By one commissioner’s count, the Santa Monica Planning Commission has only considered three development agreements (DAs) this year. When commissioners met March 20, they considered their first DA in “weeks.” As if seeking to establish a trend of slowing down the DA approval process, commissioners last week took a time out from deliberating a mixed-use development at 1318 Second Street, tabling the remainder of their discussion until April 3.
Commissioners had already spent about two hours considering the latest proposed development for downtown Santa Monica.
Under the currently proposed DA, the developer is pitching a four-story building with 53 units, including 28 studios, 19 one-bedrooms, and six two-bedrooms.
The project would be 15,000 square feet with a two-level, 66-space subterranean garage. The structure would be 45 feet high and include 6,717 square feet of ground floor commercial space, according to City staff.
The applicant listed on the Planning Commission report (dated March 20, 2013) names David Forbes Hibbert, AIA; the property owner is listed at Michael Sorochinsky, 1320 2nd Street, LLC.
City staff pointed out several community benefits had
been negotiated to compensate for the proposed project to build above the
height restriction. According to Santa Monica’s zoning laws, no building can be
built higher than 32 feet unless the developer is willing to make certain
concessions to the City.
The developer has agreed to provide eight affordable
units on-site, or three more than the minimum required by the City.
Four monetary compensations totaling more than $525,000
must be made by the developer, including $125,493 toward transportation
infrastructure improvements in the downtown area, $125,000 toward Colorado
Esplanade improvements, $250,000 toward parks and open space, and $25,000
toward Big Blue Bus requirements in the City’s urban core.
Other key statistics for the project: studios average 478
square feet in size, while one-bedrooms average in at 694 square feet and
two-bedrooms average 1,104 square feet.
“The project would provide seven short-term bicycle
spaces for commercial patrons, and six short-term bicycle spaces for
residential visitors,” City staff added.
Roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels must be installed,
while the building’s design and construction must meet or exceed a LEED Gold
A Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan with
measures applicable to both the commercial and residential components of the
project must also be part of the project, City staff added.
The developer must also have a local hiring provision
during construction and for commercial employees.
Finally, the project must include a provision for five
electric vehicle “stub-outs for charging stations” within the subterranean
Though the discussion is not yet complete, Planning
Commissioners are or will be considering the several issues.
For example, City staff requested commissioners consider
“whether the proposed design and site plan are appropriate and compatible with
the neighborhood and the subject site” and “whether the proposed plan and
proposed community benefits are consistent with the objective, goals, general
land uses, and programs specified in the LUCE.”
Commissioners will also be deciding whether to recommend
the DA be forwarded to the city council for its review and potential approval.
According to City staff, “the building design is
“The ground floor is comprised of expansive glazing for
the commercial tenant spaces, and sun shading devices for pedestrians at the
residential lobby entrance. The front elevation on mid-level floors features a
floating box-projection that frames residential balconies, tall glazing
surfaces, recessed balconies with wire railings, trespa panels, and steel frame
accents,” City staff added.
The project also proposes stepped back top floors to
provide private open space balconies and sun shading devices.
Planning Commissioners will resume their discussion on
this DA at the April 3 meeting. The Mirror will provide follow-up coverage of
what happens at the meeting.
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