Bergamot Area Plan Still On Santa Monica Planning Commission Docket

Friday, 22 Feb 2013, 9:15:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

One of the potential options for the Bergamot Station Arts Center that would be home to art galleries, eateries, hotels, and museum space.
Courtesy Of The City Of Santa Monica
One of the potential options for the Bergamot Station Arts Center that would be home to art galleries, eateries, hotels, and museum space.

One week after the Santa Monica Planning Commission

discussed and analyzed the draft Bergamot Area Plan, the discussion continues.

Commissioners resumed the Bergamot Area Plan discussion

at their Feb. 20 meeting in Council Chambers, with both city officials and

residents alike trying to shape and mold the document before its ultimate

implementation.

Public input was originally scheduled to be part of the

commission’s Feb. 13 meeting, and a few speakers did approach the dais.

However, commissioners discussed the Plan for nearly six hours and the agenda

item was continued to this week’s meeting, where more public input was

expected.

The City staff presentation was actually split up into

two parts: a general overview of land use districts, development and street

standards, and design guidelines, followed by a more specific discussion on

circulation and parking, art and culture, and utility infrastructure.

The plan, which is 230-pages in length, aims to guide

future land use in Santa Monica and promote sustainable development. According

to City staff, the Bergamot Area Plan hopes to conserve 96 percent of Santa

Monica’s land area and focus land use changes to commercial and industrial land

in the municipality’s other four percent.

“In order for Santa Monica to achieve the goals for

sustainability and prosperity contained in the LUCE, areas such as the Bergamot

Plan area cannot merely change. They must be transformed so they function in a

completely different and much more sustainable way,” City staff stated.

Once complete, the plan will be a guiding document on how

Bergamot Station and the surrounding area would be redeveloped. A major

component of the new Bergamot Area: the first station for Expo Line riders

traveling into Santa Monica.

Beyond the Expo Line, the Bergamot Area Plan also

“provides policies and strategies to both conserve and shape the cultural,

economic, and urban design characteristics of this emerging area.”

City staff added the Bergamot Area would be a mixed-used

arts district where locals can live, play, and work.

“The Bergamot Plan area has been envisioned as a

‘complete neighborhood’ that will guide an eventual transition from a former

industrial zone to a well-designed, walkable urban place where people live,

work in primarily creative industries and have access to an array of retail

services and amenities by foot, bike, bus and train,” City staff stated.

Though the Bergamot Area Plan’s master design is to

create a “complete neighborhood,” commissioners honed in on what would indeed

make a neighborhood complete.

The diversity of housing units would be in the Bergamot

area was a key concern of commissioners.

To that point, Commissioner Jim Ries said the plan should

give priority to housing over jobs.

Other concerns included parking, traffic impacts, and

open space.

Council members are expected to finally vote on the

Bergamot Area Plan in the summer.

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