By Lookout Staff
July 19 -- Santa Monicans on Saturday can weigh
in on the future of the city’s industrial corridor,
where jobs have gone from blue to white collar and prime land
is being snatched up by developers.
The five-hour long Industrial Lands workshop -- the next
step in the City’s ongoing effort to update the Land
Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE of the General Plan --
will focus on issues affecting the potential of the industrial
areas over the next 20 years.
“We will discuss continued light industry and entertainment
office uses; creating new neighborhoods with basic infrastructure,
including roadways, sidewalks and parks (and) possible workforce
housing,” planning officials said in a statement.
The workshop -- which starts at 9:15 a.m. at the Santa Monica
College Concert Hall -- will also focus on “promoting
walkability and access to multiple modes of transportation,
including future light rail; supporting the arts community,
and the Open Space policies,” officials said.
The workshop comes at a time when NMS Properties is moving
ahead with plans to build some 1,000 single-room units in
the industrial corridor, bounded by Centinela Avenue, the
10 Freeway, Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.
While the five proposed buildings abide by the letter of
a new law to encourage affordable housing, City officials
worry they will bypass public and environmental review, are
not required to provide much parking and open space and don’t
address a critical shortage of affordable family housing.
They also worry that the buildings, which take advantage
of height and density bonuses, may throw a wrench into plans
to redevelop Santa Monica’s light industrial corridor
under new zoning options being reviewed by the City.
The City Council in April rushed through an emergency ordinance
to dramatically slow the projects’ permitting by requiring
that they undergo a potentially lengthy and costly public
process. The developer is likely to take legal action.
Once a thriving industrial strip that included such companies
as Papermate -- whose factory on Olympic Boulevard cranked
out six million pens in 1971 -- the area has become a Mecca
for media companies and high-end offices.
The rising real estate prices have long displaced a vibrant
community of artists that lived in “Dresherville,”
a sprawling complex of industrial bungalows where NSM Properties
plans to build 623 single room units, and in storefronts in
the light manufacturing district.
City officials would like to address how the proposed housing
developments may impact future land use in the area -- which
has been suggested as a potential location for artists' lofts
As part of the first update to the City’s General Plan
in a quarter century, City officials and community members
are attempting to forge a “comprehensive vision that
takes into account the city’s social, cultural and institutional
values, as well as overall character and identity,”
planning officials said.
Registration for Saturday’s workshop will start at
9 a.m.. The workshop will take place between 9:15 a.m. and
2:30 p.m. at the SMC Concert Hall, 1900 Pico Boulevard.
The workshop will feature a discussion with a panel of experts
in the morning and breakout work sessions in the afternoon
for participants to express their views about the area’s
Participants should RSVP to ensure accurate refreshment count.
By sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling