A seemingly diverse group of items are up for debate at Tuesday’s Council meeting but expenses and housing are a central theme of the agenda.

Council will hear items on replacing a downtown garage with a housing project, giving historically displaced families priority in city housing projects, increasing settlement authority for staff, assessing fees to property owners for lighting, issuing bonds to fund construction projects and appointing individuals to 49 openings on boards or commissions.

Parking Structure 3

As part of the consent calendar, council could authorize a contract to demolish Parking Structure 3 in Downtown. After consideration of several City-owned sites by the Housing Commission in 2018 and 2019, the Housing Commission recommended repurposing the PS 3 site to add affordable housing. Staff anticipates presenting a recommendation to the City Council for selection of the developer by the end of this year. The demolition duration is estimated to be 180 calendar days and would begin in late 2021 or early 2022.

Settlement authority

At its meeting on June 22 City Council introduced for first reading an ordinance amending the Municipal Code to increase the settlement authority of the City Attorney and Risk Manager for liability claims from $15,000 to $95,000 and increase the Risk Manager’s settlement authority for worker’s compensation claims from $15,000 to $25,000. The ordinance also deletes two outdated, inconsistent, and unnecessary provisions relating to settlement authority. The item has a second reading Tuesday.

Right to return

City staff are proposing a right to return policy in response to historic zoning practices and land use decisions that disproportionately impacted communities of color and displaced thousands of households living in Santa Monica. At Tuesday’s meeting, Council will debate creation of a pilot program to provide priority in City-funded housing and inclusionary housing for up to 100 households or descendants of households who were displaced by creation of the Civic Auditorium in the Belmar Triangle neighborhood or the I-10 Highway in the Pico neighborhood. With this modification, priority for Santa Monica affordable housing would be:

1. Households facing immediate displacement due to the Ellis Act, government action, natural disaster, or similar evictions.

2. Households or descendants of households displaced from the Historic Belmar Neighborhood in what is today the Civic Center or along the I-10 Highway.

3. Households who currently live or work in Santa Monica.

All other households that do not qualify for the three priorities above are placed on the waitlist behind the prioritized households. The pilot program approach would allow staff to test and evaluate outreach strategies, applicant demand, the availability of historical documentation, verification processes, compliance with governing legislation, and the administrative resources required to implement a broader program.

Streetlight Assessment

The City has completed construction of two streetlight assessment district projects: 10th Street between Carlyle Avenue and Marguerita Avenue and 25th Street between Idaho Avenue and Washington Avenue. Each project entailed the construction of new ornamental streetlight poles, post-top luminaries, and the associated underground electrical system. Construction is complete and final assessment costs have been compiled. Staff recommends the total assessment to property owners be the maximum estimated assessment of $79,250 or 47% of the total project cost, with the balance of the total project cost to be paid by the City. The City would seek reimbursement for less than half of the total project cost and bill the property owners for their proportional share of the $79,250 assessment based on their parcels’ square footage.

Revenue Bonds

City Council and Public Financing Authority (PFA) could approve documents required for the issuance of Lease Revenue Bonds for the City Yards Project (Series 2021) to finance certain capital improvements at the City Yards undertaken as part of the City Yards Modernization Project.

Bond proceeds will also cover bond issuance costs and interest due on the Series 2021 Bonds through July 1, 2022. The proposed Series 2021 bonds will be for a maximum principal amount of $70,000,000, with a final maturity date of July 1, 2051 and a maximum true interest cost of 3.50%.

The final item of the night will be debate over filling 49 vacancies on local boards and commissions.

Council will meet on Tuesday, July 13 at 5:30 p.m. Visit smgov.net for more information.

editor@smdp.com