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Planners Want Public Input on Downtown Block  

By Lookout Staff

March 11, 2011 -- Residents are being asked to weigh in on plans for part of a downtown block in Santa Monica – specifically the northern half of the block bounded by 4th and 5th streets and by Santa Monica Boulevard and Arizona Avenue.

The City has been buying up lots on that block, and now would like a little public input as planners decide what to do with the land.

To that end, the Planning Department is hosting two “visioning workshops,” one next Wednesday and one on Thursday the 24th, during which locals can say what they want to happen to the block in the heart of downtown.

Parking is likely to be on the agenda, as city planners juggle temporary sites during anticipated downtown construction and lay the groundwork for a new parking structure on the block.

And of course the ice rink at 5th and Arizona is becoming an expected annual holiday season draw.

Planners say they want to discuss the site's history and their vision for the future of downtown – a future that draws on Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) guidelines, including mixed retail and residential uses, and more paths for bikes and pedestrians.

Residents will also be asked to contribute to the department's new Downtown Specific Plan.

The first meeting will be a special Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Civic Center Auditorium at 1855 Main Street.

The second meeting will be hosted by Downtown Santa Monica Inc. (formerly the Bayside District Corporation) on Thursday, March 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Main Library at 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.

Bicycle parking will be available and Big Blue Bus lines 2, 3, 7 and 9 serve the Civic Center. Lines 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 10 serve the Library.

Residents are asked to R.S.V.P. at To request disability-related accommodations, please call 310 458-8341.


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