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Village Trailer Park at 2930 Colorado Avenue will be bulldozed to make way for East Village, a 377-unit mixed-use housing development.  However, 10 original trailer spaces will be retained on the east side of the property.
Courtesy Of The City Of Santa Monica
Village Trailer Park at 2930 Colorado Avenue will be bulldozed to make way for East Village, a 377-unit mixed-use housing development. However, 10 original trailer spaces will be retained on the east side of the property.

News, City Council, Development, Santa Monica

Santa Monica City Council Evicts Village Trailer Park In Favor Of Major Development

The Village Trailer Park redevelopment was approved after the developer reduced the following: overall square footage, the number of units, the amount of commercial space, and the number of buildings.
Courtesy Of The City of Santa Monica
The Village Trailer Park redevelopment was approved after the developer reduced the following: overall square footage, the number of units, the amount of commercial space, and the number of buildings.

Posted Nov. 16, 2012, 12:15 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

One of Santa Monica’s oldest communities, Village Trailer Park, will soon be bulldozed to make way for a 377-unit mixed-use housing development called “East Village.” In all, 99 rent-controlled units will be lost and in its place will be a development expected to feature 161 apartments and 216 condominiums at 2930 Colorado Avenue.

The Santa Monica City Council finally green-lighted the mixed-use housing project helmed by developer Marc Luzzatto after two days of deliberation and discussion. A 4 to 2 vote was reached Wednesday to approve the project, more than 24 hours after the city clerk called the agenda item inside Council Chambers.

With an announced 70-plus speakers addressing five council members during public input Tuesday evening, more extensive deliberations were held Wednesday on the dais with the addition of another council member.

Both Council members Terry O’Day and Bobby Shriver were not present Tuesday night, but O’Day was on the dais Wednesday when the final vote was cast.

Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis and Council member Kevin McKeown both voted against the project.

The two days of deliberation and discussion capped off a six-year battle that drew the ire of those who would either be displaced by the elimination of Village Trailer Park or adversely affected by potential impacts of a new development such as increased traffic.

Wednesday’s vote came after Luzzatto made some concessions to his project. Prior to the council meeting, Luzzatto had agreed to reduce the overall size of the project by eight percent; also, the new development would feature 14 percent fewer units.

The approved development will retain 10 of the original trailer spaces (closure of 99 spaces).

When the council last considered Village Trailer Park in July, the proposed East Village project featured 438 residential units and a total floor area of 378,450 square feet within four buildings. Luzzatto had since agreed to scale the project down to 377 residential units and 341,290 square feet of total floor area within three buildings.

Luzzatto also agreed to modify the bedroom mix of proposed residential units.

McKeown cast his “no” vote to reflect his concern that several dozen residents of Village Trailer Park would be displaced in favor of a development that was not consistent with the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE). There were also questions of soil quality and land value.

The environmental concern was raised Wednesday night after McKeown received a letter from Peter McNaughton who alleged the land where Village Trailer Park currently sits and the proposed multi-use development will be built, is located in a “High Risk Liquefaction” area.

Davis advocated holding off on a decision until more information could be made available to the council.

When the agenda item was first introduced early Tuesday evening, Davis introduced a motion to postpone a decision on the fate of Village Trailer Park until at least February, coincidentally after the new council would be seated. However, her motion failed. The new council will be sworn in next month on Dec. 11.

Luzzatto himself pleaded with the council to come to a decision this week, lest his business partners decide the six-year wait was long enough and any future delay would determine the development no longer be a viable investment.

“We made significant modifications,” Luzzatto told council members. “We have a lot of people who live there who call me frequently and they are stressed. They want a decision. They need a decision.”

Prior to the two-day meeting, Diana Gordon of the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) sent a letter to council members urging them to delay deciding upon the fate of Village Trailer Park and allow the new council to consider the issue in 2013.

She said the Development Agreement does not honor the spirit of the LUCE.

“This project is expected to generate over 2,000 net new daily car trips in an already highly congested area,” she wrote, adding there is “no emergency here that would support having this issue heard now.”

Both Gordon and Santa Monica resident Zina Josephs – who also sent a letter to council members prior to the meeting – urged the council to put off considering the future of Village Trailer Park until the Bergamot Area Plan is adopted.

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Nov. 16, 2012, 2:36:15 am

Helen Coleman said...

This is bad news. I hate to see this happen to the tenants of this trailer park; they never bothered anyone--you never heard a mumbling word from them. They do not deserve this. If this is one of the historical sites, I wish someone would have formally classified it as such. We do not need the traffic that the proposed units will create. There is no benefit and nothing to be gained with this proposed change. Olympic Boulevard was our last roadway for less traffic congestion. One can now say goodbye to that--even with the railway coming. This is terrible news. This should never had been approved.

Nov. 16, 2012, 9:16:48 pm

mangeleno said...

Further proof that the SMRR-backed majority of our City Council has never met a developer or a development agreement that they didn't like. Now we can expect the ritual chorus of SMRR members to begin the Claude rains chorus - "I am shocked, SHOCKED to learn that gambling is going on in here!" C'mon folks, what did you expect? From SMRR? Good government? Get real!

Nov. 17, 2012, 5:10:24 am

Truth said...

THIS is what I have been screaming about for months on these boards! Our city council is bought by Big Real Estate. They are literally criminals and need to be investigated. Folks this is just like Bell and Vernon. We are allowing these crooks to ruin Santa Monica. The airport development is next. Get ready for more traffic, more pollution, more skyskrapers...they will never stop until Santa Monica looks like downtown LA by the beach. We must put an end to this with recalls, investigations and filing criminal charges where warranted. How far does it have to go? Think it doesn't affect you? Just drive around and look at this mess. It's getting worse people.

Nov. 17, 2012, 5:17:20 am

Leslie Holloway said...

Santa Monica is only for the rich. And if the rich want to live in a congested urban environment, I say let them have it. Bulldoze this entire city and make it one big, expensive mall and condo. Just make sure you bulldoze every house north of Montana Ave too. That's where these trouble makers live. Knock down their cute, ranch-stye mansions with quiet tree lined streets. Let them feel the impact of their disregard for their city. The council doesn't give a craap about Santa Monica. They only care about more money in their pockets from the developers.

Nov. 25, 2012, 12:25:01 am

Liz said...

They cannot pass on a buck. Santa Monica of yesteryear is gone and now replaced by mega-wealth and hipsters. Navigating that city is brutal. Cancerous developers and the lot that supports them will eventually lead to such an imbalance of wealth, enjoyement, and opportunities that will be an impetus to change and redistribution,

Nov. 25, 2012, 12:25:55 am

Jim said...

Santa Monica continues on its march from being one of the great places in America to becoming a place of, by and for only the very wealthy. What ever happened to that wonderful seaside town it used to be, only a couple of decades ago? If ever there was an example of the maxim: money doesn't talk - it screams, Santa Monica is it.

Nov. 24, 2012, 1:35:01 pm

James Campbell said...

I might be the minority opinion here but going from a rundown trailer park that can't be operated profitably to 99 brand new apartment units that are rent controlled does not sound like a bad change. They even are letting 10 trailer park residents get new trailers on the lot- which I think is crazy!

Nov. 22, 2012, 3:06:08 pm

Daniel Shenise said...

What I meant to say was I want the poor people out of my community so I can sleep at night. My property values aren't worth as much as they would be without that trailer park. I mean just the though of trailer within 10 miles of my home just makes me feel icky inside.

Nov. 22, 2012, 3:14:13 am

Daniel Shenise said...

I don't see how improving the quality of housing stock in the city is a bad thing. Trailers are substandard and really don't belong in a dense urban environment. This project will improve the tax base, and help the job/housing imbalance. More housing in Santa Monica lessens the need for out of towners to commute into and out of Santa Monica on a daily basis for work. This is a good thing.

Nov. 22, 2012, 1:41:25 am

Wayne said...

The truth is that if you want to be a politician, with the salary and benefits, you need money for campaign financing. And all our elected officials have found the best way to do it! Stop voting for these people; get them all out....before California looks like Paris, which is where all these foreign developers envision our future to be. Fortunately we'll run out of water first.... .

Nov. 27, 2012, 2:16:37 am

Christel Andersen said...

The decision was rushed in favor of the developer. As I heard from various sources that the developer contributed to the campaigns if city council members who voted for it. Lobbying and corruption in Santa Monica how do we like that? Low income and elderly people loose their right to live in Santa Monica on a continues basis. even when there are alternative plans. For over a year Residents and Neighborhood Associations in numbers asked for a Master Plan for the area, that would include the Accumulative Affects of All Planned Developments in this Bergamot Area. According to Assistant City Manager the Plan would come out beginning of December 2012. The majority of the City Council who was present on that memorable Wednesday (Nov. 24-12) could not wait and did not care what a majority of their constituency wanted. Whom do they represent? The residents of Santa Monica or developer's money being at their heart? Santa Monica City Council needs to be representative of all their residents and preserve an economic and cultural diversity. They should exercise their right to say No to Zoning Changes when it destroys a Century Old Community (Village Trailer Park) bordering on a residential Neighborhood.

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