City Council Meeting: September 23, 2008

Agenda Item: 6-C

To:                   Mayor and City Council

From:              Eileen Fogarty, Director of Planning and Community Development

Subject:          Appeal of Planning Commission’s Certification of Environmental Impact Report, and adoption of a Statement of Overriding Considerations (SOC) and approval of Development Review Permit, Conditional Use Permit, Variance and General Plan Amendment for the construction of a new 164-Room Hotel at 1515-1525 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends the City Council deny appeals 08APP-006 and 08APP-007 and  uphold the Planning Commission’s Certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), adoption of a Statement of Overriding Considerations, approval of Development Review Permit 05-007, Conditional Use Permit 05-009, Variance 06-018 and approval of General Plan Amendment 06-001 subject to the recommended findings and conditions.

 

Executive Summary

The applicant Michael Farzam, Travelodge Hotel, proposes to construct a new four-story, 89,750 square foot hotel with ground floor retail uses, to establish 164 hotel rooms and 4,670 square feet of retail space.  The site is currently developed with the Santa Monica Beach Travelodge Hotel, located at 1525 Ocean Avenue, and the Pacific Sands Hotel, located at 1515 Ocean Avenue with an annex at 1530 Second Street.  These low cost lodging accommodations would be demolished as part of the project. 

 

Appeal by Applicant

The Planning Commission approved the four-story hotel with a one level pedestrian bridge across First Court alley connecting the two structures.  The applicant appealed the conditions of approval because they want a three-level bridge across First Court alley and they object to the Planning Commission condition limiting it to one level.  The Applicant also appealed because they object to the condition addressing the low cost lodging fee ordinance (Ordinance No. 1516 (CCS)); the applicant principally contends that the replacement hotel is also an affordable lodging facility and therefore no mitigation fee is required. 

 

Appeal by Neighbor

A neighboring property owner (Robert N. Ruth, 1522-24 Second Street) appealed the Planning Commission approval of the four-story project primarily on the basis that the hotel should not be permitted to block views of the ocean from the public viewing decks at the Santa Monica Place mall. 

 

This report describes the proposed project, addresses the points of the appeals, summarizes the environmental analysis and the Planning Commission’s actions, discusses the low cost lodging analysis submitted by the applicant, and considers the revised project plans.  Staff supports the Planning Commission action to approve the project with conditions.  Staff shares the Planning Commission’s concerns regarding the three level pedestrian bridge above the public right of way as it constitutes a massive architectural feature that could set a precedent for private development that spans public property.  The report concludes that the proposed project is generally consistent with the Municipal Code and General Plan and the building’s size, and placement on the site generally relate harmoniously to surrounding sites and neighborhood, and that the yard variance will not be contrary to or in conflict with the general purposes and intent of this Chapter, or to the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan.   

 

Background

On June 9, 2005, the applicant applied for a Development Review Permit and Conditional Use Permit to allow the development of a hotel in excess of 7,500 square feet located on a site within the RVC and C3 Districts.   Staff determined that the four story project would conflict with the Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program since the views of the ocean from the Santa Monica Place Mall viewing decks would be blocked.  Therefore, the Applicant applied for a General Plan Amendment on September 14, 2006 to remove the viewing platforms located at Santa Monica Place from the Map.  The project design has undergone multiple revisions since application.  A Variance application was submitted to allow the pedestrian bridge over the alley to encroach into the required year yard of the Ocean Avenue property and to allow a redesign that encroaches into one required side yard of the Ocean Avenue property.  Staff has worked with the applicant on the project design to ensure that the project design was compatible with the Ocean Avenue and downtown context and to address the following areas of concern:

  • Repetitive Design
  • Pedestrian Oriented Design
  • Relationship to Palisades Park
  • Landscaping
  • Lack of Pedestrian Oriented Uses
  • Loss of Public Views of the Ocean

 

Rendering of Ocean Avenue Building (2nd Street Building in Background) 

 

In response the applicant has:

  • Relocated 3 ground floor guestrooms
  • Provided retail space with outdoor seating at Ocean Avenue streetfront
  • Provided a 2,200 square foot publicly accessible plaza at Ocean Avenue
  • Incorporated an open trellis canopy above the courtyard into the building design
  • Set the pool and privacy wall farther back from Ocean Avenue
  • Provided an additional public entrance to the lobby
  • Relocated the north wing of Ocean Avenue building to abut side property line
  • Modified architectural details to enhance building design
  • Increased sidewalk and landscaped areas along 2nd Street
  • Increased upper level stepbacks from 2nd Street
  • Proposed operating conditions for the publicly accessible plaza

 

An Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project.  On March 19, 2008, the Planning Commission certified the EIR with a Statement of Overriding Considerations and approved the Development Review Permit, Conditional Use Permit, Variance with conditions and recommended approval of the LCP amendment by the City Council.  A neighboring property owner, Robert N. Ruth, filed an appeal of the Commission’s approval of the project on April 2, 2008.  The Applicant also filed an appeal on April 1, 2008.  Since consideration by the Planning Commission, the applicant has provided additional renderings of the proposed design to illustrate the project’s relationship to adjacent structures, has provided renderings of alternate pedestrian bridge configurations, and has further modified the plaza design to address the Planning Commission conditions of approval.

 

Discussion

Project Description

The following table provides a brief summary of the project location. Additional information regarding the project’s compliance with applicable municipal regulations and the General Plan is available in Attachment A.

 

Project and Site Information Table

Zoning District:

RVC and C3

 

 

Site Location Map

Land Use
Element Designation:

Oceanfront Special District and General Commercial

Parcel Area (SF):

30,003 sq.ft.+14,998 sq.ft. = 45,000 sq. ft.

Parcel Dimensions:

200’ x 150’

100’ x 150’

Existing On-Site Improvements (Year Built):

Santa Monica Beach Travelodge (30 rooms; circa 1955) Pacific Sands motel (44 rooms, circa 1957+ 14 rooms in Annex, circa 1959)

Adjacent Zoning Districts and Land Uses:

Within the RVC, Mixed Use Residential & Office and Office with ground floor retail and Santa Monica Place within C3C District

 

The site lies within an area characterized by a mix of uses, including commercial, entertainment, restaurant, lodging, retail, and residential uses.  Palisades Park is located across Ocean Avenue to the west.  Santa Monica Place, a regional shopping mall, is located across Second Street to the east of the site.  The Bayside Commercial District, including the Third Street Promenade, is located approximately two blocks to the northeast.

 


The proposed 89,750 square foot, 164 room hotel consists of two four-story buildings connected by a covered pedestrian bridge across First Court alley at the second, third and fourth floors.  The lobby, front desk and the majority of the guest facilities for the hotel would be provided in the primary hotel building facing Ocean Avenue.  Additionally, the subterranean parking structure and primary vehicular and pedestrian access is from Ocean Avenue. 

 

The following Table summarizes building floor area & uses by site:

 

1515-25 Ocean Avenue

(RVC District)

1530 2nd Street

(C3 District)

Guest Rooms

100 Rooms

64 Rooms

Lobby & Front Desk

2055 square feet

0

Hotel Meeting/Breakfast Room

Guest Exercise Room

750 square feet

350 square feet

0

0

Retail Space

1,480 square feet

3,190 square feet

Total Building Floor Area

59,750 square feet

30,000 square feet

Parking

(for Hotel and Retail Space)

184 spaces

0

Parking for Public/Off-site Use

(in excess of requirement)

58 spaces

52 tandem spaces

Total: 110 non-required spaces

0

 

 


Variances are requested to allow the modification of both the rear yard and the north side yard required by the RVC development standards.  The pedestrian bridge is located within the required rear yard of the Ocean Avenue site in the RVC District; no yard setbacks are required in the C3 District.  Additionally, the project has been redesigned with input from City staff to locate the north wing of the hotel adjacent to the property line and reduce the north side yard setback to zero.  The revised design provides a publicly-accessible courtyard and plaza area adjacent to the public sidewalk on Ocean Avenue. 

 

 


 

Site Plan

 

Both buildings are proposed to have a height of 43 feet with a 2 foot parapet.  Elevator towers and equipment rooms extend above to a height of 50 feet, 6 inches. Stair enclosures also extend above the roofline; their height is limited to 14 feet above the 45foot height limit. 

 

The project will obstruct the ocean view from the third floor public viewing deck at Santa Monica Place identified on the Scenic and Visual Resources Map in the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local


 


Coastal Program; therefore, a General Plan Amendment has been filed by the applicant to remove the public viewing decks from the resource map.  The second floor public viewing deck is being removed as part of the Santa Monica Place remodel.

 

Project Analysis

Proposed Uses

Hotels and motels are permitted by right within the C3 District, but require a Conditional Use Permit within the RVC District.  The hotel will include 164 guest rooms, and is considered a limited amenity hotel since its amenities are limited to a swimming pool and spa pool, workout room, meeting room and breakfast room for use by hotel guests.  There are no restaurants, banquet/conference rooms or spa facilities proposed.  The hotel will also provide parking for off-site uses.  This commercial use of excess parking is considered incidental to the hotel function since the garage will be operated by the hotel. 

 

Three general retail spaces are proposed on Second Street.  One retail space is proposed on Ocean Avenue and will accommodate incidental food service; an outdoor seating/dining area is also proposed.  Retail uses are permitted by right within both Districts; however, retail within the RVC must cater to the visiting public.  The proposed retail spaces complement the proposed hotel uses as well as neighboring offices, housing, and comparison retail within the nearby Bayside District and within the Santa Monica Place shopping center.

  

Evolution of Project Design

Staff worked with the applicant to incorporate significant pedestrian orientated features into the design of both buildings.  The applicant made the following modifications to the design in response to staff concerns:

·        Provided additional sidewalk and landscape area adjacent to the public sidewalk in front of the Second Street building;

·        Stepped back the three upper floors of the Second Street building approximately 25 feet from the front property line;

·        Relocated three ground floor guests rooms in the Ocean Avenue building and provided a retail space with an outdoor seating area at the front of the building adjacent to the public sidewalk;

·        Redesigned the hotel courtyard of the Ocean Avenue building to include approximately 2,200 square feet of landscaped plaza that is open to the public sidewalk,

·        Relocated the privacy wall enclosing the hotel courtyard and pool 27 feet back from the front property line;

·        Provided an additional entry to the hotel lobby;

·        Relocated the north wing of the Ocean Avenue building to abut the side property line, eliminating a private side yard area, in conjunction with the creation of the publicly-accessible plaza;

·        Modified the architectural details of the building to reflect a contemporary modern design more compatible with the repetitious design features, such as identical balcony doors and railings imbedded in the hotel design;

·        Added an open trellis canopy spanning the plaza area between the front portions of the Ocean Avenue building to add architectural interest to both the building and the plaza. 

 

Proposed Siting and Massing  

The existing development within the immediate area varies greatly with regard to age, style, condition and massing.  Both proposed buildings are 4 stories, 45 feet high (to the top of the parapet) which is consistent with the height of recent development in the area.   The Second Street building is L-shaped with a landscaped spa pool area for hotel guests in the rear corner of the site.  The ground floor is setback 15 feet from the front property line; the upper three floors are set back an additional 10 feet.  Except for the area occupied by the spa pool and garden, this building extends to the rear and side property lines.  The Ocean Avenue building is U-shaped around a 5,800 square foot area open to Ocean Avenue.  The north side of the building abuts the side property line.  A variance has been requested to allow no setback.  The 5-story building on the adjacent parcel also abuts the property line and has no openings.  The south side of the building is setback 21 feet from the side property line as required by Code.  Adjacent development is less than 2 stories high and abuts the side property line, but only on the front half of the property; the rear half is a surface parking lot.

 

Approximately 3,600 square feet of the central courtyard is accessible only to hotel guests, and features a swimming pool, tables and seating, and a minimal amount of landscaping.  Approximately 2,200 square feet constitutes a plaza area adjacent and open to the Ocean Avenue sidewalk.  This plaza area features formal seating for the proposed retail space, informal seating and landscaping.  A water feature is also proposed. 

 

Access and Parking

Pedestrian access to the retail spaces is provided directly from the public sidewalk and adjacent plaza areas.  The hotel is accessible to pedestrians primarily through the lobby entrances on Ocean Avenue. Secondary pedestrian access is provided from Second Street and through the retail space on Ocean Avenue.  Pedestrian access is also available from the alley.  Parking for 20 bicycles is provided in a designated area adjacent to the alley. 

 

Vehicular access is provided via a 20-foot wide one-way driveway on Ocean Avenue.     Three short term parking spaces are provided adjacent to the hotel lobby.  Four levels of subterranean parking containing 294 parking spaces are provided below the Ocean Avenue building.  Of these, 110 spaces (58 spaces, plus 52 tandem spaces) are in excess of that required by Code for the hotel and retail spaces, and will provide parking for off-site uses at the discretion of the hotel operator.  All vehicles exit the site via First Court alley.

 

Transportation Demand Management

The proposed 164 room hotel is required to manage traffic associated with its guests and employees.  The hotel operator is required to prepare and implement a Transportation Demand Management Plan to reduce vehicle trips associated with guest’s travel and activities (Condition No.60).  The hotel will also be required to prepare a Worksite Transportation Plan for its employees in accordance with the Chapter 9.16 of the Zoning Ordinance.  Conditions have been added to require the hotel operator to provide transit, shuttle and bicycle route information to its guests, provide on-site bicycles, provide secure bicycle parking for its employees and guests, and provide a shower for employee use.  The hotel operator shall be required to participate in the establishment of a geographic based Transportation Demand Management Association if the City adopts a requirement that such an association be formed for this area.  An additional condition has been added to address employee vehicle trips (Condition 61).

 

Project Design

The project is designed in a contemporary style that features architectural concrete, metal panels, both zinc and corrugated aluminum, glass balcony railings and a frameless glass system for the lobby and storefronts.  The secondary elevations, including the alley and portions of the south façade, are finished in metal panels with glazing in strips of varying lengths and widths, juxtaposed at random angles.  The ground floor portion of the Second Street building’s south facing elevation appears to be architectural concrete as well.


 


Second Street

* 

Ocean Avenue

 

Consistency with General Plan and Proposed LCP Amendment

The project is generally consistent with the Municipal Code; however a variance has been requested to allow elimination of one required side yard and to allow the building’s pedestrian bridge to span the rear yard.  The project site is unique in that is comprised of two offset parcels that are separated by a public alley and are within two different zoning districts. The Code requires that each building conform to the standards of its District.  The RVC District requires rear yard and side yard setbacks; the C3 District does not.  With the approval of the variance request, the project will conform to the Municipal Code.

 

The project is generally consistent with the General Plan in that the proposed project will include visitor accommodations and commercial retail use consistent with Policy 1.5.1 of the Land Use Element of the General Plan.  Consistent with Policies 1.3.4, 1.4.1 and 1.4.2, the retail proposed under the project would provide ground floor retail to encourage and support pedestrian traffic along Second Street.  Additionally, the project will comply with the City’s Local Coastal Program goals and policies through the expansion of hotels in the Coastal Zone and the continued provision of affordable lodging.  A more detailed discussion of the project can be found in the March 19, 2008 staff reports.

 


Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan Amendment

The Land Use Plan (LUP) of the City’s Local Coastal Program was adopted by the City in August, 1992, and contains a description of the conditions and issues relative to Santa Monica’s Coastal Zone and presents land use and development policies designed to fulfill the intent of the California Coastal Act.  The Scenic and Visual Resources Map No. 13 of the LUP identifies “Scenic Corridors” along several streets and identifies the second and third floor viewing platforms on the west side of Santa Monica Place as a “Public Viewing Area”.  Elsewhere in the document, the area is described as “public ocean-viewing platforms on the west side of the complex”.  Policy No. 49 of the LUP addresses new development and protection of public views.  This Policy references Map No. 13 and clarifies that “public views shall mean views to the ocean from…designated public viewing areas.”

 

The project includes a request to revise the Scenic and Visual Resources Map No. 13 of the Land Use Plan of the Local Coastal Program to remove the second and third floor public viewing platforms on the west side of Santa Monica Place from the map.  Although the second floor public viewing platform will be eliminated by the Santa Monica Place remodel, the proposed project would block the view from the third floor viewing deck.  Consequently, without the Amendment, the project would not be consistent with this provision of the City’s Local Coastal Program.

 

In approving the building at 1540 Second Street in 2004 the Coastal Commission found the views from the Santa Monica Place viewing decks were not significant and the decks offered very little ocean viewing opportunities for the public due to the location of the mall, existing development and other obstructions along Second Street and Ocean Avenue, and for these reasons suggested that the City should have amended the Land Use Plan Scenic and Visual Resources Map to remove the decks as public viewing decks prior to City approval of the development.  In approving the remodel of Santa Monica Place in 2007, the Coastal Commission staff acknowledged that the public viewing decks on the second and third floors were no longer relevant but that the visitor-serving opportunities offered by the remodeled mall, including a smaller 5,700 square foot open public deck on the third floor adjacent to an 8,000 square foot enclosed food court, would continue to be available.  Based on its past actions, the Coastal Commission is expected to support the proposed amendment to the LUP.  With this amendment, the project will be consistent with the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan.

 

The proposed project would result in the loss of scenic views of the ocean from the third floor publicly accessible viewing decks located on the west side of Santa Monica Place.  However, as detailed subsequently in this report, the significance of this resource has been diminished over time both in terms of the extent of the view and its utilization, and it is not feasible to reduce the size of the proposed project with its necessary attendant reduction in hotel rooms and at the same time retain the proposed project’s relative affordability.  The proposed project’s benefit of providing affordable visitor-serving lodging near the coast is being balanced by the loss of this diminished ocean view.

 

However, as an alternative to removing the public viewing decks at Santa Monica Place from the Scenic and Visual Resources Map No. 13, staff recommends an amendment to the Map to define the views afforded by the remodeled viewing deck, and clarify that the views that will be obstructed by the proposed project are not included.

 

Commission Action/ Applicant Response

At the March 19, 2008 Planning Commission meeting public testimony was received both in support and in opposition to the project. The Planning Commission voted 5-0 on all four actions to approve the project, with conditions.  In its deliberation, the Commission identified several design concerns, and included conditions of approval to ensure that they are addressed prior to review and approval of the building design and landscaping by the Architectural Review Board.  Specifically, conditions 25 through 30 require the applicant to prepare contextual renderings of the project, revise the pedestrian bridge design, enhance the landscape and plaza design, and directs the applicant and the Architectural Review Board, in its review, to pay particular attention to trellis element over the Ocean Avenue courtyard entry, the roofline of the building on Second Street, the proposed landscape and paved areas proposed along the Second Street frontage, and the relationship of the buildings to adjacent structures.

 

In response to Planning Commission concerns, the Applicant has created a plaza design that attempts to create a relationship between the plaza and Palisades Park through the landscape and hardscape design.  To that end, the plaza design features several large planters with irregularly shaped designs, intended to reference the fissures of the bluffs of Palisades Park, a plant palate featuring more than a dozen different native plant species, and a concrete with aggregate paving material to simulate the decomposed granite pathways throughout park.  The planter configuration “points” to Palisades Park, providing a strong visual connection between the hotel plaza and the park.  Additionally, the planters are designed with built-in seating areas, some facing inward to promote sociability within the plaza.  Staff feels that the revised plaza design is more meaningful and has a better relationship to Palisades Park, thereby complying with Condition No. 25.

 

Appeal Summary

Two Appeals were filed.  The first was filed by the Applicant, Michel Farzam on April 1, 2008 and second on April 2, 2008 by a neighboring property owner, Robert Ruth (1522-24 Second Street).  The Applicant filed the Appeal because they disagree with two conditions of approval imposed by the Planning Commission.  The Applicant objects to Condition No. 28 that requires reduction of the proposed three level overhead bridge to a single level, and to Condition No. 8 which provides that Ordinance No. 1516 (CCS) establishes a mitigation fee requirement for the removal of low cost lodging accommodations in the Coastal Zone.   The neighboring property owner Appellant objects to approval of the four story, 45-foot high building and states that the reason for their appeal is related to the findings made by the Commission to approve the Development Review Permit, Conditional Use Permit, and Variance, that the Commission did not impose conditions of approval to protect the existing ocean views, that the project design does not protect the ocean views and is not compatible with the character of the surrounding area and would result in adverse aesthetic impacts, based on the incompatibility of the height of the project.  The Appellant also states that the appeal is related to non-compliance with the Municipal Code, and to the certification of the EIR and adoption of the Statement of Overriding considerations. 

 

Appeal Analysis

Applicant Appeal

Pedestrian Bridge  The Planning Commission conditions of approval limited the bridge over First Court alley connecting the Ocean Avenue and Second Street portions of the hotel to a single level.  As detailed in the Applicant’s appeal statement (Attachment A) the Applicant believes that the proposed three level pedestrian bridge should be allowed for the safety and convenience of the hotel guests. The Applicant explains that without a bridge connection at each of the upper levels, hotel guests may utilize the alley as a pedestrian pathway.   The alley is characterized as unfriendly to pedestrians.  The applicant states that the three level bridge is superior to the single level bridge since it would require a fewer number of elevator trips and could consequently require less energy, that the massing of the bridge is not particularly bulky relative to the adjacent 45 foot high buildings, and that is meets the height clearance requirements for trucks and vehicular traffic.  The Applicant has submitted renderings of the three level pedestrian bridge from different perspectives for Council consideration.  Alternative bridge designs have also been submitted for discussion purposes.

Three Level Bridge

 

While a three level bridge could provide additional convenience for hotel guests, the mass of the structure over the public alley should be minimized, and staff supports the Planning Commission requirement to limit the bridge to one level.  The proposed three level enclosed design results in building mass that is 14.5 feet above the road surface with a vertical dimension of 28 feet, and results in a 560 square foot mass extending to a height of 43 feet spanning the alley.  In part due to a height that exceeds the width, the three level bridge appears massive within the confined alley. An alternate design with an uncovered third level would reduce the vertical dimension to approximately 22 feet, as measured from the bottom of the bridge at the second floor to the top of the 42 inch railing along the bridge at the fourth floor.  While this design is less massive than an enclosed bridge, it still appears bulky and dominates the alley given its relatively short span.  Therefore, both designs result in a massive architectural feature that could set an unwanted precedent for private development that utilizes public property.

 

A design that is compliant with the Planning Commission condition is illustrated below (Bridge View Option 3 in Attachment M.)  The illustration depicts a bridge at the third floor. 

One Level Bridge

 

This design increases the vertical clearance below the bridge to over 23 feet and reduces the vertical dimension of the bridge to approximately 10 feet.  The light and narrow proportions of the structure are consistent with a bridge, whereas in comparison, the three level bridge appears to be an extension of the building itself across the alley.  It is also important to consider the precedent that may be established by allowing significant portions of a private development to extend over public property.

 

Low Cost Lodging Mitigation Fee Ordinance 

Policy 35 of the City’s Land Use Plan provides in part that new development shall not remove lower cost lodging unless a finding of infeasibility is made.  Where new development removes lower-cost lodging, the feasibility of replacing the lower-cost lodging on site shall be considered.  If that is not feasible, replacement of the lodging in the coastal zone shall be considered.  If that is not feasible, then an in-lieu fee payment shall be made.

 

Ordinance No. 1516 (CCS) was enacted to establish the requisite mitigation fee for the removal of low cost lodging accommodations.  Ordinance No. 1526 (CCS) establishes a hardship procedure for reducing mitigation fees imposed by Ordinance No. 1516 (CCS), with claims of hardship determined by the City Council.  Ordinance No. 1516 defines a low cost lodging accommodation as any hotel or motel which had a room rate of eighty dollars or less as of December 12, 1989.  According to a June 2005 analysis of development options for the Travelodge and the Pacific Sands submitted by PFK Consulting on behalf of the applicant, Pacific Sands’ average room rate in 1989 was $40-45.00 and the Travelodge’s average room rate was $65-80.00. (Attachment H) Consequently, these facilities constitute low cost lodging accommodations under the ordinance.  .Ordinance 1516 also initially established a mitigation fee of $8,000.00 per low cost lodging unit removed and provided a formula for the adjusting the fee for inflation:  the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) multiplied by .65 plus the percentage change in land cost multiplied by .35 between the February 1990 and the month of fee payment.  As detailed in the Applicant’s appeal statement, if this project triggered the mitigation fee requirements of Ordinance 1516, the required fee payment would be approximately one million dollars.

 

The June 2005 study referenced above concluded that the existing facilities were severely dilapidated, at the end of their economic lives, and would require millions of dollars in renovations, an expenditure of money which would not be economically feasible.  The Applicant  subsequently submitted a market study, “Analysis of Affordable Lodging for Santa Monica, California,” also prepared by PKF Consulting, dated May, 2008, that concludes that the new Travelodge Hotel should still be considered  “low cost lodging accommodations” since the anticipated room rates will not exceed the room rate established   by Ordinance 1516 when adjusted for annual inflation.   (Attachment J)

 

Although Ordinance 1516 does not establish a methodology for adjusting low cost lodging room rate to current levels, the PKF Study utilized the same methodology that Ordinance 1516 utilizes for adjusting the mitigation fee- a formula which takes into account both the increase in inflation and the general increase in commercial land values in Santa Monica.  It should be noted that  this same methodology was used in a grant agreement between the City and the Los Angeles Council of American Youth Hostels, Inc. to determine the maximum ADR for the Santa Monica Youth Hostel located at 1438 Second Street.  The PKF Study concludes that using an ADR of $80.00 in 1989 as the base, the low cost lodging ADR in 2008 dollars would be $172.27.  The PKF Study estimated that the proposed Travelodge project would achieve an average daily room rate (ADR) of approximately $164 in 2008 dollars.  The Study concludes that the Travelodge Hotel would meet the standard of a low cost lodging facility.

 

At the request of the City, this market study was peer reviewed by another marketing consulting firm, Maurice Robinson & Associates, LLC (MR&A) that specializes in the hotel industry.  MR&A determined that the conclusions of the PKF study were reasonable and well supported with regard to the appropriate ADR  for Low Cost Lodging Accommodations within the Coastal Zone, and with the assessment that average daily room rates for the Travelodge Hotel Project of $155 (in 2006 dollars) would be below this threshold ADR.   

 

Ordinance 1516 is not without ambiguities and therefore requires interpretation to be implemented.  It does not expressly address whether the mitigation fee obligation can be eliminated with the replacement of low cost lodging with low cost lodging.  Moreover, whether and how the low cost lodging room rate should be adjusted over time is not addressed.  However, Staff believes that the approach described above is reasonable based on a fair reading of the ordinance, particularly in light of the LCP policy it implements and past City practice.  Pursuant to this policy, mitigation fees are only required if the low cost lodging cannot be replaced.  However, to ensure that the Travelodge Hotel retains an ADR commensurate with low cost lodging, staff has modified Condition No. 8 to clarify that the project shall be used for affordable lodging and that the per night room rates shall not exceed the calculated $172.27 ADR (in 2008 dollars) subject to adjustment in accordance with the formula contained in the Low Cost Mitigation Ordinance.  Condition No. 8 will ensure that low cost lodging is retained on site.

 


Robert N. Ruth Appeal

The Ruth appeal statement challenges the Planning Commission’s Development Review Permit findings stating that project design will cause the loss of public views of scenic coastal resources from the Santa Monica Place Mall viewings decks, and consequently the record does not support a finding that the size, massing and placement of the project on the property are compatible with and relate harmoniously to surrounding sites and neighborhoods.  The Appellant states since the project is inconsistent with the Scenic and Visual Resources Map No. 13 of the Land Use Plan of the Local Coastal Program, the record does not support the finding that the project is consistent with the General Plan.  The Appellant also challenges the Conditional Use Permit findings and Variance findings but does not cite any specific reasons.  

 

Staff believes that the record, including the project plans, project renderings and environmental impact report, support the Planning Commission findings approving the Development Review Permit, Conditional Use Permit and Variance.  The mass, height, and setbacks of the proposed buildings are consistent with recent development in the immediate area.  In addition, the proposed project provides a significant amount of public open space along Ocean Avenue.

 

The primary focus of the neighboring property owner’s appeal is the proposed project’s blockage of views of the ocean from the Santa Monica Place Mall public viewing decks.  Citing to the California Coastal Act, the Appellant states that the Planning Commission should have proposed conditions of approval that protect existing scenic and visual qualities of the coastal area. The appellant’s objections to the Planning Commission’s actions are misguided for several reasons.

 

In approving the Santa Monica Place project in 1977, the California Coastal Commission required that public viewing decks within a 10,000 square foot open public desk space be provided at the second and third floors of the Second Street elevation to afford the public an opportunity to view the ocean.  When Santa Monica Place was built in 1980, the public viewing decks were provided at the second and third floors as required and were originally used, in part, for outdoor dining and public viewing.  However, within the past ten years, the viewing areas have ceased to be used for outdoor dining and few members of the public used the decks for viewing the ocean as retail activity at the second and third floors of Santa Monica Place declined.  In addition, since the development of Santa Monica Place, there have been a number of commercial buildings approved by the City and the Coastal Commission and built along Second Street and Ocean Avenue that diminish the views from the Santa Monica Place viewing decks, including the recent development at 1540 Second Street. 

 

Presently, Santa Monica Place is being remodeled.  As part of this remodeling project, the second floor viewing deck is being entirely removed and a smaller re-oriented 5,700 square foot open public deck and 8,000 square foot enclosed food court on the third floor with orientation toward Second Street are being built.  The third floor viewing deck will be raised three feet in elevation to recapture more of the remaining view of the ocean and horizon. 

 

All of these factors were presented to the Planning Commission and formed the basis for its decision.  More specifically, Section 3.1, Aesthetics (Views), of the Final EIR provides a detailed description of views accessible to the public from Santa Monica Place. In addition, Figures 3.1-1 and 3.1-2 provide photos of the existing views. Subsection 3.1-2 of the Final EIR provides the regulatory framework governing these views. While the proposed project would result in the loss of scenic views of the ocean from the third floor viewing decks, an impact that is considered significant and unavoidable in the Final EIR, as discussed above, the overall significance of this resource, as detailed above, has been diminished over time both in terms of the extent of the view and its utilization.

 

The Final EIR also assessed the impact of the three feet increase in the elevation of the third floor viewing deck that will occur as part of the Santa Monica Place remodel.  This change will incrementally increase views over the building at 1540 Second Street, which is at a lower elevation than the project site. However, as shown in Figures 3.1 5 through 3.1 8, the project itself would still result in substantial view blockage. Thus, the change in elevation would not substantially alter the analysis or the conclusions with regard to views contained in the Final EIR and the mitigation measures that would be required to mitigate this impact.

 

As to the mitigation measures, the Final EIR indicates that the project’s impact on ocean views can only be mitigated through a reduction in the height of the development. Project alternatives 3 and 4 in the Final EIR are reduced intensity alternatives which provide an analysis of two development scenarios that would result in a reduction in height of the proposed hotel. These two reduced intensity alternatives were designed to specifically analyze the degree of the reduction in height that would be necessary to reduce the view impacts to a level of less than significant. Furthermore, each of the alternatives evaluated includes a discussion under the heading "b. Relationship of the Alternative to Project Objectives" that assesses the extent to which the alternative fulfills the basic objectives of the project.  One of the principal objectives of the project is to provide affordable lodging.  However, as detailed in Exhibits H and I, it is not feasible to reduce the size of the proposed project with its necessary attendant reduction in hotel rooms and at the same time retain the proposed project’s affordability.

 

Additionally, the proposed project’s benefit of providing affordable visitor-serving lodging near the coast outweighs the loss of the diminished ocean view and is fully consistent with policies and programs of the Land Use Plan including Land Use Land Use Policy #35, Land Use Policy #64, Land Use Policy #66, and Land Use Program #31.

 

Moreover, while the applicant’s request for a text amendment to the LUP to remove the “Public Viewing Area” designation of the Santa Monica Place viewing decks from the Scenic and Visual Resources Map would eliminate any inconsistency between the project and the Land Use Plan, the Commission followed Staff recommendation to recommend a more circumscribed amendment to the Council.  While the conditions have certainly changed substantially, public access to ocean views from Santa Monica Place is still desirable.  Consequently, rather than completely removing the third floor viewing desk from the Land Use Plan Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Local Coastal Program, the map should be modified to acknowledge that the publicly-accessible views are still available from the third floor viewing deck at Santa Monica Place, even with the construction of the hotel at 1515 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street, and the map should be clarified and be more precise as to those views that should be protected by the City’s Land Use Plan.

 

Environmental Analysis

An Environmental Impact Report was prepared for this project in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines and was circulated for a 45 day public review period ending on November 14, 2007.  The EIR included analysis of Traffic/Circulation and Parking, air quality, aesthetics (views), noise, construction effects and neighborhood effects.  The EIR concluded that the project would result in significant and unavoidable impacts in the following areas: 

·        Traffic/Circulation and Parking;

·        Aesthetics (views);

·        Construction effects (air quality and views); and

·        Neighborhood effects. 

 

Unavoidable Significant Impacts

Traffic - The EIR identified unavoidable significant traffic impacts at the intersection of 4th Street and the on and off ramps to the I-10 Freeway, as well as at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue.  The EIR identifies measures that could fully mitigate these impacts, including creating a new southbound lane on 4th Street that would require removal of the existing median and removing the crosswalk on the east side of 4th street at the Olympic Dreive/I-10 eastbound on-ramp.  However, these mitigation measures have been determined infeasible because the intersection is in part owned by Caltrans and therefore, outside the City’s control.  Caltrans does not have review authority over this project.  Additionally, eliminating sidewalk crosswalks and landscaped parkways result in negative secondary impacts to the area and impact the neighborhood context.  Eliminating the current sidewalk and crosswalk changes the historical pedestrian pattern of students from the nearby high school.  Removal of landscaped parkways would remove green space that is included in the Open Space Element and provides visual relief at a key entry point to the City’s downtown.  The Planning Commission imposed conditions of approval recommended by Staff which will help manage the traffic generated by the hotel, including requirements for guest shuttle, on-site bicycles and transit options for employees (Conditions 60 through 63).

 

Aesthetics (View) - The EIR also concluded that the proposed four-story, 45 foot high project would obstruct scenic views of the ocean from publicly accessible viewing decks located on the west side of Santa Monica Place, both during construction and upon completion, resulting in significant and unavoidable impacts in the area of aesthetics, construction effects and neighborhood effects.  Since major revisions to the project would be required to substantially preserve existing scenic ocean views from Santa Monica Place, and since the reduction in building height would result in a significant reduction of the number of hotel rooms in the proposed project, the EIR analyzes different building heights as project alternatives rather than mitigation measures, and the impacts on views resulting from the project are considered significant and unavoidable.

 

Construction Effects and Neighborhood Effects (Air Quality) – Construction activities associated with the proposed project would result in localized significant and unavoidable impacts to air quality even with the implementation of mitigation measures to reduce combustion and fugitive dust. 

 

Alternatives

In addition to the project the EIR studied alternatives designed to reduce identified significant impacts and potential impacts.  The alternatives analyzed in addition to the No Project Alternative were:

·        Single Site Alternative:  This alternative is a four-story, 100-room hotel on the Ocean Avenue site and an unrelated office/retail building on the Second Street site, and does not include the construction of the pedestrian bridge over First Court alley.  This alternative would result in significant and unavoidable impacts similar to those of the proposed project. 

 

·        Reduced Intensity (2 and 3-Story) Alternative:   This alternative was designed to reduce impacts to the scenic ocean views from the third floor Santa Monica Place viewing deck.  It consists of an 81-room hotel with two stories on the Ocean Avenue site and three stories on the Second Street site.  Due to the two story building height along Ocean Avenue and the three story building height along Second Street, the Reduced Intensity Alternative would eliminate a significant unavoidable impact on the loss of the ocean views associated with the proposed project since public views of the ocean would be retained.   Due to the reduction in the number of guest rooms, the net trip generation for the Reduced Intensity Alternative would be much less that that of the proposed project and this Alternative would avoid significant unavoidable traffic impacts at two of the intersection compared to the proposed project.  However, the Reduced Intensity Alternative would result in a significant and unavoidable traffic impact at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue intersection. 

 

·        Reduced Intensity (2 Story) Alternative:  This alternative was designed to reduce impacts to traffic/transportation and impacts to scenic ocean views.  It consists of 68 rooms within two two-story buildings.  While temporary significant unavoidable air quality impacts during construction would still occur, this Reduced Intensity (2 Story) Alternative would be environmentally superior since it would avoid the significant and unavoidable aesthetic impact that would occur under the proposed project due to obstruction of scenic public views of the ocean from Santa Monica Place and avoid the significant and unavoidable traffic impact at the three intersections identified by the EIR. 

 

The applicant subsequently prepared a Feasibility Analysis that determined that both of the Reduced Intensity alternatives would be economically infeasible.  The feasibility analysis demonstrated that it is also not possible to continue to feasibly operate the existing facilities.  Staff commissioned a peer review of this analysis which concurred with its conclusion.  These studies are included as attachments (Exhibits I and J). 

 

All project alternatives are fully analyzed in the Final EIR in Section 4.0 

 

Comments on Draft EIR and Responses

Seven comment letters were received during the public review period from:  the Native American Heritage Commission; Southern California Association of Governments; Bryan Cave LLP; Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, LLP; Realty Bancorp Equities; and two letters from Harding Larmore Mullen Jakle Kutcher & Kozal, LLP (representative of the applicant).  Substantive issues raised included:

·        Concerns about mitigations measures to offset construction related traffic impacts;

 

·        Concerns about the impact to the ocean view from the Santa Monica Place outdoor decks, including conformance to the City’s Local Coastal Program and the adequacy of the alternatives studied in the EIR;

 

·        Concerns about traffic egress onto First Court rather than Ocean Avenue; and

 

·        Concerns from the applicant about the conservative approach in the traffic analysis and about the characterization of the view from Santa Monica Place.

 

The Final EIR includes responses to all substantive comments.  In response to the concerns regarding construction related impacts, the mitigation measures have been strengthened.  The Final EIR also includes an assessment of the revised project relative to potential environmental impacts.

 

Statement of Overriding Considerations

Due to the significant unavoidable impacts to transportation/circulation and parking, aesthetics (views), construction effects (air quality) and neighborhood effects, approval of the proposed project will require the Commission to adopt a Statement of Overriding Considerations.  The project benefits include:

·        Provision of 164 affordable hotel rooms within a limited amenity hotel within the Coastal Zone in the vicinity of the Bayside District.

 

·        Pedestrian oriented commercial use on the ground floor that will enhance the pedestrian environment.

 

·        Enhancement of the City’s tax base through additional Transient Occupancy Tax

 

·        A plaza open to the adjacent sidewalk on Ocean Avenue that will enhance the pedestrian environment and that will afford pedestrians informal opportunities for views of Palisades Park and the Pacific Ocean.

 

·        Provision of additional parking.

 

·        A Transportation Demand Management Plan will be implemented and will, at a minimum, include secure bicycle parking for guests and employees, information distribution regarding alternative modes of transportation to and from the hotel, and a program to assist guest with necessary booking information for shuttle services, bicycle rentals, “flex car” services and similar alternatives to the private passenger car.

 

Public Outreach

Pursuant to Municipal Code Section 9.04.20.14.030 and Part 9.04.20.22, notice of the public hearing for both Planning Commission hearings and for this City Council hearing was posted at the site and was mailed to all owners and residential and commercial tenants of property located within a 500 foot radius of the project and published in the Santa Monica Daily Press at least ten consecutive calendar days prior to the hearing. The project was also presented at a community meeting on January 10, 2008 that was attended by approximately 30 people, including the applicant team and City staff. 

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

The project is exempt from the Housing and Parks Project Mitigation fee es­tablished by Ordinance No. 1367 (CCS), based on the fact that the project will not result in the new construction of 15,000 net rentable square feet or the addition to an existing project of 10,000 net rentable square feet or more of office area.  It is anticipated that the project will generate additional revenues (i.e. property tax, transient occupancy tax, and sales tax) to the City.  The property is located within the City’s Redevelopment Area.

 

 

Prepared by:

Laura Beck, Associate Planner

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Fogarty

Director, Planning and Community Development

 

P. Lamont Ewell

City Manager

 

 

 

Attachments:

A.     Appeal Statement from Applicant

B.     Appeal Statement form Ruth

C.    Draft City Council Statement of Official Action

D.    Public Notification and Comment Material

E.     Resolution Certifying EIR

F.     Resolution Making Necessary CEQA Findings and Adopting Statement of Overriding Considerations and Adopting a Mitigation Monitoring Program

G.    Resolution City Council Approval of the Land Use Plan Amendment

H.     Feasibility Analysis

I.         Peer Review of Feasibility Analysis

J.      Low Cost Lodging Analysis

K.     Peer Review of Low Cost Lodging Analysis

L.       Photographs

M.     Project Plans and Renderings

N.      Final Environmental Impact Report (Volume 1 and Volume 2)

 

 


ATTACHMENT A

 

APPEAL STATEMENT FROM APPLICANT

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City clerk’s office and the libraries.

 


ATTACHMENT B

 

APPEAL STATEMENT FROM RUTH

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City clerk’s office and the libraries.


 

 

ATTACHMENT C

 

DRAFT CITY COUNCIL STATEMENT OF OFFICIAL ACTION


 

City of Santa Monica

 

 

CITY COUNCIL

STATEMENT OF OFFICIAL ACTION

 

 

PROJECT INFORMATION

 

CASE NUMBER:                  Appeal 08-006, Appeal 08-007, Development Review Permit 05-007, Conditional Use Permit 05-009, Variance 06-018 and General Plan Amendment 06-001

 

LOCATION:                           1515-1525 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street

 

APPLICANT:                         Michael Farzam, Travelodge Hotel

 

Property Owner:          Ocean Avenue Management, LLC

 

CASE PLANNER:                Laura Beck, AICP, Associate Planner

 

REQUEST:                            Appeal of Planning Commission approval of applicant request to construct two new four-story, buildings, totaling 89,750 square feet, to establish 164 hotel rooms and 4,670 square feet of ground floor retail space on a 45,000 square foot site located on Ocean Avenue within the Residential Visitor Serving Commercial (RVC) District and on Second Street within the Downtown Commercial (C3) District and connected by a pedestrian bridge over First Court alley.  A Conditional Use Permit is required for a hotel within the RVC District; a Variance is required to allow modification to the north side yard of the Ocean Avenue site and encroachment of the pedestrian bridge into the required rear yard; a General Plan Amendment is required to modify the Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Land Use Plan of the Local Coastal Program so that the project does not block the view from a designated public viewing platform at Santa Monica Place.

 

CEQA STATUS:                   An Environmental Impact Report was prepared for this project in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines and was circulated for a 45 day public review period ending on November 14, 2007.  The EIR included analysis of Traffic/Circulation and Parking, air quality, aesthetics (views), noise, construction effects and neighborhood effects.  The EIR concluded that the project would result in significant and unavoidable impacts in the following areas: traffic/circulation and parking; aesthetics (views); construction effects (air quality and views); and neighborhood effects.

 

CITY COUNCIL ACTION

 

September 9, 2008

Determination Date

 

X

Approved based on the following findings and subject to the conditions below.

 

Denied.

 

Other:

 

EFFECTIVE DATES OF ACTIONS IF NOT APPEALED: 

September 9, 2008

EXPIRATION DATE OF ANY PERMITS GRANTED:

Eighteen (18) months following Coastal Commission action

LENGTH OF ANY POSSIBLE EXTENSION OF EXPIRATION DATES*:

6 months

 

*     Any request for an extension of the expiration date must be received in the City Planning Division prior to expiration of this permit.

 

Each and all of the findings and determinations are based on the competent and substantial evidence, both oral and written, contained in the entire record relating to the Project.  All summaries of information contained herein or in the findings are based on the substantial evidence in the record.  The absence of any particular fact from any such summary is not an indication that a particular finding is not based in part on that fact.

 

FINDINGS:

 

DEVELOPMENT REVIEW FINDINGS

 

1.                  The physical location, size, massing, and placement of proposed structures on the site and the location of proposed uses within the project are compatible with and relate harmoniously to surrounding sites and neighborhoods, in that it is a well designed project that replaces 88 hotel rooms in two un-rehabilitated hotels with 164 new hotel rooms; the design provides setbacks from the streets, the project includes a publicly-accessible plaza along Ocean Avenue and an enhanced sidewalk and landscape area along Second Street; and in that the project includes 294 parking spaces in a subterranean garage below the Ocean Avenue building; and provides courtyard areas for its guests.  Additionally, the size and mass of the proposed buildings are within the height limits of the RVC and C3 zoning districts and compatible with adjacent and nearby structures.

 

2.                  The rights-of-way can accommodate autos and pedestrians, including parking and access, in that the project is designed with the following: Vehicular access is provided via a 20-foot wide one-way driveway on Ocean Avenue.  Three short term parking spaces are provided adjacent to the hotel lobby.  Four levels of subterranean parking containing 294 parking spaces are provided below the Ocean Avenue building. Pedestrian access to the retail spaces is provided directly from the public sidewalk and adjacent plaza areas.  The hotel is accessible to pedestrians primarily through the lobby entrances on Ocean Avenue. Secondary pedestrian access is provided from Second Street and through the retail space on Ocean Avenue.  Pedestrian access is also available from the alley.  Parking for 20 bicycles is provided in a designated area adjacent to the alley.  A pedestrian bridge over First Court will provide an internal means of pedestrian access between the two buildings.

 

3.                  The health and safety services (police, fire, etc.) and public infrastructure (e.g. utilities) are sufficient to accommodate the new development, in that the proposed development is located within an urbanized area that is already adequately served by existing City infrastructure.  No new safety services or public infrastructure will be required by this project.

 

4.                  Any on-site provision of housing or parks and public open space, which are part of the required project mitigation measures required in Part 9.04.10.12 (Project Mitigation Measures) of the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, satisfactorily meet the goals of the mitigation program, in that the project will not result in the new construction of 15,000 net rentable square feet or the addition to an existing commercial project of 10,000 net rentable square feet or more of office floor area.

 

5.                  The project is generally consistent with the Municipal Code and General Plan, in that the proposed project will include visitor accommodations and commercial retail use consistent with Policy 1.5.1 of the Land Use Element of the General Plan.  Consistent with Policies 1.3.4, 1.4.1 and 1.4.2, the retail proposed under the project would provide ground floor retail to encourage and support pedestrian traffic to Second Street.  Additionally, the project will comply with the City’s Local Coastal Program goals and policies through the addition of additional hotel rooms.  The project includes an amendment to the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program; the proposed amendment will eliminate any potential conflict between the proposed project and the LUP policies associated with public viewing areas identified on the Visual and Scenic Resources Map No. 13 of the LUP.

 

6.                  The Final EIR found that the project would result in significant unavoidable adverse impacts in the areas of Transportation/Circulation and Parking, Aesthetics (views), Construction Effects (air quality and views) and Neighborhood Effects (air quality and views) cannot feasibly be avoided or mitigated to below a level of significance.  However, these significant environmental effects are acceptable due to overriding considerations. More specifically, public benefits derived from the project include:  a well designed project that replaces 88 hotel rooms in two un-rehabilitated hotels with 164 new hotel rooms; a publicly-accessible plaza along Ocean Avenue; 110 additional parking spaces; and 20 bicycle parking spaces.  Additionally, the Travelodge Hotel project will have an estimated economic impact of approximately $20,700,000 per year from direct and indirect visitor spending with direct fiscal impact to the City of approximately $1,300,000.

 

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT FINDINGS

 

1.                  The proposed use is one conditionally permitted within the subject district and complies with all of the applicable provisions of the "City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance", in that hotels are conditionally permitted uses within the RVC District and are permitted by right within the C3 District. 

 

2.                  The proposed use would not impair the integrity and character of the district in which it is to be established or located, in that the proposed integrated hotel will replace two hotels existing on the site, and the hotel will provide additional rooms within and adjacent to the Oceanfront District which is devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation.

 

3.                  The subject parcel is physically suitable for the type of land use being proposed, in that the subject site is flat and of adequate size and is within and adjacent to the Oceanfront District which is devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation, and is located within an urbanized area adequately served by existing roadways and infrastructure.  The property is physically able to accommodate the proposed development.

 

4.                  The proposed use is compatible with any of the land uses presently on the subject parcel if the present land uses are to remain, in that the proposed use will replace the existing hotels presently on the subject parcel with a new hotel.

 

5.                  The proposed use would be compatible with existing and permissible land uses within the district and the general area in which the proposed use is to be located, in that the proposed integrated hotel will replace two hotels existing on the site, and the hotel will provide additional hotel rooms within and adjacent to the Oceanfront District which is devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation, and in that the site is close to shopping, recreation and dining within the downtown area.

 

6.                  There are adequate provisions for water, sanitation, and public utilities and services to ensure that the proposed use would not be detrimental to public health and safety, in that the project is located within an urbanized area adequately served by existing roadways and infrastructure.

 

7.                  Public access to the proposed use will be adequate, in that pedestrian access is available from both Second Street and Ocean Avenue, and vehicular access is provided via a one-way driveway from Ocean Avenue and vehicular egress is provided via a one-way driveway to First Court alley.

 

8.                  The physical location or placement of the use on the site is compatible with and relates harmoniously to the surrounding neighborhood, in that the hotel design incorporates pedestrian oriented features such as a pedestrian oriented lobby entrance on Ocean Avenue, a pedestrian oriented plaza along Ocean Avenue, an outdoor garden area on the Second Street site and includes a pedestrian bridge over First Court that enables the hotel to function with one hotel lobby and  provides a path of internal circulation for the hotel guests and employees that does not require that they walk in the alley. 

 

9.                  The proposed use is consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan, in that Land Use Element Objective 1.5 that the City should expand visitor accommodations and related uses in the Oceanfront area while protecting the existing residential mix and Policy 1.5.1 provides that the Oceanfront District of the City to be devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation. The project supports this objective of the Land Use Element through the provision of a one-hundred and sixty-four room hotel, with retail space and a publicly-accessible outdoor plaza.

 

10.             The proposed use would not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or general welfare, in that the proposed integrated hotel will replace two hotels existing on the site that are in poor condition, and in that hotels will provide additional hotel rooms within and adjacent to the Oceanfront District which is devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation.

 

11.             The proposed use conforms precisely to the applicable performance standards contained in Subchapter 9.04.12 and special conditions outlined in Subchapter 9.04.14 of the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, in that none of these performance standards apply to hotels.

 

12.             The proposed use will not result in an over concentration of such uses in the immediate vicinity, in that the proposed hotel replaces two existing hotels consistent with the Land Use Element Objective 1.5 that states that the City should expand visitor accommodations and related uses in the Oceanfront area while protecting the existing residential mix and Policy 1.5.1 provides that the Oceanfront District be devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation.

 

VARIANCE FINDINGS

 

1.                  There are special circumstances or exceptional characteristics applicable to the property involved, including size, shape, topography, location, or surroundings, or to the intended use or development of the property that do not apply to other properties in the vicinity under an identical zoning classification. Specifically, the subject site consists of two parcels that are subject to different development standards, are separated by an alley and offset so that only a 50 foot wide portion of the site extends the full length of the entire site.  The irregular shape of the building site and the proximity of the adjacent building that abuts the north side property line result in a building site with a private side yard area that is not pedestrian oriented and not publicly accessible.  The north sideyard modification is necessary in order to provide a pedestrian oriented plaza along Ocean Avenue while still maintaining an integrated streetfront.    Additionally, the buildings are connected across the First Court alley by a pedestrian bridge; the bridge would not be permitted to be located within the required rear yard of the RVC parcel without a variance.

 

2.                  The granting of such variance will not be detrimental nor injurious to the property or improvements in the general vicinity and district in which the property is located in that the proposed building will abut the side property line and the building on the adjacent parcel to the north that abuts the property line.  Although this condition does not conform to the RVC development standards, it is consistent with development on the Second Street portion of the site and with development behind the project in the C3 District.   The granting of the variance will not increase the mass of the building.  Additionally, the buildings are connected across the First Court alley by a pedestrian bridge; the bridge would not be permitted to be located within the required rear yard of the RVC parcel without a variance.

 

3.                  The strict application of the provisions of this Chapter would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships, not including economic difficulties or economic hardships in that the requirement to provide a 21 foot side yard along the north side property line results in a private open space that is accessible to a small number of hotel guests due to the irregular shape/offset of the parcel.  The hotel guests from the Second Street building must access the hotel courtyard and open space by crossing the alley in the south 50 feet of the parcel where the two portions of the site align.  The provision of this 21 foot north side yard would result in an unnecessary hardship for the hotel which is proposing a publicly accessible open space at Ocean Avenue that enhances the pedestrian environment and provides views of Palisades Park, Santa Monica Pier and the Pacific Ocean in that the sideyard would not result in a usable publicly accessible space.  Additionally, the buildings are connected across the First Court alley by a pedestrian bridge; the bridge would not be permitted to be located within the required rear yard of the RVC parcel without a variance.

 

4.                  The granting of a variance will not be contrary to or in conflict with the general purposes and intent of this Chapter, nor to the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan. Specifically, Land Use Element Objective 3.5 provides for the maximization of the City’s greatest physical asset – its oceanfront setting and view. The elimination of the north side yard is consistent with this policy since the required setback area would be oriented towards and  partially enclosed by the blank walls of the adjacent 5 story building that abuts the property line, and would not be publicly accessible. Granting the variance for the proposed project results in a project design that provides a publicly-accessible plaza where the public can enjoy sunsets and views of Palisades Park, Santa Monica Pier, the Santa Monica Bay shoreline and the Pacific Ocean.  Additionally, the encroachment of the proposed bridge is minimal due to its narrow width.

 

5.                  The variance would not impair the integrity and character of the district in which it is to be located in that the project will provide open space by the provision of a large central courtyard that is open to the street, including a publicly accessible open space along Ocean Avenue.  In addition the variance will allow the project to abut the blank wall of the building on the adjacent property which is built to the property line. Additionally, the encroachment of the proposed bridge is minimal due to its narrow width.

 

6.                  The subject site is physically suitable for the proposed variance in that it is an irregularly shaped site comprised of two offset parcels and is located within an urbanized area.  The site is adjacent to an existing development that abuts the side property line in a manner that would accommodate the proposed variance that allows the building to be built without a side yard setback.  Additionally, the encroachment of the proposed bridge is minimal due to its narrow width.

 

7.                  There are adequate provisions for water, sanitation, and public utilities and services to ensure that the proposed variance would not be detrimental to public health and safety in that the subject property is located within a developed urbanized environment that is adequately served by existing infrastructure, public utilities and services. It is not anticipated that approval of the subject application will create a need for additional utilities or services.

 

8.                  There will be adequate provisions for public access to serve the subject variance proposal in that is located within an urbanized area adequately served by existing roadways and infrastructure and a publicly accessible open space that has been provided will provide pedestrian access to the project.

 

9.                  The strict application of the provisions of this Chapter would result in unreasonable deprivation of the use or enjoyment of the property in that due to existing parcel constraints, the location of existing improvements, and/or the placement of adjacent uses, practical use or enjoyment of the subject parcel would not be possible.

 

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL:

 

PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

 

Project Specific Conditions

 

Administrative

 

1.                  The Planning Commission’s approval, conditions of approval, or denial of this application may be appealed to the City Council if the appeal is filed with the Zoning Administrator within fourteen consecutive days following the date of the Planning Commission’s determination in the manner provided in Part 9.04.20.24, Sections 9.04.20.24.010 through 9.04.20.24.040. An appeal of the approval, conditions of approval, or denial of a subdivision map must be filed with the City Clerk within ten consecutive days following the date of Planning Commission determination in the manner provided in Part 9.20.14, Section 9.20.14.070. Any appeal must be made in the form required by the Zoning Administrator. The approval of this permit shall expire if the rights granted are not exercised within 18 months from the action taken on the project by the California Coastal Commission.  Exercise of rights shall mean issuance of a building permit to commence construction. 

 

2.                  Within ten days of City Planning Division transmittal of the Statement of Official Action, project applicant shall sign and return a copy of the Statement of Official Action prepared by the City Planning Division, agreeing to the conditions of approval and acknowledging that failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute grounds for potential revocation of the permit approval.  By signing same, applicant shall not thereby waive any legal rights applicant may possess regarding said conditions.  The signed Statement shall be returned to the City Planning Division.  Failure to comply with this condition shall constitute grounds for potential permit revocation.

 

3.                  Within thirty (30) days after final approval of the project, a sign shall be posted on site stating the date and nature of the approval.  The sign shall be posted in accordance with the Zoning Administrator guidelines and shall remain in place until a building permit is issued for the project.  The sign shall be removed promptly when a building permit is issued for the project or upon expiration of the Development Review Permit.

 

4.                  Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, the applicant shall post a notice at the building entry stating that the site is regulated by a Conditional Use Permit and the Statement of Official Action, which includes the establishment’s conditions of approval, is available upon request.  This notice shall remain posted at all times the establishment is in operation.

 

5.                  In the event permittee violates or fails to comply with any conditions of approval of this permit, no further permits, licenses, approvals or certificates of occupancy shall be issued until such violation has been fully remedied.

 

6.                  The project approval is contingent upon approval of the proposed amendment to the Land Use Plan of the Local Coastal Program by the City Council, approval of an alternative amendment to the Land Use Plan of the Local Coastal Program by the City Council, or City Council determination that no such amendment is necessary for this project to proceed.

 

7.                  Applicant is advised this project is in the California Coastal Zone and will need approval of the California Coastal Commission prior to issuance of any building permits by the City of Santa Monica.  Applicant is responsible for obtaining any such permits.

 

8.                  The project shall be used for low cost lodging accommodations.  The per night room rates within the project shall not exceed one hundred and seventy-two dollars and twenty-seven cents ($172.27) in calendar year 2008, subject to annual adjustment in accordance with the formula contained in Section 5(c) of Ordinance No. 1516 (CCS), the City’s low cost lodging ordinance.

 

Conformance with Approved Plans

 

9.                  This approval is for those plans dated February 15, 2008, a copy of which shall be maintained in the files of the City Planning Division.  Project development shall be consistent with such plans, except as otherwise specified in these conditions of approval  and includes the clarification to the project description as set forth in the applicant’s March 13, 2008 letter to the Planning Commission as follows:

 

                        “The project will include a publicly-accessible plaza adjacent to Ocean Avenue approximately 2,200 square feet in size as shown in the project plans.  The plaza, which is intended to include limited seating, hardscape and landscape areas, will be accessible to the public during the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. consistent with reasonable rules and regulations established from time to time by Developer.  The plaza will not constitute a public park and will not be subject to legal requirements applicable to a public park or other public space.  Nothing herein shall give members of the public the right, without the prior written consent of Developer, which consent may be conditioned or withheld by Developer in Developer’s sole discretion, to engage in any activities in the plaza contrary to the above-referenced rules and regulations.  Such rules and regulations may prohibit (i) cooking, dispensing or preparing food, (ii) selling any item or engaging in the solicitation of money, signatures or other goods or services, (iii) sleeping or staying overnight, (iv) engaging in political or other demonstrations, (v) using sound amplifying equipment, and (vi) engaging in any illegal, dangerous or other activity that Developer reasonably deems to be inconsistent with the other uses in the project or with the use of the plaza by other members of the public for the permitted purposes, such as excessive noise or boisterous activity, bicycle or skateboard riding, skating or other similar activity, dressing inappropriately, being intoxicated, having offensive bodily hygiene, having shopping carts or other wheeled conveyances (except for wheelchairs and baby strollers/carriages).  Developer shall retain the right to cause persons engaging in any such conduct to be removed from the project.  Should any such persons refuse to leave the project, they shall be deemed to be trespassing and be subject to arrest in accordance with applicable law.  Developer shall be entitled to establish and post rules and regulations for use of the plaza consistent with the foregoing.”

 

10.             Minor amendments to the plans shall be subject to approval by the Director of Planning.  A significant change in the approved concept shall be subject to Planning Commission Review.  A significant change would include a change in the character of the proposed limited amenity hotel through the provision of additional amenities not included in the project as approved.  Proposed amenities are limited to a 370 square foot exercise room, a 750 square foot meeting room/breakfast room, swimming pool and spa pools.  Guest rooms average 295 square feet in size and have a floor to ceiling height of approximately 8 feet.  The project does not include multiple room suites.  It also does not include a restaurant, bar, conferencing facilities, spa, florist, lounge or similar amenities typically found in more upscale or luxury hotels.  Construction shall be in conformance with the plans submitted and those amenities expressly required by these conditions of approval (e.g., the bicycles, bus tokens, etc.) or as modified by the Planning Commission, Architectural Review Board or Director of Planning.  The on-site provision of a restaurant, bar, conferencing facility, spa, florist, lounge or similar amenities may be determined by the Planning Commission or Director of Planning to constitute a hotel amenity resulting in a change in character of the limited amenity hotel that would be subject to Planning Commission approval.  Additionally, combination of rooms to create larger rooms, or multiple room suites, would result in a change in character of the hotel and would be subject to Planning Commission approval.

 

11.             Project plans shall be subject to complete Code Compliance review when the building plans are submitted for plan check and shall comply with all applicable provisions of Article IX of the Municipal Code and all other pertinent ordinances and General Plan policies of the City of Santa Monica prior to building permit issuance.

 

Mitigation Monitoring Program

 

12.             Pursuant to the requirements of Public Resources Code Section 21081.6, the City Planning Division will coordinate a monitoring and reporting program regarding any required changes to the project made in conjunction with project approval and any conditions of approval, including those conditions intended to mitigate or avoid significant effects on the environment.  This program shall include, but is not limited to, ensuring that the City Planning Division itself and other City divisions and departments such as the Building and Safety Division, the Department of Environmental and Public Works, the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Planning and Community Development Department and the Finance Department are aware of project requirements which must be satisfied prior to issuance of a Building Permit, Certificate of Occupancy, or other permit, and that other responsible agencies are also informed of conditions relating to their responsibilities. Project owner shall demonstrate compliance with conditions of approval in a written report submitted to the Planning Director and Building Officer prior to issuance of a Building Permit or Certificate of Occupancy, and, as applicable, provide periodic reports regarding compliance with such conditions.

 

Cultural Resources

 

13.             No demolition of buildings or structure built 40 years of age or older shall be permitted until the end of a 60-day review period by the Landmarks Commission to determine whether an application for landmark designation shall be filed.  If an application for landmark designation is filed, no demolition shall be approved until a final determination is made by the Landmarks Commission, or by the City Council on appeal.

 

14.             If any archaeological remains are uncovered during excavation or construction, work in the affected area shall be suspended and a recognized specialist shall be contacted to conduct a survey of the affected area at project's owner's expense.  A determination shall then be made by the Director of Planning to determine the significance of the survey findings and appropriate actions and requirements, if any, to address such findings.

 

Project Operations

 

15.             The operation shall at all times be conducted in a manner not detrimental to surrounding properties or residents by reason of lights, noise, activities, parking or other actions.

 

16.             The project shall at all times comply with the provisions of the Noise Ordinance (SMMC Chapter 4.12).

 

Final Design

 

17.             Plans for final design, landscaping, screening, trash enclosures, and signage shall be subject to review and approval by the Architectural Review Board.

 

18.             The Architectural Review Board, in its review, shall pay particular attention to the project's pedestrian orientation and amenities; scale and articulation of design elements; exterior colors, textures and materials; window treatment; glazing; and landscaping.

 

19.             Any existing mature trees shall be preserved in their present location on site, relocated to a specific location on site or replaced with specimen trees to the satisfaction of the Architectural Review Board.

 

20.             Landscaping plans shall comply with Subchapter 9.04.10.04 (Landscaping Standards) of the Zoning Ordinance including use of water-conserving landscaping materials, landscape maintenance and other standards contained in the Subchapter.

 

21.             Refuse areas, storage areas and mechanical equipment shall be screened in accordance with SMMC Section 9.04.10.02.130, 140, and 150.  Refuse areas shall be of a size adequate to meet on-site need, including recycling.  The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the screening of such areas and equipment.  Any rooftop mechanical equipment shall be minimized in height and area, and shall be located in such a way as to minimize noise and visual impacts to surrounding properties.  Unless otherwise approved by the Architectural Review Board, rooftop mechanical equipment shall be located at least five feet from the edge of the roof.  Except for solar hot water heaters, no residential water heaters shall be located on the roof.

 

22.             No gas or electric meters shall be located within the required front or street side yard setback areas.  The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the location and screening of such meters.

 

23.             Prior to consideration of the project by the Architectural Review Board, the applicant shall review disabled access requirements with the Building and Safety Division and make any necessary changes in the project design to achieve compliance with such requirements.  The Architectural Review Board, in its review, shall pay particular attention to the aesthetic, landscaping, and setback impacts of any ramps or other features necessitated by accessibility requirements.

 

24.             As appropriate, the Architectural Review Board shall require the use of anti-graffiti materials on surfaces likely to attract graffiti.

 

Building and Site Design Conditions

 

25.             The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the project’s proximity to Palisades Park, and its relationship to the park created through the landscape design and plant palate, and to elements that enhance and activate the publicly-accessible space that may include lighting, seating, landscaping and art.

 

26.             The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the trellis canopy feature to ensure that the placement of this feature is optimal and whether an alternate trellis canopy height may reduce the perceived building mass and improve the design relative to the pedestrian.

 

27.             Prior to consideration of the project by the Architectural Review Board, the applicant shall prepare elevation drawings, section drawings and/or renderings that clearly depict the proposed building’s relationship to adjacent structures, especially with regard to existing windows, balconies and terraces.

 

28.             Prior to consideration of the project by the Architectural Review Board the applicant shall revise the pedestrian bridge design so that it is limited to one level.  The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the design of the pedestrian bridge to ensure that the design and materials minimize the perceived mass of the structure.

 

29.             Prior to consideration of the project by the Architectural Review Board, the applicant shall revise the landscape and paving plan along the Second Street frontage to increase the pedestrian orientation.  Additionally, the applicant shall consider ways to address the linear nature of the roofline of the Second Street building and ways to soften the building façade with additional landscaping. The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the urban design and pedestrian orientation of the space, landscape design, paving and other amenities to create a pedestrian oriented environment.

 

30.             Prior to consideration of the project by the Architectural Review Board, the applicant shall prepare an elevation or rendering of the south Second Street building facade that clearly depicts the portion of the building that will be visible from the street and/or neighboring properties.  The Architectural Review Board in its review shall pay particular attention to the design, colors and materials of the exposed south façade of the Second Street building.

 

Construction Plan Requirements

 

31.             Final building plans submitted for approval of a building permit shall include on the plans a list of all permanent mechanical equipment to be placed indoors which may be heard outdoors.

 

32.             Any new restaurant at the site with fewer than 50 seats capacity shall install a grease interceptor with minimum 750 gallons static holding capacity in order to pretreat sewered grease.  Facilities with greater than 50 seats are required to install an interceptor with 1000 gallons minimum holding capacity.  The Environmental and Public Works Management Department may modify the above requirements only for good cause.  Specifically, the facility must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Industrial Waste Section and Building and Safety Division that interceptor installation is not feasible at the site in question.  In such cases where modifications are granted, grease traps will be required in the place of an interceptor.  Building permit plans shall show the required installation.

 

Demolition Requirements

 

33.             Until such time as the demolition is undertaken, and unless the structure is currently in use, the existing structure shall be maintained and secured by boarding up all openings, erecting a security fence, and removing all debris, bushes and planting that inhibit the easy surveillance of the property to the satisfaction of the Building and Safety Officer and the Fire Department.  Any landscaping material remaining shall be watered and maintained until demolition occurs.

 

34.             Prior to issuance of a demolition permit, applicant shall prepare for Building Division approval a rodent and pest control plan to insure that demolition and construction activities at the site do not create pest control impacts on the project neighborhood.

 

Construction Period

 

35.             Immediately after demolition and during construction, a security fence, the height of which shall be the maximum permitted by the Zoning Ordinance, shall be maintained around the perimeter of the lot.  The lot shall be kept clear of all trash, weeds, etc.

 

36.             Vehicles hauling dirt or other construction debris from the site shall cover any open load with a tarpaulin or other secure covering to minimize dust emissions.  Immediately after commencing dirt removal from the site, the general contractor shall provide the City of Santa Monica with written certification that all trucks leaving the site are covered in accordance with this condition of approval.

 

37.             Developer shall prepare a notice, subject to the review by the Director of Planning and Community Development, that lists all construction mitigation requirements, permitted hours of construction, and identifies a contact person at City Hall as well as the developer who will respond to complaints related to the proposed construction.  The notice shall be mailed to property owners and residents within a 200-foot radius from the subject site at least five (5) days prior to the start of construction.

 

38.             A sign shall be posted on the property in a manner consistent with the public hearing sign requirements which shall identify the address and phone number of the owner and/or applicant for the purposes of responding to questions and complaints during the construction period.  Said sign shall also indicate the hours of permissible construction work.

 

39.             A copy of these conditions shall be posted in an easily visible and accessible location at all times during construction at the project site.  The pages shall be laminated or otherwise protected to ensure durability of the copy.

 

Standard Conditions

 

40.             No fence, gate, or wall within the required front yard setback, inclusive of any subterranean garage slab and fencing, gate, or railing on top thereof, shall exceed a height of 42" above actual grade of the property.

 

41.             Mechanical equipment shall not be located on the side of any building which is adjacent to a residential building on the adjoining lot, unless otherwise permitted by applicable regulations.  Roof locations may be used when the mechanical equipment is installed within a sound-rated parapet enclosure or for solar and photovoltaic equipment in conformance with City ordinances.

 

42.             Final approval of any mechanical equipment installation will require a noise test in compliance with SMMC Section 4.12.040.  Equipment for the test shall be provided by the owner or contractor and the test shall be conducted by the owner or contractor.  A copy of the noise test results on mechanical equipment shall be submitted to the Community Noise Officer for review to ensure that noise levels do not exceed maximum allowable levels for the applicable noise zone.

 

43.             Final parking lot layout and specifications shall be subject to the review and approval of the Transportation Management Division.

 

44.             Construction period signage shall be subject to the approval of the Architectural Review Board.

 

45.             The property owner shall insure any graffiti on the site is promptly removed through compliance with the City’s graffiti removal program.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC WORKS MANAGEMENT (EPWM)

 

Drainage

 

46.             To mitigate storm water and surface runoff from the project site, an Urban Runoff Mitigation Plan shall be required by the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management (EPWM) pursuant to Municipal Code Chapter 7.10.  Prior to submittal of landscape plans for Architectural Review Board approval, the applicant shall contact EPWM to determine applicable requirements, which include the following:

 

·                    Non-stormwater runoff, sediment and construction waste from the construction site and parking areas is prohibited from leaving the site;

·                    An sediments or materials which are tracked off-site must be removed the same day they are tracked off-site;

·                    Excavated soil must be located on the site and soil piles should be covered and otherwise protected so that sediments do not go into the street or adjoining properties;

·                    Washing of construction or other vehicles shall be allowed adjacent to a construction site.  No runoff from washing vehicles on a construction site shall be allowed to leave the site;

·                    Drainage controls may be required depending on the extent of grading and topography of the site; and

·                    New development is required to reduce projected runoff pollution by at least twenty percent through incorporation of design elements or principles, such as increasing permeable surfaces, diverting or catching runoff via swales, berms, and the like; orientation of drain gutters towards permeable areas; modification of grades; use of retention structures and other methods.

 

47.             Parking areas and structures, and other facilities generating wastewater with significant oil and grease content are required to pretreat these wastes before discharging to the City sewer or storm drain system.  Pretreatment will require that a clarifier or oil/water separator be installed and maintained on site.  In cases where settleable solids are present (or expected) in greater amounts than floatable oil and grease, a clarifier unit will be required. In cases where the opposite waste characteristics are present, an oil/water separator with automatic oil draw-off will be required instead.  The Environmental and Public Works Management Department will set specific requirements. Building permit plans shall show the required installation.

 

Hazardous Materials

 

48.             Prior to the demolition of any existing structure, the applicant shall submit a report from an industrial hygienist to be reviewed and approved as to content and form by the Environmental and Public Works Management/Environmental Programs Division.  The report shall consist of a hazardous materials survey for the structure proposed for demolition.  The report shall include a section on asbestos and in accordance with the South Coast AQMD Rule 1403, the asbestos survey shall be performed by a state Certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC).  The report shall include a section on lead, which shall be performed by a state Certified Lead Inspector/Assessor.  Additional hazardous materials to be considered by the industrial hygienist shall include: mercury (in thermostats, switches, fluorescent light); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (including light Ballast), and fuels, pesticides, and batteries.

 

 

Streets

 

49.             Unless otherwise approved by the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management, all sidewalks shall be kept clear and passable during the grading and construction phase of the project.

 

50.             Sidewalks, curbs, gutters, paving and driveways which need replacing or removal as a result of the project as determined by the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management shall be reconstructed to the satisfaction of the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management.  Approval for this work shall be obtained from the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management prior to issuance of the building permits.

 

51.             Street and/or alley lighting shall be provided on public rights of way adjacent to the project if and as needed per the specifications and with the approval of the Department of Environmental and Public Works.

 

52.             The construction of the pedestrian bridge over First Court, as well as any reconstruction or repaving of First Court, requires approval and a permit from the City.  Prior to the issuance of a building permit for the project, the applicant shall complete any required negotiations, revise plans in accord with any agreements, and receive all required permits for construction within  the right-of-way of First Court. 

 

Off-site

 

53.             All off site improvements required by the City Engineer shall be installed.  Plans and specifications for off site improvements shall be prepared by a registered civil engineer and approved by the City Engineer.

 

Environmental Mitigation

 

54.             To mitigate solid waste impacts, prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, project owner shall submit a recycling plan to the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management for its approval.  The recycling plan shall include:

 

1)         List of materials such as white paper, computer paper, metal cans, and glass to be recycled;

2)         Location of recycling bins;

3)         Designated recycling coordinator;

4)         Nature and extent of internal and external pick-up service;

5)         Pick-up schedule; and

6)         Plan to inform tenants/ occupants of service.

 

55.             Ultra-low flow plumbing fixtures are required on all new development and remodeling where plumbing is to be added.  (Maximum 1.6 gallon toilets and 1.0 gallon urinals and low flow shower head.)

 

Construction Period Mitigation

 

56.             A construction period mitigation plan shall be prepared by the applicant for approval by the Department of Environmental and Public Works Management prior to issuance of a building permit.  The approved mitigation plan shall be posted on the site for the duration of the project construction and shall be produced upon request.  This construction period mitigation plan may be consolidated with the Construction Impact Mitigation Plan that is also required.  As applicable, this plan shall:

 

1)         Specify the names, addresses, telephone numbers and business license numbers of all contractors and subcontractors as well as the developer and architect;

2)         Describe how demolition of any existing structures is to be accomplished;

3)         Indicate where any cranes are to be located for erection/construction;

4)         Describe how much of the public street, alleyway, or sidewalk is proposed to be used in conjunction with construction;

5)         Set forth the extent and nature of any pile-driving operations;

6)         Describe the length and number of any tiebacks which must extend under the property of other persons;

7)         Specify the nature and extent of any dewatering and its effect on any adjacent buildings;

8)         Describe anticipated construction-related truck routes, number of truck trips, hours of hauling and parking location;

9)         Specify the nature and extent of any helicopter hauling;

10)      State whether any construction activity beyond normally permitted hours is proposed;

11)      Describe any proposed construction noise mitigation measures, including measures to limit the duration of idling construction trucks;

12)      Describe construction-period security measures including any fencing, lighting, and security personnel;

13)      Provide a drainage plan;

14)      Provide a construction-period parking plan which shall minimize use of public streets for parking;

15)      List a designated on-site construction manager;

16)      Provide a construction materials recycling plan which seeks to maximize the reuse/recycling of construction waste;

17)      Provide a plan regarding use of recycled and low-environmental-impact materials in building construction; and

18)      Provide a construction period water runoff control plan.

 

 

OPEN SPACE MANAGEMENT

 

57.             Street trees shall be maintained, relocated or provided as required in a manner consistent with the City's Community Forest Management Plan 2000, per the specifications of the Open Space Management Division of the Community and Cultural Service Department and the City’s Tree Code (SMMC Chapter 7.40).  No street trees shall be removed without the approval of the Open Space Management Division.

 

FIRE

 

58.             If a security gate is provided across the opening to the subterranean garage, the security gate shall be equipped with an electronic or other system which will open the gate to provide visitors with vehicular access to the garage without leaving their vehicles.  The security gate shall receive approval of the Police and Fire Departments prior to issuance of a building permit.

 

59.             The applicant authorizes reasonable City inspections of the property to ensure compliance with the conditions of approval imposed by the City in approving this project and will bear the reasonable cost of these inspections as established by Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 2.72.010 and Resolution No. 9905 (CCS) or any successor legislation thereto.  These inspections shall be no more intrusive than necessary to ensure compliance with conditions of approval.

 

TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT

 

60.             Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, the hotel operator shall prepare, implement and maintain a Transportation Demand Management strategy which shall be designed to manage traffic and all of its sources, subject to review and approval of the City Transportation Management Division and City Planning Division.  At a minimum the plan shall include:

·        A requirement to provide information regarding transit, shared ride and shuttle, bicycle routes, bicycle rental and bicycle parking in guest rooms.

·        A requirement to provide transit, shuttle, bicycle route, bicycle rental and bicycle parking information to guests upon reservation confirmation.

·        A requirement to provide transit, shuttle, bicycle routes, bicycle parking information at the reception desk.

·        Six (6) on-site bicycles that shall be made available for guests.

·        Assistance to guests with booking for shuttle services, bicycle rentals, “flex car” services and similar alternatives to the private passenger car.

·        A requirement to provide walking and jogging maps to guests. 

·        Free Big Blue Bus tokens for guests (a minimum of 1 per guest per day if requested).

 

In addition, the hotel operator shall be required to participate in the establishment of a geographic based Transportation Demand Management Association if the City adopts a requirement that such an association be formed for this area.  The hotel operator shall attend organizational meetings and provide traffic demand data to the Transportation Demand Management Association as part of the Land Use and Circulation Element update process, the City is considering establishing Transportation Demand Management Associations.  Transportation Demand Management Associations would provide employees, businesses and visitors and residents of an area with resources to increase the number of trips taken by transit, walking, bicycling and carpooling. 

 

61.             The Transportation Demand Management strategy and plan shall contain provisions for local hiring practices.

 

62.             Daily rates for hotel parking shall be no less than the prevailing rates charged at the downtown and beach parking lots.  Vehicles utilizing the parking garage, including those parked by valet services engaged by neighboring businesses, shall be permitted to remain parked in the garage for the entire day.  

 

63.             Prior to issuance of a building permit, the plans shall be revised as necessary to include an on-site shower facility for employees, intended for use by employees who walk or ride bicycles to work.  The revised plans shall demonstrate that the bicycle parking area is secure.  In addition, free Big Blue Bus passes shall be made available to employees, as well as a parking “cash-out” program.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT MITIGATION

 

Mitigation 3.5.2-1:  The applicant shall prepare, implement and maintain a Construction Impact Mitigation Plan which shall be designed to:

·     Prevent material traffic impacts on the surrounding roadway network.

·     Minimize parking impacts both to public parking and access to private parking to the greatest extent practicable.

·     Ensure safety for both those constructing the project and the surrounding community.

·     Prevent substantial truck traffic through residential neighborhoods.

The Construction Impact Mitigation Plan shall be subject to review and approval by the following City departments: Environmental and Public Works Management, Fire, Planning and Community Development and Police to ensure that the Plan has been designed in accordance with this mitigation measure. This review shall occur prior to commencement of any construction staging for the project. It shall, at a minimum, include the following:

Ongoing requirements throughout the duration of construction:

·     A detailed traffic control plan for work zones shall be maintained which includes at a minimum accurate existing and proposed: parking and travel lane configurations; warning, regulatory, guide and directional signage; and area sidewalks, bicycle lanes and parking lanes. The plan shall include specific information regarding the project's construction activities that may disrupt normal pedestrian and traffic flow and the measures to address these disruptions. Such plans must be reviewed and approved by the Transportation Management Division prior to commencement of construction and implemented in accordance with this approval.

·     Work within the public right-of-way shall be performed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., including: dirt and demolition material hauling and construction material delivery. Work within the public right-of-way outside of these hours shall only be allowed after the issuance of an after-hours construction permit.

·     Streets and equipments should be cleaned in accordance with established EPWM requirements.

·     Trucks shall only travel on a City-approved construction route. Truck queuing/staging shall not be allowed on Santa Monica streets.  Limited queuing may occur on the construction site itself.

·     Materials and equipment should be minimally visible to the public; the preferred location for materials is to be on-site, with a minimum amount of materials within a work area in the public right-of-way, subject to a current Use of Public Property Permit.

·     Any requests for work before or after normal construction hours within the public right-of-way shall be subject to review and approval through the After Hours Permit process administered by the Building and Safety Division.

·     Provision of off-street parking for construction workers, which may include the use of a remote location with shuttle transport to the site, if determined necessary by the City of Santa Monica.

Project Coordination Elements that shall be implemented prior to commencement of construction:

·     Advise the traveling public of impending construction activities (e.g. information signs, portable message signs, media listing/notification, implementation of an approved traffic control plan).

·     Approval from the City through issuance of a Use of Public Property Permit, Excavation Permit, Sewer Permit or Oversize Load Permit, as well as any Caltrans Permits required, for any construction work requiring encroachment into public rights-of-way, detours or any other work within the public right-of-way.

·     Timely notification of construction schedules to all affected agencies (e.g., Big Blue Bus, Police Department, Fire Department, Environmental and Public Works Management Department, and Planning and Community Development Department) and to all owners and residential and commercial tenants of property within a radius of 500 feet.

·     Coordination of construction work with affected agencies in advance of start of work. Approvals may take up to two weeks per each submittal.

·     Approval by the Transportation Management Division of any haul routes, for earth, concrete or construction materials and equipment hauling.

Mitigation 3.5.3-1:  All equipment shall be properly tuned and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-2:  Electrically powered construction activity shall utilize electricity from power poles rather than temporary diesel power generators and/or gasoline power generators (i.e. air compressors) where feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-3:  General contractors shall maintain and operate construction equipment such that exhaust emissions are minimized.  For example, engines shall be turned off while in queues or while loading/unloading.  In addition, heavy equipment and petroleum-powered generators shall be turned off when not in use. 

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-4:  Exposed surfaces during site preparation activity shall be kept visibly moist.

Mitigation 3.5.3-5:  Water spray techniques shall be employed during demolition activity to limit fugitive dust.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-1:  Construction equipment, fixed or mobile, shall be equipped with properly operating and maintained muffler exhaust systems.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-2:  Construction activities shall be scheduled so as to avoid operating several pieces of equipment simultaneously to the extent feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-3:  Engine idling from construction equipment such as dozers and haul trucks shall be limited to the extent feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-4:  Construction equipment, fixed or mobile, shall be located as far from noise-sensitive uses as practical.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-5:  The project applicant shall provide a telephone number for local residents to call to submit complaints associated with construction noise.  The number shall be posted on the project site and shall be easily viewed from the adjacent public areas.

 

MM-1 Construction Monitoring for Archaeological Resources.  During construction, a qualified archaeologist shall be retained by the Applicant and approved by the City of Santa Monica to monitor grading and earthmoving activities up to six feet below the ground surface in the areas where the proposed subterranean parking garage and swimming pool would be constructed.  All cultural resources unearthed by project construction activities shall be evaluated by qualified personnel (a Principal Investigator).  The Principal Investigator shall prepare a final report to be filed with the Applicant, the City of Santa Monica, and CHRIS-SCCIC. The report shall include a list of resources recovered, documentation of each site/locality, and interpretation of resources recovered.  The report shall also include all specialists’ reports as appendices.  If the resources are found to be significant, a report including the results of the recovery and evaluation process shall be required.  The City of Santa Monica shall designate repositories in the event that significant resources are recovered. 

 

MM-2 Construction Monitoring for Paleontological Resources.  A qualified paleontologist shall be retained by the Applicant and approved by the City of Santa Monica to monitor all excavation or grading activity in sediments five feet or more below the original ground surface.  If fossils are found during monitoring, the paleontologist shall prepare a report summarizing the results of the monitoring program including methods of fossil recovery and curation, and a description of the fossils collected and their significance.  A copy of the report shall be provided to City of Santa Monica.  The fossils and a copy of the report shall be deposited in an accredited curation facility. 

 

 


VOTES

 

1.         Adopt the resolution certifying the attached Environmental Impact Report

 

Ayes:       

Nays:             

Abstain:         

Absent:    

 

2.                  Adopt a draft resolution approving a Statement of Overriding Considerations and Mitigation Monitoring Program for project-related environmental impacts after making necessary CEQA findings

 

Ayes:       

Nays:             

Abstain:         

Absent:    

 

3.                  Approve Development Review Permit 05-007, Conditional Use Permit 05-009, and Variance 06-018 based on Findings and with Conditions

 

Ayes:       

Nays: 

Abstain:         

Absent:    

 

4.                  Adopt a Resolution  to Approve the General Plan Amendment

 

Ayes:       

Nays: 

Abstain:         

Absent:    

 


NOTICE

 

If this is a final decision not subject to further appeal under the City of Santa Monica Comprehensive Land Use and Zoning Ordinance, the time within which judicial review of this decision must be sought is governed by Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6, which provision has been adopted by the City pursuant to Municipal Code Section 1.16.010.

 

I hereby certify that this Statement of Official Action accurately reflects the final determination of the City Council of the City of Santa Monica.

 

 

_____________________________       _____________________________

Maria M. Stewart, City Clerk                        Date

 

 

Acknowledgement by Permit Holder

 

I hereby agree to the above conditions of approval and acknowledge that failure to comply with such conditions shall constitute grounds for potential revocation of the permit approval.

 

 

 

Print Name and Title

 

Date

 

 

 

Applicant’s Signature

 

 

 


ATTACHMENT D

 

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION AND COMMENT MATERIAL

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


NOTICE OF A PUBLIC HEARING

BEFORE THE SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL

 

SUBJECT:   08APP-006 and 08APP-007 (Development Review Permit 05-007, Conditional Use Permit 05-009, Variance 06-018, General Plan Amendment 06-001)

1515-1525 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street

APPLICANT:             Michael Farzam, Travelodge Hotel

PROPERTY OWNER:          Ocean Avenue Management, LLC

 

A public hearing will be held by the City Council to consider the following request:

 

Appeal of the Planning Commission’s Certification of Environmental Impact Report and adoption of a Statement of Overriding Considerations (SOC) and approval of Development Review Permit, Conditional Use Permit, Variance and General Plan Amendment to allow the construction of a new 89,900 square foot, four-story Travelodge Hotel with 164 guestrooms, approximately 4,700 square feet of ground floor commercial/retail uses and subterranean parking.  The new hotel will consist of two buildings (one on Ocean Avenue and one on Second Street) connected by a pedestrian bridge across the 1st Court alley, and will replace the existing Travelodge Hotel at 1525 Ocean Avenue and the Pacific Sands Hotel at 1515 Ocean Avenue and the associated Annex at 1530 Second Street.  A General Plan Amendment to modify reference to the Santa Monica Place viewing decks on the Scenic and Visual Resources Map in the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program has also been requested. 

 

Approval of the proposed project will require the City Council to adopt a Statement of Overriding Considerations since the FEIR found that the project will have significant and unavoidable impacts to transportation/traffic, aesthetics (views), construction effects, and neighborhood effects. All other potential impacts can be mitigated to a less than significant level. The Final EIR, which consists of the Draft EIR and the responses to comments received during the comment period on the DEIR, is available at the Office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 1685 Main Street and at the City Planning Division Public Counter, Room 111 in City Hall. The Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is also available on the City’s website: http://santa-monica.org/planning/planningcomm/environmentalreports.html

 

 

DATE/TIME: TUESDAY, September 9, AT 6:45 p.m.

 

LOCATION:   City Council Chambers, Second Floor, Santa Monica City Hall

                        1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, California

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO COMMENT

The City of Santa Monica encourages public comment. You may comment at the City Council public hearing, or by writing a letter. Written information will be given to the City Council at the meeting.

 

Address your letters to:        City Clerk

                                                Re: Travelodge Hotel Project

                                                1685 Main Street, Room 102

                                                Santa Monica, CA 90401

 

MORE INFORMATION

If you want more information about this project or wish to review the project file, please contact Laura Beck, Associate Planner at (310) 458-8341, or by e-mail at laura.beck@santa-monica.org. The Zoning Ordinance is available at the Planning Counter during business hours and on the City’s web site at www.santa-monica.org.

 

The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, please contact (310) 458-8341 or (310) 458-8696 TTY at least 72 hours in advance. All written materials are available in alternate format upon request. Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Lines numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and the Tide Ride serve City Hall.

 

Pursuant to California Government Code Section 65009(b), if this matter is subsequently challenged in Court, the challenge may be limited to only those issues raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City of Santa Monica at, or prior to, the public hearing.

 

ESPAÑOL

Esto es una noticia de una audiencia pública para revisar applicaciónes proponiendo desarrollo en Santa Monica.  Si deseas más información, favor de llamar a Carmen Gutierrez en la División de Planificación al número (310) 458-8341.

 

 

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

 

___________________________

Amanda Schachter

Planning Manager

 

 


ATTACHMENT E

 

RESOLUTION CERTIFYING EIR

 


EIR Certification Resolution                                                                  Santa Monica, California

City Council Meeting: September 9, 2008

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. ___________

(City Council Series)

 

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA

CERTIFYING THE FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

PREPARED FOR THE TRAVELODGE HOTEL PROJECT LOCATED

AT 1515-1525 OCEAN AVENUE AND 1530 SECOND STREET.

 

WHEREAS, a Notice of Preparation (NOP) was filed with the California Office of Planning and Research on December 14, 2005 and distributed to involved public agencies and interested parties for 30-day public review period that concluded on January 17, 2006; and

 

WHEREAS, a Notice of Completion and Public Availability of a Draft EIR was published on October 1, 2007; and

 

WHEREAS, the Draft EIR was circulated for a 45-day period that concluded on November 14, 2007; and

 

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2008, the Final EIR was published; and

 

WHEREAS, on  September 9, 2008, the City Council, as Lead City Agency, has reviewed and considered the Final EIR in full compliance with State and City CEQA Guidelines.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

 

SECTION 1.  The City Council has reviewed and considered the information contained in the Final Environmental Impact Report on the Travelodge Hotel Project prior to acting on the project.

 

SECTION 2.  The City Council certifies that the Final EIR for the project was presented to the City Council, that the Final EIR was completed in full compliance with State law and City CEQA Guidelines, that there was adequate public review of the Draft Environmental Impact Report, that it has considered all comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report and responses to comments, that the Final Environmental Impact Report adequately discusses all significant environmental issues, and that the Final Environmental Impact Report reflects the independent judgment and analysis of the City Council.

 

            SECTION 3.  The Director of Planning and Community Development shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution, and thenceforth and thereafter the same shall be in full force and effect.

 

 

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

 

 

_________________________________

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE

City Attorney


ATTACHMENT F

 

RESOLUTION MAKING NECESSARY CEQA FINDINGS AND ADOPTING STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONSIDRATIONS AND ADOPTING A MITIGATION MONITORING PROGRAM


City Council Meeting: September 9, 2008                                          Santa Monica, California

 

 

 

RESOLUTION NO.__________

(City Council Series)

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA MAKING FINDINGS

NECESSARY TO APPROVE THE TRAVELODGE HOTEL PROJECT AND ADOPTING A STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONSIDERATIONS

 AND MITIGATION MONITORING PROGRAM

 

           

 

            WHEREAS, an Environmental Impact Report has been prepared which analyzes the environmental effects of the Travelodge Hotel Project located at 1515-1525 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street; and

 

            WHEREAS, on September 9, 2008, the City Council, as Lead City Agency, reviewed the Final Environmental Impact Report; and

 

            WHEREAS, on that date, the City Council certified that the Final Environmental Impact Report was prepared in full compliance with State and City CEQA Guidelines,

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

 

SECTION 1.  Consistent with Article IV, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15128 of the State CEQA Guidelines, the Initial Study/Notice of Preparation, incorporated herein by reference, determined that the following environmental impacts were not considered potentially significant and were not addressed further in the Final Environmental Impact Report:  Geology/Soils, Biological Resources; Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Recreation, Mineral Resources, Population/Housing, Cultural Resources, Economic and Social Impacts, Hydrology/Water Quality, Utilities and Service Systems, Public Services, and Agricultural Resources. 

           

SECTION 2.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 and 15092 of the State CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in the Final EIR at Chapter 7, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that there are no significant impacts for Aesthetics (other than views), Shadows, Air Quality (odors), Noise and Vibration, and Land Use and Planning.

 

            SECTION 3.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Sections 15091 and 15092 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, the City Council finds that most impacts resulting from the project can be reduced to an acceptable level.  More specifically, significant environmental effects as identified below can feasibly be avoided and have been eliminated or substantially lessened to below a level of significance.  The remaining unavoidable significant effects cannot be fully mitigated but are nevertheless found to be acceptable due to overriding considerations, as discussed in Section 7.

            (a) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts to Construction Effects (temporary construction related traffic flow, parking and safety).  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 and 15092 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Volume 1, Section  3.5.2, and Final EIR Volume 2, Sections II, III, and V incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required for the project which will avoid or substantially lessen the potential significant environmental effects identified with respect to Construction Effects  related to temporary construction related traffic flow, parking and safety, to below levels of significance.

Mitigation 3.5.2-1: The applicant shall prepare, implement and maintain a Construction Impact Mitigation Plan which shall be designed to:

·     Prevent material traffic impacts on the surrounding roadway network.

·     Minimize parking impacts both to public parking and access to private parking to the greatest extent practicable.

·     Ensure safety for both those constructing the project and the surrounding community.

·     Prevent substantial truck traffic through residential neighborhoods.

The Construction Impact Mitigation Plan shall be subject to review and approval by the following City departments: Environmental and Public Works Management, Fire, Planning and Community Development and Police to ensure that the Plan has been designed in accordance with this mitigation measure. This review shall occur prior to commencement of any construction staging for the project. It shall, at a minimum, include the following:

Ongoing requirements throughout the duration of construction:

·     A detailed traffic control plan for work zones shall be maintained which includes at a minimum accurate existing and proposed: parking and travel lane configurations; warning, regulatory, guide and directional signage; and area sidewalks, bicycle lanes and parking lanes. The plan shall include specific information regarding the project's construction activities that may disrupt normal pedestrian and traffic flow and the measures to address these disruptions. Such plans must be reviewed and approved by the Transportation Management Division prior to commencement of construction and implemented in accordance with this approval.

·     Work within the public right-of-way shall be performed between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., including: dirt and demolition material hauling and construction material delivery. Work within the public right-of-way outside of these hours shall only be allowed after the issuance of an after-hours construction permit.

·     Streets and equipments should be cleaned in accordance with established EPWM requirements.

·     Trucks shall only travel on a City-approved construction route. Truck queuing/staging shall not be allowed on Santa Monica streets.  Limited queuing may occur on the construction site itself.

·     Materials and equipment should be minimally visible to the public; the preferred location for materials is to be on-site, with a minimum amount of materials within a work area in the public right-of-way, subject to a current Use of Public Property Permit.

·     Any requests for work before or after normal construction hours within the public right-of-way shall be subject to review and approval through the After Hours Permit process administered by the Building and Safety Division.

·     Provision of off-street parking for construction workers, which may include the use of a remote location with shuttle transport to the site, if determined necessary by the City of Santa Monica.

Project Coordination Elements that shall be implemented prior to commencement of construction:

·     Advise the traveling public of impending construction activities (e.g. information signs, portable message signs, media listing/notification, implementation of an approved traffic control plan).

·     Approval from the City through issuance of a Use of Public Property Permit, Excavation Permit, Sewer Permit or Oversize Load Permit, as well as any Caltrans Permits required, for any construction work requiring encroachment into public rights-of-way, detours or any other work within the public right-of-way.

·     Timely notification of construction schedules to all affected agencies (e.g., Big Blue Bus, Police Department, Fire Department, Environmental and Public Works Management Department, and Planning and Community Development Department) and to all owners and residential and commercial tenants of property within a radius of 500 feet.

·     Coordination of construction work with affected agencies in advance of start of work. Approvals may take up to two weeks per each submittal.

·     Approval by the Transportation Management Division of any haul routes, for earth, concrete or construction materials and equipment hauling.

 

 

(b)               The Final EIR determined that without mitigation the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts to Construction Effects (noise impacts).  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 and 15092 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR Volume 1 at Sections 3.5.4, and Final EIR, Volume 2, Section V, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required for the project which will avoid or substantially lessen the potential significant environmental effects identified with respect to Construction Effects related to short term increases in noise associated with construction activities to below levels of significance.

Mitigation 3.5.4-1:  Construction equipment, fixed or mobile, shall be equipped with properly operating and maintained muffler exhaust systems.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-2:  Construction activities shall be scheduled so as to avoid operating several pieces of equipment simultaneously to the extent feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-3:  Engine idling from construction equipment such as dozers and haul trucks shall be limited to the extent feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-4:  Construction equipment, fixed or mobile, shall be located as far from noise-sensitive uses as practical.

 

Mitigation 3.5.4-5:  The project applicant shall provide a telephone number for local residents to call to submit complaints associated with construction noise.  The number shall be posted on the project site and shall be easily viewed from the adjacent public areas.

 

 

SECTION 4.  Consistent with Article IV, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, the City Council finds that significant adverse environmental effects in the areas of Construction Effects (air quality and views), Transportation/Circulation and Parking, Aesthetics (views), and Neighborhood Effects (air quality and views) cannot feasibly be avoided or mitigated to below a level of significance.  Nevertheless, these impacts are found to be acceptable due to overriding considerations as discussed in Section 7.

 

(a) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts to Construction Effects (air quality).  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 and 15092 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR Volume 1 at Section 3.5, and Final EIR Volume 2 Section V, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required for the project which will substantially lessen, to the greatest extent feasible, the potential significant environmental effects identified with respect to Construction Effects related to impacts to air quality.  However, temporary and cumulative localized PM10 and PM2.5 construction emissions would still exceed the SCAQMD daily significance thresholds and construction activities would result in localized significant and unavoidable impacts to air quality.

Mitigation 3.5.3-1:  All equipment shall be properly tuned and maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-2:  Electrically powered construction activity shall utilize electricity from power poles rather than temporary diesel power generators and/or gasoline power generators (i.e. air compressors) where feasible.

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-3:  General contractors shall maintain and operate construction equipment such that exhaust emissions are minimized.  For example, engines shall be turned off while in queues or while loading/unloading.  In addition, heavy equipment and petroleum-powered generators shall be turned off when not in use. 

 

Mitigation 3.5.3-4:  Exposed surfaces during site preparation activity shall be kept visibly moist.

Mitigation 3.5.3-5:  Water spray techniques shall be employed during demolition activity to limit fugitive dust.

 

(b) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts to Construction Effects (views) and Aesthetics (views).  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in Final EIR Sections 3.1, 3.5 and 3.6 and Final EIR Volume 2, Sections III, IV, V, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that, the proposed project would result in the loss of scenic views of the ocean from publicly accessible viewing decks located on the west side of Santa Monica Place.  The proposed project’s impact on the ocean views can only be mitigated through a reduction in the height of the development.  However, since the imposition of this mitigation measure would result in a significant reduction of the number of hotel rooms in the proposed project, the Final EIR analyzed height reduction as a project alternative rather than a mitigation measure and the impact on views resulting from the proposed project are considered significant and unavoidable. 

(b) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation the proposed project could result in significant adverse impacts to Traffic/Circulation and Parking.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in Final EIR Section 3.2, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that, the proposed project would result in a net increase of 565 daily trips, including 37 weekday AM peak hour trips, 48 weekday PM peak hour trips and 55 weekend mid-day peak hours trips.  The increase in vehicles traveling on the surrounding roadway network would result in significant and unavoidable impacts at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, Fourth Street and the I-10 Westbound Off-Ramp and Fourth Street and the I-10 Eastbound On-Ramp.

Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue – Mitigation measures that would fully mitigate the project-related impact at this location would require improvements such as widening the westbound approach to provide a second left-turn lane.  Implementation of this mitigation measure would entail the elimination of the eastbound right lane and would also require contribution of right-of-way by the City, reducing pedestrian sidewalks, bus stop and pedestrian crossing waiting areas in a heavy pedestrian-use area, and/or removal of all or parts of public or private buildings.  Because of these secondary impacts, this mitigation measure is deemed infeasible.

Fourth Street and I-10 Westbound Off-Ramp—Mitigation measures that would fully mitigate the project-related impact at this location would require improvements such as providing an additional lane on the southbound approach. The major issue at this location is the projected number of vehicles on the southbound approach, serving motorists leaving the downtown area via Interstate 10. After examining the layout of the intersection, it was determined that a third southbound lane could be added by narrowing or eliminating the raised center median on the north leg of the intersection and the painted median on the south leg of the intersection. This added lane would be aligned with the left-turn only lanes approaching the intersection of 4th Street and I-10 eastbound on-ramp/Olympic Drive, allowing drivers seeking to access eastbound I-10 to position their vehicles sooner and providing additional queuing space. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of landscaped median removal, new curb, new pavement, new striping, new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads, as well as design and installation of an area of green space visible from the 4th Street sidewalk and comparable in area to any landscaped median that is removed.

 

Although these measures would reduce the impacts to a less-than-significant levels, the City Council finds these measures are infeasible.  More specifically, these measures are infeasible because the City could not implement the measures at its sole discretion. The intersections are owned in part by Caltrans and changes to them therefore, would require its approval.  However, Caltrans has no review authority over this project.  The City also has not adopted a traffic mitigation fee program.  Thus, this impact remains significant and unavoidable.  Additionally, eliminating sidewalk crosswalks and landscaped parkways would result in negative secondary impacts to the area and impact the neighborhood context.  Eliminating sidewalk crosswalks would change the historical pedestrian pattern, including pedestrians going to and coming from Santa Monica High School.  Removal of landscaped parkways would remove green space included in the Open Space Element which provides visual relief at a key entry point to the City’s downtown.

 

Fourth Street and I-10 Eastbound On-ramp—Mitigation measures that would fully mitigate the project-related impact at this location would require improvements such as re-striping the northbound approach to provide a left, through/right-turn, and an exclusive right-turn lane. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of new striping, signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads. To ensure pedestrian safety with the proposed dual right-turn lanes, the existing crosswalk on the east leg of the intersection would be removed, which would require public notification and a public hearing. The pedestrian route would be shifted to the existing crosswalks on the south and the west legs of the intersection and over the existing sidewalk on the west side of the bridge over the freeway to Colorado Avenue, eliminating a direct route between downtown, transit, Santa Monica High School and area motels.

 

Although these measures would reduce the impacts to a less-than-significant levels, the City Council finds these measures are infeasible.  More specifically, these measures are infeasible because the City could not implement the measures at its sole discretion. The intersections are owned in part by Caltrans and changes to them therefore, would require its approval.  However, Caltrans has no review authority over this project.  The City also has not adopted a traffic mitigation fee program.  Thus, this impact remains significant and unavoidable.  Additionally, eliminating sidewalk crosswalks and landscaped parkways would result in negative secondary impacts to the area and impact the neighborhood context.  Eliminating sidewalk crosswalks would change the historical pedestrian pattern, including pedestrians going to and coming from Santa Monica High School.  Removal of landscaped parkways would remove green space included in the Open Space Element which provides visual relief at a key entry point to the City’s downtown.

 

However, as conditions of project approval, the hotel operation will be required to: prepare, implement and maintain a Transportation Demand Management strategy which shall be designed to manage traffic and all of its sources, subject to review and approval of the City Transportation Management Division and City Planning Division.  At a minimum the plan shall include:

·        A requirement to provide information regarding transit, shared ride and shuttle, bicycle routes, bicycle rental and bicycle parking in guest rooms.

·        A requirement to provide transit, shuttle, bicycle route, bicycle rental and bicycle parking information to guests upon reservation confirmation.

·        A requirement to provide transit, shuttle, bicycle routes, bicycle parking information at the reception desk.

·        Six (6) on-site bicycles that shall be made available for guests.

·        Assistance to guests with booking for shuttle services, bicycle rentals, “flex car” services and similar alternatives to the private passenger car.

·        A requirement to provide walking and jogging maps to guests. 

·        Free Big Blue Bus tokens for guests (a minimum of 1 per guest per day if requested).

 

In addition, the hotel operator shall be required to participate in the establishment of a geographic based Transportation Demand Management Association if the City adopts a requirement that such an association be formed for this area.  As part of the Land Use and Circulation Element update process, the City is considering establishing Transportation Demand Management Associations.  Transportation Demand Management Associations would provide employees, businesses and visitors and residents of an area with resources to increase the amount of trips taken by transit, walking, bicycling and carpooling.  If the City adopts this requirement, the hotel operator shall attend organizational meetings and provide traffic demand data to the Transportation Demand Management Association.

           

SECTION 5.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in Final EIR Volume 1, Sections 4.2 and 4.3, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the No Project Alternative would be environmentally superior to the proposed project on the basis of the minimization or avoidance of physical environmental impacts. However, the No Project Alternative is not feasible since it does not satisfy the basic project objectives.  These objectives include:

·        Redevelop the project site in a manner that will replace the existing deteriorating motel buildings (Travelodge and Pacific Sands) with a new single integrated affordable lodging facility within the Coastal Zone of Downtown Santa Monica.

·        Develop a replacement lodging facility that accommodates families, business travelers and other moderate-income visitors in the tradition of the current hotels that offer moderately priced hotel rooms for guests. 

·        Contribute to the overall balance and mix of uses in Santa Monica’s Downtown through the replacement of the existing affordable lodging facilities with a new limited-service hotel operation that is not a self-contained facility (i.e. no on-site restaurant, bar, spa, banquet facilities, etc.) and which will allow hotel guests to avail themselves of the nearby restaurants, shops, spas, entertainment and recreational opportunities such the Third Street Promenade, the Santa Monica Pier, the beach and the Pacific Ocean.

·        Construct a new energy efficient hotel in lieu of the existing out-of-date buildings.

·        Construct a new hotel that will allow guests to avail themselves of views of the Pacific Ocean by designing the structure fronting on Ocean Avenue with direct views of the ocean from the guest rooms.  

·        Integrate the properties into a single operation that is physically connected via a pedestrian bridge over the alley to allow the hotel to function efficiently. 

·        Provide sufficient parking for the proposed hotel as well as contributing to the public parking supply in the immediate vicinity.

·        Provide ground floor retail space on 2nd Street to compliment the hotel use and enhance the pedestrian streetscape.

 None of these benefits of the project would be obtained if the No Project Alternative were adopted.  As demonstrated by the feasibility analysis it is  not possible to continue to feasibly operate the existing facilities. 

SECTION 6.  The CEQA Guidelines require that if the environmentally superior alternative is the No Project alternative, that the EIR shall also identify an environmentally superior alternative among the other alternatives. Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in Final EIR Volume 1 Section 4.2 and 4.3 and Final EIR Volume 2, Sections II, III and IV incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that, based on the other project alternatives, the Reduced Intensity (2 Story) Alternative (68 hotel rooms within two, two-story buildings) is environmentally superior. The environmental impacts associated with this alternative would be less than the impacts of the proposed project (164 hotel rooms within two four-story buildings) in the all areas, including Aesthetics (view), Traffic/Circulation and Parking, Air Quality, Noise, Construction and Neighborhood Effects.  However, it is only in the areas of Transportation/Circulation and Parking, Aesthetics (views), Construction Effects (air quality and views) and Neighborhood Effects (air quality and views) that the proposed project impacts cannot be adequately mitigated.  Moreover, as demonstrated by the feasibility analysis prepared by PKF Consulting on February 1, 2007 and peer reviewed by Maurice Robinson & Associates, LLC, on June 21, 2007, incorporated herein by reference, and based on the analysis and conclusions in those reports, the City Council finds that the Reduced Intensity (2 Story) Alternative would not be economically feasible.  Moreover, while a luxury hotel would be economically feasible, it would not achieve the key objective of providing an affordable hotel.

(a)          The Reduced Intensity (2 and 3 Story) Alternative (81 hotel rooms within two buildings - a two-story building along Ocean Avenue and a three-story building along Second Street) is also environmentally superior to the proposed project but to a lesser extent than the Reduced Intensity (2 Story) Alternative. The environmental impacts associated with this alternative would be somewhat less than the impacts of the proposed project (164 hotel rooms within two four-story buildings) in the areas of Traffic/Circulation and Parking, Air Quality, Noise, Construction and Neighborhood Effects, and would be less than significant in the areas of Aesthetics (view), and Construction Effects impacts related to views during construction.  However, it is only in the areas of Transportation/Circulation and Parking, Aesthetics (views), Construction Effects (air quality and views) and Neighborhood Effects (air quality and views) that the proposed project impacts cannot be adequately mitigated.  Moreover, as demonstrated by the feasibility analysis prepared by PKF Consulting on February 1, 2007 and peer reviewed by Maurice Robinson & Associates, LLC, on June 21, 2007, incorporated herein by reference, and based on the analysis and conclusions in those reports, the City Council finds that the Reduced Intensity (2 and 3 Story) Alternative would not be economically feasible.  Moreover, while a luxury hotel would be economically feasible, it would not achieve the key objective of providing an affordable hotel.

(b)          The Single Site Alternative is not environmentally superior to the proposed project in that the impacts would be similar to the proposed project in most respects.  Moreover, consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in Final EIR Section 4.2 and 4.3, the City Council finds that although the impact in the area of air quality would be similar to but slightly less than the proposed project, these impacts are less than significant for both the Single Site Alternative and the proposed project. 

 

            SECTION 7.  The Final EIR found that the project would result in significant unavoidable adverse impacts in the areas of Transportation/Circulation and Parking, Aesthetics (views), Construction Effects (air quality and views) and Neighborhood Effects (air quality and views) cannot feasibly be avoided or mitigated to below a level of significance.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 13 of the City CEQA Guidelines and Section 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, the City Council hereby makes a Statement of Overriding Considerations and finds that the benefits of the project outweigh its unavoidable environmental impacts based on the reasons identified below.  The benefits identified are each one, in and of themselves, sufficient to make a determination that the adverse environmental effects are acceptable.

(a)         The Travelodge Hotel project provides a prominent, well designed project that implements City urban design policies to create an architecturally distinctive structure along Ocean Avenue, one of the City’s prominent boulevards.

(b)         The Travelodge Hotel project provides a well designed project on Second Street that implements City urban design policies to create a pedestrian oriented building with ground floor pedestrian oriented retail uses.

(c)         The Travelodge Hotel project replaces the existing Pacific Sands Hotel Annex, which due to its orientation away from the street, the building placement abutting the sidewalk, the lack of architectural style and poor building condition, is an eyesore along Second Street.

(d)         The Travelodge Hotel project replaces 88 hotel rooms in two un-rehabilitated hotels with 164 new affordable hotel rooms when market analyses show that additional hotel rooms are necessary to address unmet demand.

(e)         The Travelodge Hotel project provides affordable ocean-adjacent hotel within the Coastal Zone.

(f)           The Travelodge Hotel project provides a publicly-accessible plaza along Ocean Avenue which provides an additional opportunity for public enjoyment of views of Palisades Park and the Pacific Ocean.

(g)         The Travelodge Hotel project will have an estimated economic impact of approximately $20,700,000 per year from direct and indirect visitor spending with direct fiscal impact to the City of approximately $1,300,000.

(h)         Land Use Element Objective 1.1 provides that the City should fulfill its role as a recreational and business center. The project supports this objective through the provision of a 164 room hotel, restaurant and publicly-accessible outdoor plaza to serve the recreational and business accommodations needs of the region.

(i)           Land Use Element Objective 1.5 that the City should expand visitor accommodations and related uses in the Oceanfront area while protecting the existing residential mix and Policy 1.5.1 provides that the Oceanfront District of the City to be devoted primarily to visitor accommodations and commercial recreation. The project supports this objective of the Land Use Element through the provision of a one-hundred and sixty-four room hotel, retail space and publicly-accessible outdoor plaza.

(j)            Land Use Element Policy 1.5.4 provides that the City should encourage the development of active uses oriented to walk-in traffic on Ocean Avenue.  The project includes 1,480 square feet of retail space with an outdoor seating area. 

(k)         Land Use Element Objective 3.5 provides for the maximization of the City’s greatest physical asset – its oceanfront setting and view. The proposed project provides a publicly-accessible plaza from Ocean Avenue across from Palisades Park, balconies accessible from hotel rooms and a publicly-accessible retail space designed to accommodate incidental food service and an outdoor dining area where patrons can enjoy sunsets and views of Palisades Park, the Santa Monica Bay shoreline and the Pacific Ocean.

(l)            Land Use Element Policies 1.3.2 and Policy 1.4.2 require the Downtown, including Second Street, to be a primary location for commercial use with priority for retail to serve out-of-town visitors and uses that encourage street activity after normal business hours.

(m)        Land Use Element Policy 1.3.4 requires active pedestrian-oriented uses to promote pedestrian activity at the ground floor in the Downtown, including Second Street.

(n)         Land Use Element Policies 3.3.1 and 3.3.6 requires the provision of pedestrian amenities and design features at the ground floor street frontage including frequent entrances, windows, awnings, and open spaces, particularly in the Downtown, including Second Street.

(o)         Policy 31 of the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program stipulates that “visitor-serving commercial, recreational facilities designed to enhance public opportunities for coastal recreation and coastal dependent development and uses shall have priority over residential or general commercial development.  Land in Upland subareas necessary to support coastal recreational uses shall be reserved for such uses.”  The Travelodge Hotel project implements this policy in that it provides affordable accommodations along Ocean Avenue and Second Street in the proximity of the Santa Monica Pier, Palisades Park and the Pacific Ocean. 

(p)         Policy 34 of the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program stipulates that “along the east side of Ocean Avenue, between Colorado Avenue and California Avenue, tourist accommodations and related support facilities such as shops and restaurants …shall be the principal permitted uses…”  The Travelodge Hotel project implements this policy in that it provides affordable accommodations along Ocean Avenue between Colorado Avenue and Broadway.

(q)         Policy 64 of the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program stipulates that “Ocean Avenue, south of California Avenue to Colorado Avenue shall accommodate new visitor-serving uses including hotels. Restaurants, commercial recreational uses, visitor serving retail uses…”  The Travelodge Hotel project implements this policy in that it provides affordable accommodations along Ocean Avenue between Broadway and Colorado Avenue.

(r)           Policy 66 of the Land Use Plan of the City’s Local Coastal Program stipulates that “usable terraces, balconies, and viewing platforms and areas available for use by the general public shall be encouraged in new development.   The Travelodge Hotel project implements this policy in that it provides a publicly accessible plaza along Ocean Avenue that is available for use by the general public.

 

            SECTION 8.  Consistent with Section 21081.6(d) of the California Environmental Quality Act, the documents which constitute the record of proceedings for approving this project are located in the Planning and Community Development Department, 1685 Main Street, Room 212, Santa Monica, California.  The custodian of these documents is Laura Beck, AICP, Associate Planner.

           

            SECTION 9.     Consistent with Public Resources Code Section 21081.6, the City Council adopts the Mitigation Monitoring Program, which is included as Attachment A, to mitigate or avoid significant effects of the Project on the environment, as detailed in Sections 3 and 4 of this Resolution, and to ensure compliance during project implementation.

 

            SECTION 10.  The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution, and thenceforth and thereafter the same shall be in full force and effect.

 

 

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

 

 

 

________________________

MARSHA JONES MOUTRIE

City Attorney

 

 

 

 


ATTACHMENT G

 

RESOLUTION CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL OF THE LAND USE PLAN SCENIC AND VISUAL RESOURCES MAP OF THE LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM AMENDMENT


RESOLUTION NO_________  (CCS)

 

 (City Council Series)

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA TO

APPROVE AN AMENDMENT OF THE LAND USE PLAN SCENIC AND VISUAL RESOURCES MAP OF THE LOCAL COASTAL PROGRAM TO DELINEATE THE PUBLIC VIEWS THAT WILL BE AFFORDED FROM THE REMODELED VIEWING DECK AT SANTA MONICA PLACE

 

           

WHEREAS, in approving the Santa Monica Place project in 1977, the California Coastal Commission required that public viewing decks within a 10,000 square foot open public desk space be provided at the second and third floors of the Second Street elevation to afford the public an opportunity to view the sandy beach, ocean, ocean horizon and Santa Monica Pier; and

 

WHEREAS, when Santa Monica Place was built in 1980, the public viewing decks were provided at the second and third floors and were originally used, in part, for outdoor dining and public viewing; and

 

WHEREAS, within the past ten years the viewing areas ceased to be used for outdoor dining and few, if any, members of the public used the decks for viewing the ocean, beach and Santa Monica Pier as retail activity at the second and third floors of Santa Monica Place has declined; and  

 

WHEREAS, pursuant to Santa Monica Municipal Code Section 9.02.20.18.080(c) application 06GPA-001 was filed with the City of Santa Monica on September 15, 2006 in conjunction with a  four story, affordable 164-room hotel development at 1515 Ocean Avenue and 1530 Second Street which would impact the views from the viewing decks at Santa Monica Place; and

 

            WHEREAS, application 06GPA-001 requested that the Land Use Plan Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Local Coastal Program be amended to remove the second and third floor decks on the Second Street elevation of Santa Monica Place as designated public viewing areas;

 

WHEREAS, since the Coastal Commission’s approval of Santa Monica Place and construction of the mall there have been a number of commercial buildings approved by the Coastal Commission and built along Second Street and Ocean Avenue that diminish the views from the viewing decks, including the building at 1540 Second Street; and

 

WHEREAS, in approving the building at 1540 Second Street in 2004, the Coastal Commission found the views from the second and third floor viewing decks were not significant and the decks offered very little ocean viewing opportunities for the public due to the location of the mall, existing development and other obstructions along Second Street and Ocean Avenue and, for these reasons, suggested that the City should have amended the Land Use Plan Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Local Coastal Program to remove the decks as public viewing areas prior to City approval of the development; and

WHEREAS, the remodel of Santa Monica Place has been approved by the City and the Coastal Commission, and construction is ongoing which will remove the second floor viewing platform and will establish a smaller 5,700 square foot open public deck on the third floor adjacent to an 8,000 square foot enclosed food court with orientation toward Second Street which due to this redesign will afford views towards the ocean over other buildings, i.e., the 1540 Second Street building; and  

 

WHEREAS, in the report prepared for the Coastal Commission in conjunction with the approval of the Santa Monica Place remodel, the Coastal Commission staff acknowledged that the public viewing decks on the second and third floors were no longer relevant but that the visitor-serving opportunities offered by the remodeled mall including restaurants, outdoor seating, public viewing area with ocean orientation and parking would continue to be available.

 

WHEREAS, to preserve the view of the ocean, the proposed development would have to be reduced to two stories; and

 

WHEREAS, as demonstrated by the feasibility analysis proposed by PKF Consulting on February 1, 2007 and peer reviewed by Maurice Robinson & Associates, LLC, on June 21, 207, only a luxury hotel could be economically developed at this site at that reduced height.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA DOES HEREBY RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

 

            SECTION 1.  The City Council does hereby amend the Land Use Plan Scenic and Visual Resources Map of the Local Coastal Program as set forth in Exhibit “A”, attached to this Resolution.  

 

            SECTION 2.  The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution, and, thenceforth and thereafter the same shall be in full force and effect.

 

 

APPROVED AS TO FORM:

 

 

___________________

MARSHA J. MOUTRIE

City Attorney                                                 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A


ATTACHMENT H

 

FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.

 

 


ATTACHMENT I

 

PEER REVIEW OF FEASIBILITY ANALYSIS

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


ATTACHMENT J

 

LOW COST LODGING ANALYSIS

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


ATTACHMENT K

 

PEER REVIEW OF LOW COST LODGING ANALYSIS

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


ATTACHMENT L

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


ATTACHMENT M

 

PROJECT PLANS AND RENDERINGS

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.


ATTACHMENT N

 

FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT

(VOLUME 1 AND VOLUME 2)

 

 

Electronic version of attachment is not available for review.  Document is available for review at the City Clerk’s office and the libraries.