Downtown Community Plan



The Downtown Community Plan is a roadmap guiding the evolution of Downtown Santa Monica, a 229-acre area identified by the City’s Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) as bounded by Wilshire Boulevard and the I-10 Freeway, and between Lincoln Boulevard and Ocean Avenue. Taking into account that only 4% of the City lies within Downtown (roughly half a square mile), the DCP lays out a framework that integrates housing, jobs, mobility, historic preservation, public open space, infrastructure, and art and culture into a comprehensive long-term Plan. The DCP will guide decision-makers and City departments, property owners and developers, as well as local stakeholder groups who provide services and programs to benefit the health and vitality of Downtown Santa Monica and all those who live, work or play here.

After several years of analysis and community process, the adoption phase of the Downtown Community Plan is now concluded. The DCP has been in effect since August 8, 2017, after being approved by the City Council. A summary of the plan is available here.



The DCP maintains Downtown Santa Monica’s many roles as a thriving neighborhood, public gathering space, international visitor destination, and a regional business district. These priorities are reflected in the seven key elements that anchor the Plan:


  1. Housing is strongly encouraged to accommodate residents of all incomes, family situations, and stages of life;
  2. New and enhanced public spaces will add to Downtown’s attractiveness;
  3. Expanded cultural, entertainment, and artistic offerings will  add to Downtown’s identity as the city’s cultural heart;
  4. Preservation of historic and character-defining buildings will help maintain Downtown’s identity as new infill projects take shape;
  5. Downtown’s economic engine will be supported to maintain services and resident’s high quality of life;
  6. Improvements to the mobility network will make getting around town efficient and safe; and
  7. A diverse range of new uses, activities, and preferred services will support the emerging Downtown neighborhood and promote social connectedness and community wellbeing.




The Downtown Community Plan was adopted by the City Council on July 25, 2017. The following portions of the Plan are highlighted for review:

  1. Land Use District Map
  2. Development Standards Table
  3. Environmental Impact Report

Other important planning documents related to development Downtown are located in the Zoning Ordinance:

  1. Land Use Regulations and Project Requirements
  2. Parking and Loading Requirements (Please note that there are no minimum parking requirements Downtown)
  3. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Requirements
  4. Demolition Procedures
  5. Fence, Wall and Hedge Standards



Please continue to check the web as information and updates will be posted as they are needed, and feel free to contact us if you have questions.



During the development of the DCP, the Planning Department hired Architectural Resources Group to complete a historic inventory of the plan area. In February 2017, the survey was integrated into the DCP. As of August 8, 2017 the updated historic resource protections are in effect.


The following materials are available for review:

Downtown Specific Plan


Environmental Report

Final DCP Environmental Impact Report



Environmental Reports

Environmental Report Archives
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