A car powers up at a bank of electric vehicle charging stations located at Virginia Avenue Park. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@www.smdp.com)



After months of work on the Downtown Community Plan, the Planning Commission returns to more routine action this week with a brief meeting covering an alcohol license and an update to a city transit plan.

The Commission will hear an application for an expanded alcohol license at Blue Stove restaurant located inside the Nordstrom store at Santa Monica Place.

Nordstrom is the applicant for the alcohol license and the eatery is undergoing some conceptual changes. The full-service restaurant will be renamed Bazille and it currently holds 87 people in a mix of booths, tables and counter seating. There will be a minor remodel of the interior and the food will shift from small plates to plated meals.

Blue Plate already has a license to serve beer/wine and the applicant is asking to expand their offerings to distilled spirits. In addition, they are asking for an extension of services hours up to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday or an hour before the store closes, whichever is latest.

Planning Commission is being asked to consider three metrics for the application:

The compatibility with the surrounding area of the proposed on-site sale and consumption of beer, wine, and distilled spirits for an ancillary restaurant operation located within a mall department store.

The effectiveness of the proposed conditions of approval in mitigating any alcohol-related adverse impacts on the area.

The consistency of the proposed alcohol service with the Land Use Element of the General Plan and the C3C, Downtown Overlay District.

The Commission will also get their first look at a draft of the city’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan.

According to City staff, the plan was developed to facilitate Electric Vehicle ownership and promote local charging. Electric or hybrid vehicles currently represent about 3 percent of all vehicles owned the City and experts predict that number will quadruple within 10 years.

The staff report said finding ways to accommodate the charging needs of those vehicles will be an important step to supporting their continued use and electric vehicles are an important tool for reducing overall pollution.

“Sixty-four percent of Santa Monica’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated from vehicle transportation,” said the staff report. “In order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner, decarbonizing vehicle transportation will be essential. The EV Action Plan was developed to consolidate various efforts throughout the City and develop new initiatives to facilitate electric vehicle adoption through policies, programs, projects and pilots.”

The actual plan includes:

Background on EVs and EV Charging in California and Santa Monica

  • A review of existing policies, plans and programs to support charging infrastructure on a state and regional level
  • Recommended policy priorities to address current problems with EV Charging and EV utilization
  • An implementation plan for all policy priorities that will require collaboration between various City departments and divisions, Southern California Edison, the City’s selected EVSE service provider, and community stakeholders
  • Appendices with resources including maps on current and proposed EV charging infrastructure and detailed material on multi-family unit dwelling (MUD) installation case studies and best practices

The Commission will hear a report on the plan but isn’t expected to take any action. Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. on July 19 in City Hall, 1685 Main St. Visit https://www.smgov.net/Departments/PCD/Boards-Commissions/Planning-Commission/ for more information.