WHEELS FOR DAYS: A man rides his bike past a popular bicycle rental shop near the foot of the Santa Monica Pier. (File photo)

Editor’s Note: Every year, city departments set goals and objectives. In August, City Hall released information about how each of the 15 departments progressed toward these goals during the 2013-14 fiscal year. Over a several week period, the Daily Press will take a look at the goals that are being achieved (according to City Hall) and the ones that aren’t.

CITY HALL — It should be apparent from all of the construction going on around the city that the Planning Department has a full plate.
Last year, the department finished its draft of the 2013-2021 Housing Element, which was approved by City Council.
The new Zoning Ordinance, which will dictate land-uses throughout the city, is behind schedule but with the end in sight. It is 90 percent complete, according to city planners, and a redline draft is anticipated to be released this month. The Planning Commission will take its last crack at the ordinance later this month and council is expected to approve it in the spring.
The timing of the implementation of the Bergamot Area Plan was impacted by council’s decision to rescind a controversial agreement with the Texas-based developer Hines.
Council approved the agreement in a 4 to 3 vote but residents gathered enough opposing signatures to force them to take another look.
New streets and sidewalks, that were set to come along with the large development, were envisioned in the Bergamot Area Plan, which is meant to guide land-use decisions on the east side of the city.
Thanks to this setback, the implementation of the plan is only at 10 percent with a deadline of next July.
The conceptual plan for the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGo) was approved ahead of schedule back in February.
The plan is to implement the pedestrian friendly route — which connects the Expo Light Rail’s easternmost Santa Monica stop with the west side of the city — over the next few years.
A bike share plan is a quarter of the way complete, with a target to nail down a vendor by the end of the year. A collaboration with Metro and the Westside Cities Council of Governments is delaying the process. City Hall has obtained grant funds for the project, which would allow residents and visitors to rent bikes from a station for short (or long) periods of time and return them to different stations in Santa Monica and, ideally, other cities in the region.
The car-sharing plan is way behind schedule. With expectations that it would have been completed a few months ago, the process is only 5 percent of the way there.
The proposed vendor dropped out of the negotiations earlier this year and the department is working to find another vendor.
Code Enforcement now has feet on the ground seven days a week with plans to curb noise complaints coming from local bars and hotels. The new officers were hired in June.
An ambitious plan to identify all city buildings in need of seismic retrofitting is nearing completion. City officials have made their own list and an outside contractor is in the process of bolstering that list. By the first half of next year, City Hall will notify the building owners who need to retrofit.
“Once notices are sent out, this process will be on-going for several years,” planning officials said, “as structures are retrofitted and achieve compliance with City retrofit ordinance.”


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