Bergamot Plan, Sustainable Rights On Tap For Council Tuesday Night

Monday, 11 Mar 2013, 9:11:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council will be considering development and fundamental rights at its Tuesday meeting, among other issues.

After a long deliberation at Planning Commission, the Bergamot Area Plan finally comes to the council for discussion. Council members are expected to review and discuss the area plan, which is intended to be a master document to guide macro and micro development in the eastside of town.

Once complete, the plan will be a guiding document on how Bergamot Station and the surrounding area would be redeveloped, including the arrival of the Expo Line and the planned development of several multiuse projects.

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, which, City planners hope, would be a mixed-used arts district where locals can live, play, and work.

“The Draft Bergamot Area Plan is a community-based planning document that provides guidance on transitioning the former industrial lands into an arts-focused mixed-use pedestrian-oriented neighborhood,” City staff said.

“The Plan is both a visionary document describing the desired uses and activities of this new Santa Monica neighborhood called for in the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), and a regulatory tool governing development by establishing a distinct set of standards and guidelines that will apply to projects – both private and public – wishing to develop, remodel, or adaptively reuse,” staff continued.

Also on the agenda is proposed ordinance to establish the “sustainability rights of Santa Monica residents and the natural environment.”

If passed, the ordinance would, according to City staff, codify “the commitments made in the Sustainable City Plan and asserts the fundamental rights of all Santa Monica residents regarding sustainability.”

“The ordinance also establishes the rights of natural communities and ecosystems to exist and flourish in Santa Monica and asserts the rights of residents to enforce those rights on behalf of the environment.  The ordinance establishes that corporate entities do not possess special privileges or powers under the law that subordinate the community’s rights,” City staff said.

Specifically, the ordinance would:

• restore, protect, and preserve the natural environment

• create and promote “sustainable systems of food production and distribution, transportation, waste disposal, and water supply”

• and, make an attempt to subordinate “short-term private financial interests of corporations and others to the common long-term interest of achieving environmental and economic sustainability.”

Other items on the March 12 agenda include the establishment of a new preferential parking zone, a public hearing for a resolution, and a handful of consent calendar items covering wage monitoring and compliance, consultation services for a proposed movie theater, and the disposition of City-owned property.

Council members will also vote on cancelling the March 26 meeting, potentially making the March 12 meet the only time the City Council convenes this month.

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