While the slackers on the LA City Council take the week off, Santa Monica's city councilmembers are gearing up for some big planning votes that could have a major impact on the city. Must be those ocean breezes keeping them productive. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, there are three key meetings scheduled for this week. Here's what's up for debate at each:
City Council meeting: On Tuesday, the council will take up the much-ballyhooed Downtown Specific Plan, which is intended to create a "a thriving, mixed-use urban environment that provides multiple opportunities for living, working, entertainment and enrichment." It's been in the works since 2011, and will set new standards on height limits and density (among other things) while aiming to protect Santa Monica's character and reduce car trips. That should be easy, then. The DSP is expected to include much higher height limits at eight "opportunity sites," which would open the door for Frank Gehry's proposed Ocean Avenue Project and the controversial Fairmont Miramar tower.
Planning Commission: Wednesday the Planning Commission will review the final draft of the Bergamot Area Plan, which is aiming to transform the area around the future Bergamot Expo Line stop into a walkable neighborhood, with thousands of new residential units, 10 new streets, offices, restaurants and shops.
Rent Control Board: On Thursday, the huge mixed-use East Village project rears its head again. If you'd lost track of this project, here's a recap: the city council approved it back in November, unapproved it in December, and (with a few modifications) reapproved the 377-unit development in March. But the rent control board still needs to sign off on the 71 affordable units that will be lost when the Village Trailer Park is taken out.
· Column: Major development decisions coming [SMDP]