With parking, zoning and development all on the May 10 agenda, there will be plenty of opportunity for protest.

The May 10 meeting will include final adoption of the minimum wage ordinance, administrative changes to zoning rules, a development agreement for the 500 Broadway property, a report on federal housing funding and discussion of new parking rates downtown.

Minimum wage

First up is the second reading of the minimum wage rule. Council has already passed the rules and revisions to establish a $15 minimum wage in Santa Monica, but a second reading is required to formally put the rules in place.

Zoning updates

According to the staff report, the parcel of land at 1419 19th St. has historically been zoned for commercial use, but during revisions to the City’s zoning codes, one map retained the parcel as a residential use. Council already voted to change the designation in February of this year but that action was done by resolution, not an ordinance. Some case law applies to non-charter cities suggesting such an action should be an ordinance and staff is recommending an ordinance be passed out of an abundance of caution.

A second item will make clerical changes to the zoning ordinance for unintentional errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting and clarity.

500 Broadway

A new project is up for approval at the intersection of 5th Street and Broadway.

The project proposes replacing the current single-story Fred Segal building (at 500 Broadway) with a new 7-story (84 feet) building consisting of 301,830 total square feet, including 24,217 square feet of basement area, 35,428 square feet of ground floor commercial space, 249 residential rental units, and 524 parking spaces within a four-level subterranean parking garage. The project would sit on two adjacent parcels covering a total of 67,500 square feet between Broadway and Colorado.

According to the report, it is the last (and largest) project to be processed before the Downtown Community Plan will come into effect next year.

“This project has been the subject of lengthy and intense scrutiny involving the balancing the provision of both market rate and affordable housing and increasing services to Downtown residents with the addition of a grocery market with concerns about vehicle traffic, infrastructure impacts and the design character of new building,” said the report.

The developer is offering to donate land and build 64 off-site affordable housing units.

Additional community benefits include a $1,650,000 transportation fee, $1,700,000 parks and recreation fee, $325,000 affordable housing fee, $1,100,000 early childhood initiatives fee, $150,000 toward historic preservation programs, $240,000 toward Big Blue Bus transit improvements and $150,000 toward Transportation Management Association programs.

The project would widen sidewalks on 5th Street, build a community meeting space implement a local hiring provision, have a public art project valued at $1.2 million and include 145 public parking spaces.

Staff is recommending approval of the development agreement.

HUD money

Santa Monica receives money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support affordable housing. In order to qualify for that money, the city must provide regular updates on its plans for the cash. This year, the city is scheduled to receive $1,027,760 in new entitlement funds, $593,275 in prior year unallocated entitlement funds and $87,000 in projected program income funds for capital projects, public service and administration activities from HUD block grants and $437,086 in new entitlement funds and $100,000 in program income for

tenant-based rental assistance and administration from the HUD Home program.

“Both funding sources benefit residents with special needs and incomes at or below 80% of area median income (low and moderate income),” said the report.

According to staff, the money will be used in a variety of projects that will expand housing opportunities through an increase in assistance, provide job skill training, help those with disabilities through infrastructure improvements, support temporary housing options and facilitate mobility through street lighting.

Parking rates

Staff is recommending a suite of changes to downtown parking rates to preempt potential problems associated with the arrival of Expo and address some existing inefficiencies in the downtown area.

In Structures 1-9, transient prices would increase by 25 percent. The first 90 minutes would be free. The next 60 minutes would increase by 25 cents to $1.25, each additional 30 minutes would increase by 35 cents to $1.85, and the daily maximum would increase by $3.5 to $17.50. Monthly prices would increase by 10 percent.

In Structure 10 and Downtown Lots 27-30 transient prices would increase by 25 percent. Each 30 minutes would cost $1.25 to a daily maximum of $17.50.

In the Civic Center lot, the first 30 minutes would be free. The next 60 minutes would be $1, with each additional 30 minutes priced at $1.50 with a daily maximum of $14 on weekdays. The daily maximum would be set at $5 on weekends.

Monthly keycards would increase to $160 by July of 2017 for all access accounts and $75 for weeknight/weekend only.

Staff is recommending that keycards be limited to a finite number of lots and sold only to residents or employees of Downtown businesses.


Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...