City council will hear updates on a trio of lawsuits relating to prolific Santa Monica Developer NMS LLC and its spinoffs 10th Street LLC and WS Communities at the upcoming Feb. 28 meeting. The litigation is in varying stages with the 10th Street and NMS 1539 case already initiated and the WS Communities case pending. More information will be available in coming weeks.

Solid waste rate discussion

Council will also consider two possible options for increasing solid waste rates in the city to ensure that the Resource Recovery and Recycling (RRR) division is adequately funded. The City was scheduled for a solid waste rate adjustment in 2020 but opted to defer it to prevent additional financial burdens to residents during the COVID 19 pandemic.

RRR provides services including trash and recycling collection, street sweeping, hazardous waste collection and bulky item pickup among others.

Option one, which City staff recommend, would raise rates by 11% or more, but would allow the department to hire more staff and enhance services. Option two would result in a 10% increase for most customers, but staff say it would make it difficult for employees to keep up with the city’s sanitation needs.

Housing element updates

Council members will also discuss several policy recommendations from the Planning Commission relating to the City’s 6th Cycle Housing Element, which is a quota of housing assigned by the State every eight years that cities are required to plan for. Individual cities do not have to build any units themselves, but do need to ensure that zoning rules allow private developers to be able to build the assigned number of units.

There are several steps that the council must take to fulfill the requirements of the housing element, many of which they will be discussing over the coming months. At next week’s meeting they will review recommendations from the planning commission relating to the Downtown Community Plan, Bergamot Area Plan, zoning ordinance and land use changes as well as several other policy questions.

Fast food prohibition ordinance

Also on the agenda is an interim ordinance that could result in the temporary elimination of current restrictions that prohibit certain fast food restaurants on the Third Street Promenade. This would expand the types of businesses that are permitted on the Promenade with the hope of filling numerous currently vacant storefronts.

The City currently prohibits restaurants on the Promenade with more than 150 locations nationwide in an effort to distinguish the street from other shopping and dining areas. Council may also discuss raising that number to over 500 locations as an alternative to a full elimination of the prohibition.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m on Feb 28 at City Hall Council Chambers. To view the full agenda visit: https://santamonicacityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx

grace@smdp.com

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Grace Adams

Grace Adams is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she studied Spanish and journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in investigative journalism from City, University of London. She has experience...