff to begin planning for a park on the site and authorizing a city takeover of private airport services. The FAA has said the city’s actions could result in additional legal action but Council has been resolute in their approach.
The discussion Tuesday continues their stated goal of planning for a park so that construction can begin as soon as the space is legally available.
Staff have held several public workshops on the future of the park and residents were presented with three designs that maximized different priorities for the land including additional playfields, other active uses and natural park space.
Staff are recommending a new, hybrid option that combines elements of each original option based on the feedback received from residents.
“The proposed hybrid concept offers expanded outdoor leisure and recreational opportunities for the community, including sports fields, pickleball courts, Community Gardens, native meadow habitat, pathways and children’s play and picnic areas,” said the staff report.
According to the report, next steps upon approval of the recommended design include preparation of environmental documents, a return to council in December with guidelines for facilitate interim public use of the space while construction occurs and final approval of the design in 2018 with a construction target of Spring 2018.
The second item of substance on the agenda is a resolution requesting approval of environmental documents for a water treatment project.
Santa Monica is asking the State Water Resources Control Board to fund the City’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP).
The SWIP proposes to treat stormwater runoff, brackish/saline-impaired groundwater, and municipal wastewater for immediate non-potable reuse. The water could also be used to recharge aquifers and is part of the larger plan for Santa Monica to become water self-sufficient by 2020.
The application requires environmental documents be submitted and the pair of studies concluded there would not be any significant impacts if specific mitigation measures are in place.
Council’s adoption of the documents would help facilitate the funding application.
Council meets on Sept. 27 at City Hall, 1685 Main St. Closed session begins at 5:30 p.m. To review the agenda visit, http://www.smgov.net/departments/clerk/agendas.aspx.