The West Hollywood City Council took a special interest in Santa Monica Boulevard last night. In addition to awarding a contract for the free party shuttle that will run up and down the street on weekend nights, they also declared the length of the boulevard a "special housing needs" zone. The move, which updates the zoning code, makes it possible to build homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and supportive and transitional housing without review. WeHoville says that, earlier this year, the Planning Commission suggested that the city not include all of Santa Monica Boulevard and replace the lost areas with locations elsewhere in the city, but staffers were unable to find any other suitable locations. They also pointed out that just because shelters are permitted on the boulevard doesn't mean any will actually be built, noting that "there were better uses for spaces on Santa Monica Boulevard and that money was still needed to fund the housing."
· WeHo Council Makes Santa Monica Boulevard A 'Special-Needs Housing' Zone [WeHoVille]