City Council Meeting:  June 28, 2005

 

 

RESOLUTION NO. _______

(City Council Series)

 

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF SANTA MONICA MAKING FINDINGS NECESSARY

TO APPROVE THE CIVIC CENTER SPECIFIC PLAN,

ADOPTING A STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONSIDERATIONS, AND

ADOPTING A MITIGATION MONITORING PLAN

 

WHEREAS, an Environmental Impact Report has been prepared which analyzes the environmental effects of the Civic Center Specific Plan; and

 

WHEREAS, the City Council, as Lead City Agency, reviewed the Final Environmental Impact Report in full compliance with State and City CEQA Guidelines; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 28, 2005, 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 VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15128 of the State CEQA Guidelines, the Initial Study/Notice of Preparation determined that the following environmental impacts were not considered potentially significant and were not addressed further in the Final EIR: biological resources, mineral resources, agricultural resources and economic and social impacts.

 

SECTION 2.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Sections 15091 and 15092 of the State CEQA Guidelines, and as detailed in the Final EIR in Sections 4.11, 4.12, 4.13, and 4.15 incorporated by reference, the City Council finds that there are no significant impacts for population and housing, public services, shadows and utilities/service systems/energy.

 

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 a level that is less than significant.  More specifically, significant environmental effects, as identified in this Section below, can feasibly be eliminated or substantially reduced to below a level of significance.  However, significant adverse environmental effects in the areas of air quality, traffic/circulation, construction effects and cultural resources cannot feasibly be avoided or mitigated below a level of significance. Nevertheless, in accordance with Section 15033 of the State CEQA Guidelines, these impacts are found to be acceptable due to overriding considerations as discussed in Section 6 below.

 

(a) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on aesthetics.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.1, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on aesthetics to below a level of significance:

 

Visual Character and Scale.

·        Development shall include screening of mechanical equipment and use of low-reflective roofing materials to reduce potential visual and glare impacts for adjacent residential, hotel and commercial uses which have downward views of the reconfigured commercial uses of Santa Monica Place.

 

·        All notable trees that must be removed shall be transplanted on-site or to a suitable nearby location, unless approved by the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department as unsuitable for relocation. Any trees deemed unsuitable for relocation and removed shall be replaced on site or at a nearby location on a three-to-one basis, as approved by the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department. Tree transplantation shall be performed by a qualified arborist, landscape architect, or tree expert, as approved by the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department. All trees that are to be reused on-site shall be boxed in appropriately sized containers and temporarily relocated to protect them from physical injury.

 

·        A landscaping plan shall be prepared, including a street tree plan, by a licensed California landscape architect. All landscape areas shall be maintained in a first-class condition at all times. Any plants that die shall be replaced immediately on a one-to-one basis.

 

·        Any chain link fencing adjacent to the proposed athletic field shall be screened with landscaping, which could include trailing vines or alternative fencing shall be designed by an architect or artist as a creative and visually appealing element of the park.

 

Scenic Corridors.

·        Landscaping along the Main Street Axis. Landscaping along the Main Street axis (including the Town Square and Main Street Circle) shall be provided to enhance the view corridor toward the Civic Auditorium from the new City Services Building.

 

Light and Glare.

·        Shielded Exterior Lighting. The applicant shall design exterior building lighting to ensure that no light projects on adjacent sites. Such lighting shall incorporate “cut-off” shields as appropriate to prevent an increase in lighting at adjacent and nearby uses.

 

·        Shielded Landscape Illumination. Landscape illumination and exterior sign lighting shall be accomplished with low-level, unobtrusive fixtures. Such lighting shall be creatively shielded to direct light pools away from off-site viewers.

 

·        Athletic Field Lighting. Lighting for the athletic field shall only be the intensity of lighting necessary to adequately perform night sport-related activities on the field. Sports activities on the field shall not occur after 11:00 pm, and the field lighting shall be turned off at 11:15 pm. Security lighting for pedestrian pathways and parking areas may remain on after this time.

 

 

 

            (b) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have potentially significant effects due to the effects of truck traffic, noise, solid waste, soil erosion and water quality related to construction activities.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.3, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required in the project that will mitigate or reduce the impact of truck traffic, noise, solid waste, soil erosion and water quality related to project construction to below a level of significance:

            TRUCK TRAFFIC:

Construction Impact Mitigation Plan. The applicant shall prepare and implement a Construction Impact Mitigation Plan to provide for traffic and parking capacity management during construction. This plan shall be subject to review and approval by the City and, at a minimum, shall include the following:

·        Phasing of construction activities for each project component to minimize disruption to the roadway network;

·        A public information program to advise motorists of impending construction activities (e.g., media coverage, portable message signs, and information signs at the construction site);

·        Approval from the City, or Caltrans if required, for any construction detours or construction work requiring encroachment into public rights-of-way, or any other street use activity (e.g., haul routes);

·        Timely notification of construction schedules to all affected agencies (e.g., Police Department, Fire Department, Department of Public Works, Department of Planning and Community Development, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and transit agencies;

·        Coordination of construction work with affected agencies five to ten days prior to start of work;

·        A traffic control plan for the streets surrounding the work area, which includes specific information regarding the project’s construction and activities that will disrupt normal traffic flow;

·        Minimizing dirt and demolition material hauling and construction material delivery during the morning and afternoon peak traffic periods and cleaning of streets and equipment as necessary;

·        Scheduling and expediting of work to cause the least amount of disruption and interference to the adjacent vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow. Weekday daytime work on City streets shall primarily be performed between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM;

·        Limiting of queuing of trucks to on-site and prohibition of truck queuing on area roadways;

·        Scheduling of preconstruction meetings with affected agencies to properly plan methods of controlling traffic through work areas;

·        Designation of off-site construction staging areas;

·        Storage of construction material and equipment within the designated work area and limitation of equipment and material visibility to the public;

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

·        Provision of off-street parking for employees of the Civic Center Specific Plan area, which may include the use of a remote location with shuttle transport to the site, if determined necessary by the City of Santa Monica;

·        Construction trucks and equipment shall be staged so that access to Vicente Terrace is not blocked;

·        Alleys between Ocean Avenue and the Promenade/Ocean Front Walk shall not be used by construction vehicles during construction within the Civic Center Specific Plan area; and

·        Construction vehicles shall not use Appian Way.

 

NOISE:

Diesel Equipment Mufflers. All diesel equipment shall be operated with closed engine doors and shall be equipped with factory recommended mufflers.

 

Electrically-Powered Tools. Electrical power shall be used to run air compressors and similar power tools.

 

Additional Noise Attenuation Techniques. For all noise generating construction activity on the project site, additional noise attenuation techniques shall be employed to reduce noise levels to City of Santa Monica noise standards. Such techniques may include, but are not limited to, the use of sound blankets on noise generating equipment and the construction of temporary sound barriers between construction sites and nearby sensitive receptors.

 

Construction Sign Posting. In accordance with Municipal Code Section 4.12.210, the project applicant shall be required to post a sign informing all workers and subcontractors of the time restrictions for construction activities. The sign shall also include the City telephone numbers where violations can be reported and complaints associated with construction noise can be submitted.

 

Construction Noise Hotline. Project applicants 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 adjacent public areas.

 

SOLID WASTE:

Demolition Plan. The applicant shall prepare and submit a demolition plan for review and approval by the City. The plan shall include methods to maximize salvage and recycling of building and landscape materials. The plan shall include a recovery rate for each material type in the demolition contract. The plan shall also include strategies for the salvage of reusable historic materials and reusable materials in good conditions.

 

Separation and Recycling of Construction Waste. During construction and demolition activities, the applicant shall separate for recycling all materials that are accepted for recycling in the Los Angeles region, including, but not limited to, metals, woodwaste, and clean fill.

 

Removal of Recyclable Materials. The applicant shall schedule the removal of reusable and recyclable materials prior to demolition to maximize recovery rate.

 

Bins for Recyclable Construction Waste. The applicant shall provide separate bins for all recyclables on-site. Such bins shall be labeled clearly in several languages or with universal symbols. The applicant shall also provide orientation prior to the start of construction for workers to train them to use the recycle bins provided. If there is insufficient space on-site, the applicant shall contract with a recycling company to receive mixed loads for separation and recycling.

 

Pre-engineered or factory cut material The applicant shall use pre-engineered or factory cut material. Examples of this type of material include, but are not limited to, factory trusses, laminated and other engineered wood products, sheet metal cladding and roofing, 9 foot gypsum board, pre-cut headers, and pre-assembled joist bridging. The applicant shall also use reusable and recyclable forming materials, such as steel forms or standard wood systems, where feasible.

 

SOIL EROSION and WATER QUALITY:

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. The applicant shall require the building contractor to prepare and institute a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) during construction. A SWPPP for site construction shall be developed and approved prior to the initiation of grading and implemented for all construction activity on the project site in excess of five acres. The SWPPP shall include specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize the loss of soil from the site during construction activities. BMP methods may include, but would not be limited to, the use of temporary bagging, mulching, erosion control blankets, soil stabilizers and dust control using the minimum amount of water without adding to runoff. Additional BMPs shall be implemented for any fuel storage or fuel handling that could occur on-site during construction and the temporary storage of all heavy equipment shall be confined to one localized area. The SWPPP must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board.

 

Covering and Removal of Stockpiles. All stockpiles of excavated material shall be covered with an impervious material during storage and shall be removed from the site within 3 weeks of being excavated or they shall be used for grading or backfill if the material fulfills the requirements of the any other listed mitigation measures related to fill material.

 

Erosion Control. Standard erosion control practices shall be implemented per the requirements of the City’s Urban Runoff Pollution Control Ordinance.

 

 

(c) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on cultural resources.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.4, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on previously unknown cultural resources as well as historic resources, the Civic Auditorium and City, Hall to below a level of significance:

 

CIVIC AUDITORIUM:

East Wing Replacement Photography and Recordation. Prior to the demolition of the Civic Auditorium’s east wing, a photographic documentation report shall be repared by a qualified architectural historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. This report shall document the significance of the east wing and its physical conditions, both historic and current through photographs and text. Photographic documentation noting all elevations and additional details of the east wing’s architectural features shall be taken utilizing 35-mm black and white film. The photographer shall be familiar with the recordation of historic resources. Photographs shall be prepared in a format consistent with the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) standards for field photography. Copies of the report shall be submitted to the City of Santa Monica Planning Division and the City of Santa Monica Public Library (Main Branch).

 

East Wing Replacement - Compatibility of New Construction. New construction that is proposed to the east side of the Civic Auditorium shall be designed in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings (the Standards), Weeks and Grimmer (1995). Consistent with the Standards, the proposed new construction shall be differentiated from the Civic Auditorium, but compatible in size, scale, massing, and proportions. Following the Standards, materials, design, color, and texture proposed for the new construction may complement that of the Civic Auditorium. The new construction plan shall be developed in conjunction with a qualified architectural historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. The plan shall require review and approval by the City of Santa Monica’s Landmarks Commission.

 

West Wing Replacement - Photography and Recordation. Prior to the demolition of the west wing, a photographic documentation report shall be prepared by a qualified architectural historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. This report shall document the significance of the west wing and its physical conditions, both historic and current through photographs and text. Photographic documentation noting all elevations and additional details of the west wing’s architectural features shall be taken utilizing 35-mm black and white film. The photographer shall be familiar with the recordation of historic resources. Photographs shall be prepared in a format consistent with the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) standards for field photography. Copies of the report shall be submitted to the City of Santa Monica Planning Division and the City of Santa Monica Public Library (Main Branch).

 

West Wing Replacement - Compatibility of New Construction. New construction that is proposed to the west side of the Civic Auditorium shall be designed in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings (the Standards), Weeks and Grimmer (1995). Consistent with the Standards, the proposed new construction shall be differentiated from the Civic Auditorium, but compatible in size, scale, massing, and proportions. Following the Standards, materials, design, color, and texture proposed for the new construction may complement that of the Civic Auditorium. The new construction plan shall be developed in conjunction with a qualified architectural historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. The plan shall be reviewed and approved by the City of Santa Monica’s Landmarks Commission.

 

Civic Auditorium Park Landscape Standards. The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (Weeks and Grimmer 1995), recommends that landscape features not be removed which are important in defining the historic character of the site. If the Park’s specific design proposes an alteration of the Civic Auditorium’s character defining landscape features (i.e. palm trees at north façade), the alteration design shall be developed in conjunction with a qualified architectural City of Santa Monica historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. Any proposed alteration to the Civic Auditorium’s character-defining landscape features shall be reviewed and approved by the City of Santa Monica’s Landmarks Commission.

 

            CITY HALL:

City Hall Rehabilitation.  Any maintenance, repair, stabilization, rehabilitation, reservation, conservation, reconstruction or demolition of any portion of City Hall, including rehabilitation of the east elevations, lobby elements, and the courtyard area, shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties with Guidelines for Preserving, Rehabilitating, Restoring, and Reconstructing Historic Buildings (the Standards), Weeks and Grimmer (1995). Any rehabilitation plans shall be developed in conjunction with a qualified architectural historian, historic architect, or historic preservation professional who satisfies the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards for History, Architectural History, or Architecture, pursuant to 36 CFR 61. Detailed design plans involving modifications to City Hall shall be submitted to the City of Santa Monica’s Landmarks Commission for their review and approval prior to the beginning of any construction activities, including demolition.

 

City Services Building - Compatibility of New Construction. The City Service Building shall be differentiated from City Hall and the Main Street bridge, but compatible with the historic character of City Hall and the Main Street bridge. Materials, design, color and texture proposed for the project shall complement that of City Hall and the Main Street bridge. In its review of the proposed design for the City Services Building, the City shall pay special attention to its compatibility with City Hall and the Main Street bridge.

 

            PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN CULTURAL RESOURCES:

Project Construction. At the commencement of project construction, all workers associated with earth disturbing procedures shall be given an orientation regarding the possibility of exposing unexpected cultural remains by an archaeologist and directed as to what steps are to be taken if such a find is encountered.

 

Archaeological Resources. In the event that archaeological resources are unearthed during project construction, all earth disturbing work within the vicinity of the find must be temporarily suspended or redirected until an archaeologist has evaluated the nature and significance of the find. After the find has been appropriately mitigated, work in the area may resume. If human remains are unearthed, Stte Health and Safety Code Section 7050.5 requires that no further disturbance shall occur until the County Coroner has made the necessary findings as to origin and disposition pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 5097.98. If the remains are determined to be of Native American descent, the coroner has 24 hours to notify the Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC). The NAHC will then identify the person(s) thought to be the Most Likely Descendent (MLD) of the deceased Native American, who will then help determine what course of action should be taken in dealing with the remains.

 

(d) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on geology and soils.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.5, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on geology and soils to below a level of significance:

Design and construction of the buildings.  Design and construction of the buildings proposed in the Civic Center Specific Plan shall be engineered to withstand the expected ground acceleration that may occur at this site. The calculated design base ground motion for the site shall take into consideration the soil type, potential for liquefaction, and the most current and applicable seismic attenuation methods that are available. For any buildings considered essential facilities, as defined in the Uniform or California building codes, the buildings shall be designed to withstand the upper bound earthquake ground motion. All on-site structures shall comply with applicable provisions of the 1997 Uniform Building Code and the 1998 California Building Code.    

 

Additional Geotechnical Study. Prior to issuance of a building permit for any new structures proposed in the Civic Center Specific Plan, a geotechnical study shall be completed to adequately assess the liquefaction potential and compaction design of the soils underlying the proposed bottom grade of any structure built within the Civic Center complex. The borings shall be completed to at least 50 feet below the lowest proposed finished grade of the structure or 20 feet below the lowest caisson or footing (whichever is deeper). If these soils are confirmed to be prone to seismically-induced liquefaction, appropriate techniques to minimize liquefaction potential shall be prescribed and implemented. All on-site structures, including the proposed truck tunnel, shall comply with applicable methods of the Uniform Building Code and California Building Code. Suitable measures to reduce liquefaction impacts could include specialized design of foundations by a structural engineer, removal or treatment of liquefiable soils to reduce the potential for liquefaction, drainage to lower the groundwater table to below the level of liquefiable soils, in-situ densification of soils, or other alterations to the ground characteristics.

 

Artificial or Unsuitable Fill Material. All artificial fill material or unsuitable native soil identified in the Geotechnical Report(s) that is located below the footprint of proposed structures shall be removed and hauled off site or processed into a suitable building material.

 

Fill Material used for construction.  All fill material used for construction shall be approved by a geotechnical or civil engineer, and all backfill and foundation sub-grade shall be certified by a geotechnical or civil engineer for proper compaction.

 

Fill Material used for backfill. All fill material used for backfill after abandonment of any below-grade levels within the project area shall approved by a geotechnical or civil engineer. In addition, the backfill shall be certified by a geotechnical or civil engineer for proper compaction.

 

Geotechnical Investigations. Appropriate geotechnical investigations, as mandated by the building codes, shall be performed prior to the design of any structure. These geotechnical studies shall be used to design the excavations and shoring to prevent destabilization of the sidewalls. A civil or geotechnical professional shall field test the excavations to determine proper sloping of the excavations. Where proper slopes cannot be used, shoring must be used. This shoring shall be designed to the satisfaction of the project civil engineer and take into account all lateral load parameters and the possible presence of groundwater at the bottom grade of the excavations or the base of the shoring soldier piles (if used). A monitoring system shall be implemented to evaluate the shoring system.

 

Excavation. All excavations for parking structures, buildings, the tunnel, or future possible water tank shall comply with all applicable regulations of the California Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration guidelines as they pertain to excavations.

 

Groundwater levels. Before construction begins, a groundwater study shall be completed to predict the groundwater levels expected during excavation activities. The study shall include the installation of at least one on site groundwater monitoring well and a historical evaluation of groundwater levels in the site area. If it is discovered that the groundwater levels will pose a problem, then appropriate measures shall be taken to de-water the excavation before grading and construction of the subterranean structures begins. In addition, subterranean structures that have the potential to accumulate groundwater or percolating surface water shall include a mechanism of removing groundwater or percolating surface water, which may collect in the structures. The removal system shall be designed to prevent the structure from flooding.

 

Contaminated groundwater.  To mitigate impacts associated with the potential presence of contaminated groundwater which may be pumped during construction, the applicant shall obtain the proper discharge permits (such as a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System- NPDES permit) or sanitary sewer discharge permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board or the Sanitary District, respectively. Sampling of the discharge shall be performed, as required by the permit conditions.

 

Water removal. If groundwater or percolating surface water removal is to be continuously performed to maintain the usability of any subterranean structure, then the proper groundwater discharge permits (a NPDES permit from the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the discharge of groundwater into the storm drain system) shall be obtained by the applicant. The permit conditions generally require periodic monitoring for contaminants and the calculation of discharge volume. If such a system is to be installed at this site, then the appropriate permits shall be obtained, the permit conditions followed, and the groundwater removal system shall be maintained in proper order to ensure its proper operation.

 

Waterproofing.  All walls of subterranean structures shall be waterproofed to protect against corrosive effects of water contact and to minimize the seeping of water into the subterranean structure.

 

Soil Expansion Analysis. Prior to issuance of a building permit, soil samples of final sub-grade areas and excavation sidewalls shall be collected and analyzed for their expansion index. For areas where the expansion index is found to be greater than 20, the appropriate grading and foundation designs shall be engineered to withstand the existing conditions. The expansion testing may be omitted if the grading and foundations are engineered to withstand the presence of highly expansive soils.

 

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan. The applicant shall require the building contractor to prepare and institute a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) during construction. A SWPPP for site construction shall be developed and approved prior to the initiation of grading and implemented for all construction activity on the project site in excess of five acres. The SWPPP shall include specific Best Management Practices (BMPs) to minimize the loss of soil from the site during construction activities. BMP methods may include, but would not be limited to, the use of temporary bagging, mulching, erosion control blankets, soil stabilizers and dust control using the minimum amount of water without adding to runoff. Additional BMPs shall be implemented for any fuel storage or fuel handling that could occur on-site during construction and the temporary storage of all heavy equipment shall be confined to one localized area. The SWPPP must be prepared in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board.

 

Covering and Removal of Stockpiles. All stockpiles of excavated material shall be covered with an impervious material during storage and shall be removed from the site within 3 weeks of being excavated or they shall be used for grading or backfill if the material fulfills the requirements of the any other listed mitigation measures related to fill material.

 

Erosion Control. Standard erosion control practices shall be implemented per the requirements of the City’s Urban Runoff Pollution Control Ordinance.

 

 

(e) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on hazards and hazardous materials.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.6, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on hazards and hazardous materials to below a level of significance:

 

Asbestos sampling. Prior to issuance of a demolition or renovation permit for any structure within the Civic Center Specific Plan area, an ACM survey shall be performed by a licensed asbestos sampling company. All testing procedures shall follow California and Federal protocol. The asbestos survey report shall quantify the areas of asbestos containing materials pursuant to California and Federal standards.

 

Asbestos removal. Prior to any demolition or renovation, onsite structures that contain ACM must have the ACMs removed according to proper abatement procedures recommended by the asbestos consultant. All abatement activities shall be in compliance with California and Federal OSHA, and with the South Coast Air Quality Management District requirements. Only asbestos trained and certified abatement personnel shall be allowed to perform asbestos abatement. All ACMs removed from onsite structures shall be hauled to a licensed receiving facility and disposed of under proper manifest, if needed, by a transportation company certified to handle asbestos containing materials. Following completion of the asbestos abatement, the asbestos consultant shall provide a report documenting the abatement procedures used, the volume of ACM removed, where the material was moved to, and include transportation an disposal manifests or dump tickets. Each abatement report shall be prepared for the property owner or other responsible party, with a copy submitted to the City of Santa Monica.

 

Lead-based paint. Prior to the issuance of a permit for the renovation or demolition of any structure, a licensed lead-based paint consultant shall be contracted to evaluate the structure for lead-based paint. If lead-based paint is discovered, it shall be removed according to proper abatement procedures recommended by the consultant. All abatement activities shall be in compliance with California and Federal OSHA, and with the South Coast Air Quality Management District requirements. Only lead-based paint trained and certified abatement personnel shall be allowed to perform abatement activities. All lead-based paint removed from these structures shall be hauled and disposed of by a transportation company licensed to transport this type of material. In addition, the material shall be taken to a landfill or receiving facility licensed to accept the waste. Following completion of the lead based paint abatement, the lead based paint consultant shall provide a report documenting the abatement procedures used, the volume of lead based paint removed, where the material was moved to, and include transportation and disposal manifests or dump tickets. Each abatement report shall be prepared for the property owner or other responsible party, with a copy submitted to the City of Santa Monica.

 

Contaminated soil. Following demolition of the existing RAND buildings and prior to development of a specific project, including a building or open space area where soil excavation is to occur, the applicant shall perform a Phase I environmental site assessment to determine the likelihood of encountering contaminated soil. The Phase I ESA shall follow the current ASTM standard (as of this writing, the current ASTM standard is ASTM E 1527-00). Included shall be additional soil sampling and analysis in the area of the clarifier and hydraulic elevators, as required in Mitigation Measure HHS-6 of the Final EIR, and in the area of the former service station, as required by Mitigation Measure HHS-3(c) of the Final EIR. If contaminated soil or groundwater is suspected to be present within the proposed building’s excavation footprint, the applicant shall perform additional soil sampling and analysis to determine lateral extent of contamination and follow the procedures specified in Mitigation Measures HHS-4(c) and HHS-4(d) of the Final EIR.

 

·        Prior to development of specific projects, including structures, athletic fields, parks and open space, on sites for which a Phase I environmental assessment has not been completed, Phase I environmental site assessments shall be performed to determine the likelihood of contaminants in areas beyond what has already been assessed. The Phase I ESA shall follow the current ASTM standard (as of this writing, the current ASTM standard is ASTM E 1527-00).

 

·        If contaminated soil is suspected to be present within any building excavation footprint, athletic field, park, or open space area, the applicant shall perform soil sampling and analysis to determine the vertical and lateral extent of contamination.

 

·        If contaminants are detected in soil at levels that exceed suggested cleanup goals, such as the levels established by the RWQCB (May 1996 guidebook), US EPA’s Preliminary Remediation Goals, one in one million cancer risk, or a health risk index above 1, then the results of the soil sampling shall be forwarded to the local regulatory agency (City of Santa Monica Environmental Program Division, and/or the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and/or the State of California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control). The agency(s) shall review the data and either sign off on the property or determine if any additional investigation or remedial activities are deemed necessary.

 

·        If concentrations of contaminants warrant site remediation, contaminated materials shall be remediated either prior to construction of structures, athletic fields, parks, or other areas where asphalt or concrete will not cover the ground surface, or concurrent with construction. The contaminated materials shall be remediated under supervision of an environmental consultant licensed to oversee such remediation. The remediation program shall also be approved by a regulatory oversight agency, such as the City of Santa Monica Environmental Program Division, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, or the State of California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control. All proper waste handling and disposal procedures shall be followed. Upon completion of the remediation, the environmental consultant shall prepare a report summarizing the project, the remediation approach implemented, and the analytical results after completion of the remediation, including all waste disposal or treatment manifests.

 

·        If, during the implementation of mitigation measure HHS-3 or HHS-4 as called for in the Final EIR, groundwater contamination is suspected, or if soil contamination is detected at depths at or greater than 30 feet below grade, then the applicant shall perform a groundwater sampling assessment. If contaminants are detected in groundwater at levels that exceed maximum contaminant levels for those constituents in drinking water, or if the contaminants exceed health risk standards such as Preliminary Remediation Goals, one in one million cancer risk, or a health risk index above 1, then the results of the groundwater sampling shall be forwarded to the appropriate regulatory agency (City of Santa Monica Environmental Program Division, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, or the State of California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control). The agency shall review the data and sign off on the property or determine if any additional investigation or remedial activities are deemed necessary.

 

·        If concentrations of contaminants warrant site remediation, contaminated materials are to be removed or properly mitigated. The contaminated materials are to be removed or mitigated under supervision of an environmental consultant licensed to oversee such remediation. The remediation program shall also be approved by a regulatory oversight agency, such as the City of Santa Monica Environmental Program Division, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, or the State of California Environmental Protection Agency Department of Toxic Substances Control. All proper waste handling and disposal procedures shall be followed. Upon completion of the remediation, the environmental consultant shall prepare a report summarizing the project, including all waste disposal or treatment manifests.

 

·        All excavation and demolition projects conducted within the Civic Center Specific Plan area shall have a contingency plan to be implemented in the event that contaminants or structural features that could be associated with contaminants or hazardous materials are suspected or discovered. The contingency plan shall identify appropriate measures to be followed if contaminants are found or suspected. The appropriate measures shall identify personnel to be notified, emergency contacts, and a sampling protocol to be implemented. The excavation and demolition contractors shall be made aware of the possibility of encountering unknown hazardous materials, and shall be provided with appropriate contact and notification information. The contingency plan shall include a provision stating at what point it is safe to continue with the excavation or demolition, and identify the person authorized to make that determination.

 

Hazardous materials storage. Prior to demolition or remodeling of any existing buildings, the applicant shall conduct a walk-through of the building to determine if there are any structures or features within or near the building that could have been used to store, contain, or dispose of hazardous materials. If such a feature is found and the proposed new use of the building does not require the continued operation of such a feature, the applicant shall obtain all necessary permits from the City to abandon these structures. If required by the abandonment permit issued by the City, the applicant shall perform soil sampling and analysis in the area of the removed feature. Any identified contamination shall be remediated in accordance with the requirements of the appropriate agency.

 

(f) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on hydrology and water quality.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.7, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on hydrology and water quality to below a level of significance:

 

Construction related runoff. Mitigation measures GEO-6(a), GEO6(b), and GEO-6(c)), listed in Section 4.5 of the Final EIR, which require preparation of a SWPPP, the covering and removal of stockpiled soil, and compliance with the City’s Urban Runoff Pollution Control Ordinance, would also apply for this impact.

 

Groundwater intrusion. Mitigation measures GEO-4(a) through and including GEO-4(f) in Section 4.5 of the Final EIR are also applicable to groundwater as mitigation groundwater intrusion to occur over the life of the project in subterranean parking structures.

 

Quality of runoff - Oil and grease traps. The applicant shall construct oil and grease traps within catch basin(s) for any new surface parking lots in the CCSP area. The catch basin(s) shall include a trap that prevents floatables from discharging with the drainage water.

 

Stormwater run-off. Where feasible, a biofilter, bioswale or bioretention area shall be designed and constructed for the athletic field and new surface parking lots to allow for treatment of stormwater runoff from the site. Such system shall be designed by a registered civil engineer specializing in water quality or other qualified professional to ensure that retention is adequate to reduce concentrations of targeted pollutants. The biofilter, bioswale or bioretention area shall be depicted on grading and drainage plans and shall include a maintenance plan.

 

Quality of runoff - Recreational filed maintenance plan. The applicant shall submit a recreational field maintenance plan to the City that limits the use of herbicides and inorganic fertilizers applied to the field to those quantities necessary to treat specific problems. The recreational field maintenance plan shall include, but not be limited to: provisions for mechanical weed control to be used wherever and whenever possible as the first choice; determination of the probable cause of a disease problem and correction as necessary (i.e.: soil nutrient problems, irrigation, water quality, plant type, etc.) prior to chemical use; provisions that herbicides are to be used only when necessary to cure a problem and not as a preventative measure or as a regular, periodic application; and, guidelines for use of chemical forms that have a low potential for leaching from the site.

 

 

(g) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on land use and planning.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.8, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on land use and planning to below a level of significance:

Compatibility between Land Uses - Live-work/Artisan Units: A storage area(s) for live-work/artisan unit-related production materials and wastes that cannot be disposed of in residential trash shall be designated in accordance with criteria established by the Santa Monica Fire Department and shall provide 100% containment. The specifications for such storage area(s) shall be provided on the final plans. The developer shall provide an informational permanent sticker on all disposal receptacles at the project site regarding the dumping of hazardous substances, such as paints, solvents, etc. and their effect on the storm drain system and the Santa Monica Bay.

 

Compatibility of Scale and Character. With implementation of mitigation measures contained in Sections 4.1 and 4.8 of the Final EIR, impacts related to land use compatibility of scale and character and land use compatibility of scale and character would be less than significant.

 

Pedestrian Circulation - Pedestrian Crossing. A pedestrian safety specialist shall

participate in the final design of the roundabout at the Main Street Circle.

 

(h) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on noise.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.10, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on noise to below a level of significance:

 

Rooftop Ventilation. Parapets shall be installed around all rooftop ventilation systems.

 

Trash Pickup. All trash pickups shall be restricted to operating hours of 7:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm weekends.

 

Athletic Field . Evening activities on the proposed athletic field shall not occur after 11:00 pm any day of the week.

 

            (i) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could result in significant neighborhood effects. Impacts identified include aesthetics, air quality, construction effects, and traffic circulation.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.9, the City Council finds that the mitigation measures identified in Sections 1(a), 1(b), and 1(j) have been required in the project that will eliminate most of the project’s neighborhood impacts.  However, even with the implementation of these measures, significant neighborhood impacts would remain as a result of neighborhood air quality and traffic impacts as identified in Section 2(a) and (c) below.

 

(j) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on transportation and circulation.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.14, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project at four of the forty-eight study intersections and on parking to below a level of significance:

INTERSECTIONS:

Lincoln Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. The applicant shall modify the signal phase on the northbound and southbound approaches on Lincoln Boulevard to provide protected left-turn phases. This improvement would allow north and south left-turn movements to have their own phase to protect from the north and south through movements. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads.

 

Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue. This intersection was recently modified to provide left-turn phasing at all approaches. The applicant shall modify the signal phase on the northbound and southbound approaches on Lincoln Boulevard to provide an overlapping right-turn phase on the eastbound approach during the left-turn protected phase on the northbound approach. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads.

 

Lincoln Boulevard and Ocean Park Boulevard. The applicant shall modify the signal equipment to enable protected-permissive phasing on the eastbound and westbound approaches on Ocean Park Boulevard. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads.

 

Ocean Avenue and Pico Boulevard. The applicant shall modify the signal phase on the westbound approach to provide a protected left-turn phase. This improvement would allow left-turn movements to have their own phase against the eastbound through traffic. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads.

 

PARKING:

Village Special Use District (SUD) and Santa Monica Place Special Use District (SUD). Parking for the residential and commercial uses within the Village SUD and Santa Monica Place SUD shall be provided on site and shall be either in accordance with the requirements of the City code at that time, or in accordance with a City-approved parking demand study based upon the actual mix and type of housing units to be constructed.

 

Civic Auditorium Special Use District. Prior to approval of a proposed mix of community, cultural and educational uses to be programmed in the Civic Auditorium main hall and expansion, a use-specific parking study shall be required to determine if there would be any weekday daytime regular or special circumstances (Auditorium events, high-profile court cases, park events) that could exceed the area’s parking supply on a permanent or temporary basis and, if so, to identify potential solutions. The parking study shall consider factors such as the types and sizes of proposed uses, City code requirements, other demand factors as appropriate, and shared parking among Civic area governmental uses. If the parking study determines that the proposed parking supply is insufficient to support the proposed uses in the Civic Auditorium main hall and expansion, the required parking shall be provided either thru provision of additional parking spaces on site, shuttles for off-site parking, shared use of parking with nearby CCSP uses, use of valets or stacked parking, change in proposed uses, or a combination of these and potentially other strategies determined to be appropriate by the City.

 

Palisades Garden Walk District. A use-specific parking study shall be required at the time the mix and size of uses to be developed in the park-oriented building(s) is known to determine if the projected demands would exceed the available supply and, if so, to identify potential solutions. The parking study shall consider factors such as the types and sizes of proposed uses, City code requirements, other demand factors as appropriate, the potential for reduction in parking demand to the extent that patrons of any commercial uses in the park-oriented building(s) may be park goers or residents or employees of other CCSP uses in the vicinity, and the potential for shared use of parking with nearby CCSP uses. If the parking study determines that the proposed park parking supply is insufficient to support the proposed uses in the park-oriented building(s), the required parking shall be provided either thru provision of additional parking spaces on site, shared use of parking with nearby CCSP uses, use of valets with the vehicles parked in a remote location, change in proposed uses, or a combination of these and potentially other strategies determined to be appropriate by the City.

 

However, as detailed in Section 4(c) below, even with implementation of these measures, significant traffic impacts remain.

 

(k) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could have a potentially significant effect on utilities.  Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Section 15091 of the State CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.15, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures have been required of the project, which will mitigate or reduce the impact of the project on sewer infrastructure to below a level of significance:

Sewer Infrastructure Study. The project applicant for the Santa Monica Place Special Use District residential structures shall consult with the City and conduct appropriate studies as required by the City regarding sewer infrastructure that serves the Santa Monica Place Special Use District area. If required, additional sewer laterals or other infrastructure shall be installed as appropriate prior to issuance of a building permit for the residential structures within the Santa Monica Place Special Use District.

 

SECTION 4. Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and Sections 15091, 15092, and 15093 of the State of California CEQA Guidelines, the City Council finds that the significant environmental effects as identified below can be reduced but 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 6.

 

            (a) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could result in significant effects on air quality generated from vehicle trips associated with the project. Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.2, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measure will reduce the project’s impacts on air quality by reducing some of the vehicle trips generated by the project but no additional mitigation measures are available to further reduce vehicle trips.  Consequently, the project’s impacts on air quality cannot be reduced to below a level of significance:

TDM Program. The City and developers shall develop a transportation demand management (TDM) program for the project site that includes, but is not limited to:

• Inclusion in final site design ATMs, postal machines, and other similar facilities that would minimize the need to travel off-site for such services;

• Options for on-site employers to make flex time and staggered work hours available to employees when feasible;

• Incentives and educational materials to encourage employees and shoppers to use alternatives to the drive alone automobile for commuting, including walking, bicycling, public transit, and carpooling (incentives may include, but are not limited to, preferred parking spaces for carpoolers, and bicycle lockers for employees):

• Incentives and educational materials to encourage employees and shoppers to use electric vehicles parking spaces required by the Municipal Code.

 

            (b) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could result in significant effects on construction effects. Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.3, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measure will reduce the project’s temporary air pollutant emissions but not reduce the effects on air quality to below a level of significance and no other mitigation measures are feasible :

Dust Minimization. Dust generated by the development activities shall be kept to a minimum with a goal of retaining dust on the site through implementation of the following:

• During clearing, grading, earth moving, excavation, or transportation of cut or fill materials, water trucks or sprinkler systems are to be used to Implementation of the measures would reduce construction-related emissions to the greatest degree feasible. With mitigation, worst-case daily NOx emissions during the site grading phase and the paving subphase of construction would be reduced to below the 100pound-per-day threshold. However, worst-case daily NOx the extent necessary to prevent dust from leaving the site and to create a crust after each day's activities cease.

• During clearing, grading, earth moving, excavation, or transportation of cut or fill materials, streets and sidewalks within 150 feet of the site perimeter shall be swept and cleaned a minimum of twice weekly.

• During construction, water trucks or sprinkler systems shall be used to keep all areas of vehicle movement damp enough to prevent dust from leaving the site. At a minimum, this would include wetting down such areas in the later morning and after work is completed for the day and whenever wind exceeds 15 miles per hour.

• Soil stockpiled for more than two days shall be covered, kept moist, or treated with soil binders to prevent dust generation.

 

Construction Equipment Conditions. Construction equipment used on the site shall meet the following conditions in order to reduce NOx and ROC emissions:

• The number of pieces of equipment operating simultaneously must be minimized through efficient management practices;

• Construction equipment must be maintained in tune per manufacturer's specifications;

• Equipment shall be equipped with 2 to 4-degree engine timing retard or precombustion chamber engines;

• Catalytic converters shall be installed, to the extent feasible;

• Diesel-powered equipment such as booster pumps or generators should be replaced by electric equipment, the extent feasible; and,

• The operation of heavy duty construction equipment shall be limited to no more than 5 pieces of equipment at any one time.

 

Low-VOC Coatings. Low-VOC architectural coatings shall be used in construction whenever feasible and shall coordinate with the SCAQMD to determine which coatings would reduce VOC emissions to the maximum degree feasible.

 

            (c) The Final EIR determined that without mitigation, the project could result in significant effects on transportation and circulation. Consistent with Article VI, Section 12 of the City of Santa Monica CEQA Guidelines and as detailed in the Final EIR at Section 4.14, incorporated herein by reference, the City Council finds that the following mitigation measures will reduce the project’s impacts on two of the forty-eight study intersections emissions;

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 through lane on the southbound approach. Based on the current layout of southbound approach, an extra lane could be added in place of the median to the southbound approach. Implementation of this mitigation measure would necessitate the provision of some combination of landscaped median removal, new pavement, new striping, new signage, controller cabinets, poles, mast arms, detectors, and/or signal heads. Caltrans has ownership of this intersection and any improvement implementation at this location would be dependent on factors beyond the control of City of Santa Monica. Therefore, the impact at this location would remain significant and unavoidable if Caltrans does not permit the improvement.

 

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 restriping the northbound approach to provide a left, through-right turn, and an exclusive right-turn lane. 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 crosswalk on the west side of the bridge over the freeway to Colorado Avenue. 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.

 

However, these intersections are owned by California Department of Transportation Caltrans and implementation of the proposed mitigation measures at these locations is dependent on factors outside of the control of the City of Santa Monica. The impacts at these locations are, therefore, considered to remain significant and unavoidable. In addition, the proposed project results in significant and unavoidable impacts at the following seven intersections for which no mitigation measures are feasible as they would create potential adverse secondary environmental impacts related to pedestrian circulation, aesthetics, neighborhoods, public services and land use : 

Pacific Coast Highway and California Incline;

• Ocean Avenue and Colorado Avenue;

Lincoln Boulevard and I-10 Westbound Ramps;

Lincoln Boulevard and Pico Boulevard;

Fourth Street and Broadway;

Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue; and

Fifth Street and Colorado Avenue.

 

There are also significant and unavoidable impacts on neighborhood traffic. There are no feasible mitigation measures to reduce the impacts on 4th Street between Pico Boulevard and Ocean Park Boulevard and 4th Street south of Ocean Park Boulevard within the Ocean Park neighborhood.  

 

 

The adverse traffic-related environmental impacts identified at the these intersections and street segments cannot be feasibly mitigated as physical constraints would require narrowing or eliminating sidewalks or crosswalks, reducing bus stops and pedestrian-crossing waiting areas, or encroaching upon adjacent properties to implement mitigation.  These mitigation measures would themselves result in significant negative impacts to the area and impact the neighborhood context.  Narrowing sidewalk widths or eliminating sidewalks adversely affects the pedestrian environment by reducing the walking area for pedestrians and potentially forcing pedestrians into the street.  Encroachments on adjacent properties would involve removing parts of parks, landscaped areas or buildings, which would negatively affect the environment by removing adjacent green space that provides shading and visual relief, by reducing public and private facilities’ ability to provide services to customers and the public, and by reducing the interest and variety of the pedestrian experience.  Mitigation through widening of City streets to accommodate additional vehicle trips is contrary to City policy where the preservation of neighborhoods and the pedestrian environment is highly valued.  

 

There are also significant and unavoidable impacts on the regional transportation system. There are no feasible mitigation measures to reduce project-related traffic impacts on the I-10 freeway east of Cloverfield Boulevard in the westbound direction during the a.m. peak hour and the eastbound direction during the p.m. peak hour as the required freeway improvements to address these impacts is beyond the ability of any individual project to implement.    

 

     SECTION 5.  The CEQA-mandated environmentally superior alternative was found to be “Alternative 4 – Reduced Density Alternative.”  As analyzed in the Final EIR in Section 6, Alternative 4 would result in impacts that would be equal to or less than the impacts for the proposed project, as well as for each of the other alternatives considered.  Similar significant and immitigable impacts are expected related to traffic and circulation, air quality, construction effects and neighborhood effects, as under the proposed project. This alternative is expected to have greater environmental impacts related to population and housing since it would have fewer units of much-needed housing in the City, including affordable housing, as Alternative 4 would provide only 300 units of housing as compared to the 775 units in the proposed project. Alternative 4 does not meet the project’s objective of providing a strong program of housing, rich with diversity and activity. Other alternatives include:

(a)  “Alternative 2 - Build-out of the Existing CCSP”, which assumes the build-out of the 2000 Civic Center Specific Plan without the Santa Monica Place and Colorado Avenue Special Use Districts; this alternative would have greater impacts on aesthetics, hydrology and water quality, land use and population and housing; fewer impacts on shadows and similar impacts in other areas of analysis.  Overall, Alternative 2 is environmentally equal to the proposed project but does not achieve the project’s objectives, which include the revitalization of Santa Monica Place, the construction of housing units within Santa Monica Place and the extension of the Third Street Promenade to the Civic Center area;

(b) “Alternative 3 – Increased Density”, which would construct an additional 225 housing units within the Civic Center Specific Plan area; this alternative would have greater impacts on aesthetics, air quality, construction effects, land use, neighborhood impacts, noise, public services, traffic and shadows; fewer impacts on population and housing and similar impacts in other areas of analysis. Overall, Alternative 3 is environmentally inferior to the proposed project in the areas of aesthetics, air quality, construction effects, land use, noise, public services, shadows, and traffic; and

(c) “Alternative 1 - No Project Alternative” is considered to be environmentally superior overall. Among the remaining alternatives, “Alternative 4 – Reduced Density Alternative“ appears to be superior overall, as it involves fewer overall environmental impacts than the other alternatives but does not fulfill the project’s objectives.  While the “No Project Alternative” is considered to be environmentally superior overall, the proposed project appears to be superior to the remaining alternatives.

 

            SECTION 6.  As fully described in Section 3, the Final EIR found that the proposed project would result in significant and unavoidable adverse impacts in the areas of air quality, traffic and transportation and neighborhood effects.  Consistent with 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 Civic Center Parking Structure outweigh its unavoidable environmental impacts based on the following reasons:

  1. The Civic Center Specific Plan will provide needed new open space, recreation, housing, civic and community resources within Santa Monica, which were identified as important elements for the plan through an extensive community planning process.

 

  1. Under the proposed plan, the Civic Center will be transformed from a relatively isolated, governmental and institutional district into a community-oriented neighborhood with a strong sense of place that serves the entire Santa Monica community.

 

  1. Over sixteen acres of open space will be created under the plan, meeting a diversity of community recreational needs, ranging from active playfields to flexible greenscapes to community gathering spaces.

 

  1. Several transportation and circulation improvements are included in the CCSP, including additional streets, pathways and bikeways to improve access to specific facilities within the area, to link the area with adjacent areas and to enhance access through and to the area.

 

  1. Important community needs will be addressed by the CCSP, including creation of an early childhood development center to serve the needs of Santa Monica families, as well as a small expansion of the Civic Auditorium for community, cultural and educational purposes.

 

  1. The proposed CCSP provides for restoration of the landmark City Hall and courtyard, as well as additional space for consolidation of local public services to meet Santa Monica’s needs.

 

  1. Critical housing needs in Santa Monica, including affordable family housing, live-work housing suitable for artists and low-income housing generally will be provided under the proposed CCSP.

 

  1. The predominant new uses associated with the CCSP are housing and open space, which are generally lower peak-hour traffic generators in comparison to commercial uses.

 

  1. The housing proposed for the Civic Center will be located in an area where the need to make auto trips will be reduced due to walking and bicycling proximity to job centers, shopping, dining, services, parks and recreation, and a concentration of local and regional bus lines.

 

  1. The Civic Center’s housing variety, including housing suitable for families and seniors, as well as Santa Monica’s historical attraction to arts and entertainment workers who often work from home or employ non-traditional schedules, is also expected to reduce peak-hour auto trips.  When trips do require auto use, the new residences will be located within two blocks of freeway on-ramps, limiting the need to traverse local streets to reach regional destinations.

 

  1. The proposed plan provides for new residences in Santa Monica and the Westside Region, where there is an undersupply of housing relative to jobs and other destinations.  New housing in this jobs-rich and destination-rich area provides reduced environmental impacts relative to new housing built in the exurban areas of the Southern California region, with the accompanying environmental impacts such as air quality degradation and traffic congestion from long auto commutes to jobs and water quality and biodiversity effects from development of natural lands.

 

12. The new housing also provides an opportunity to address housing affordability generally within the most expensive housing market in the region and in a city whose population has been largely unchanged over the past 25 years, and in particular providing new housing resources that are specifically targeted to lower-income households.

 

  1. With its focus on housing and open space, the project provides an ideal location for housing that can reduce the need for auto trips and the associated air quality impacts.

 

  1. The plan promotes environmental sustainability in many ways in order to reduce environmental impacts within the area. As new, environmentally friendly technologies related to residential heating and landscape maintenance continue to be developed and deployed, it is expected that the associated air quality impacts identified in the EIR will be reduced.

 

  1. While the significant impacts during demolition, construction and application of architectural coatings are significant, they are expected to be temporary in nature and limited to the period of construction.

 

            SECTION 7. Consistent with Public Resources Code Section 21081.6, the City Council adopts the Mitigation Monitoring Plan, which is included as Attachment A, to mitigate or avoid significant effects of the Project on the environment and to ensure compliance during project implementation.

 

            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 at 1685 Main Street, Room 212, Santa Monica, California.  The custodian of these documents is Andy Agle, Interim Director.

 

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SECTION 9.  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