Santa Monica City Council Preview: Public Fitness, Cirque Du Soleil, DA Process

Monday, 22 Apr 2013, 9:33:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council returns to the dais this Tuesday and will consider several issues including entertainment, recreation, community service, and development.

Specifically, Council members will look into approving a new licensing agreement with Cirque du Soleil, consider options for commercial fitness camps and classes on public property, and determine what changes, if any, are necessary for development float-ups to the Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission.

Council members will be addressing commercial fitness instruction in public areas.

According to City staff, some community members had complained of “the proliferation of unregulated fitness training and boot camps in City parks and at the beach.”

“Most of the complaints about this activity refer to the intense use of the north end of Palisades Park,” City staff added.

Accordingly, City staff had developed, at the Council’s direction, a “proposed regulatory system for non-City sponsored commercial fitness instruction, classes or camps offered in parks and the beach.”

“The new regulatory structure would include a change to the Municipal Code, new rules, and a permit system with permit and use charges,” City staff stated.

Based upon feedback and suggestions collected by fitness trainers and residents, City staff proposed several changes, including; “the need for a permit system; insurance; indemnification; compliance with existing business license and police permit rules; identification of parks appropriate for commercial fitness activity; and new rules addressing protection of park amenities.”

City staff added a consensus was not reached amongst local officials, fitness trainers, and residents about “the amount of use charges to be paid by trainers and instructors” and “the extent of the restrictions in Palisades Park.”

On the Consent Calendar is an agenda item to approve a license agreement with Cirque du Soleil. The company has regularly produced shows in a circus-like tent next to the Santa Monica Pier.

If approved, Cirque du Soleil will be permitted to host new theatrical performances at the pier’s north parking lot from Jan. 2 through March 29 next year.

Cirque du Soleil, or CDS, would pay a rental fee of $1,088,808.

“Additional anticipated economic benefits to the City include patron parking revenues at the Civic Center parking structure, purchase of local supplies and services by CDS for its operation, and collateral spending by CDS visitors in local restaurants and businesses,” City staff stated. “This third return of CDS would incorporate mitigations, proven practices, and lessons learned from previous performances to reduce impacts on pier businesses and nearby residents.”

Cirque du Soleil previously produced theatrical events at the pier’s north parking lot in 2009 and 2012.

The first show would open Jan. 17, 2014 and run through March 16, 2014.

City staff states the CDS schedule would include “one show per day on Tuesdays through Fridays, two shows on Saturdays, and Sundays, with an option to add six additional Thursday or Friday shows at the discretion of the Cirque.”

“This represents a one week reduction in the performance period and a reduction in the number of shows on Fridays from the 2012 visit,” City staff added.

According to City staff, 719 of the 1,173 spaces in the 1550 PCH lot would be occupied by Cirque’s makeshift venue.

Also on the agenda: Council members will determine whether the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and Planning Commission would be required to have separate float-ups when considering Development Agreement (DA) applications.

Currently, both the ARB and Planning Commission consider DAs as part of one combined float-up.

The council’s April 23 meeting begins at 6:30 pm at City Hall, 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica.

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.