By Jason Islas
September 5, 2012 -- Santa Monica's four-acre Village Trailer Park could feature fewer housing units and 10 spaces for trailers on the eastern side of the property, according to a revised plan released Friday.
The new plan, which the developer presented to City staff last month, reduces the size of the project near Colorado Avenue and Yale Street from 486 units to 377 and will include more open space.
This is “part of an ongoing effort to try very hard to satisfy as many constituencies as possible with our plan,” said Marc Luzzatto, one of the owners of the property. “The ultimate goal is to find a win-win.”
Luzzatto however, said the plan is still not a sure thing. “There is still a fair amount of study that needs to be done,” he said, specifically as it relates to economic feasibility and “legal matters.”
The new plan “represents a 14% reduction in the number of residential units, additional ground floor open space, and an 8% reduction in total square feet,” staff wrote in a report to the City Council.
Staff is working out the details for the portion of the property that will remain a park for the tejn remaining trailers.
“Staff will also work with the developer to develop a plan for the ownership and operation of the retained portion of VTP,” staff said.
“This plan may include the donation of the land to a non-profit housing provider who would operate the park, and who may eventually develop the property as affordable rental housing.”
The revised plan may also include additional benefits for park residents who choose to relocate.
Residents have been offered several relocation options as part of the development agreement, including a first right of refusal for one of the low-income or extremely low-income units in the new development.
Originally, the developer offered to build 38 low-income units on site, but with the revised plan, City officials said the new number of affordable units is part of an on-going discussion.
As part of the revised plan, City officials have altered the Environmental Impact Report (EIR).“The majority of environmental impacts would be less than those identified for the previously analyzed project in areas such as Traffic, Noise, Air Quality, and Greenhouse Gas,” staff wrote.
The new plan, said Special Projects Manager Jing Yeo, shows Luzzatto “is trying to respond to comments that have been made” by the public.
Luzzatto first revealed his intention to revise the project to include trailers in a letter to the council dated August 9, in which he asked to postpone the August 28 public hearing for the development agreement.
“A great deal of work remains to be done, but we are cautiously optimistic that we may have found a creative way to leave some trailers/trailer pads in a portion of the existing Village Trailer Park,” Luzzatto told The Lookout in August.
And although more work still needs to be done, according to Yeo, it is only a matter of time before the revised plan finds itself before the council again, though she could not say when.