December 2, 2013
Dear NOMA members, residents and friends,
We have been notified by Santa Monica’s department of Community & Cultural Services that the city has begun accepting applications for permits to conduct commercial fitness or athletic instruction, classes or camps in Santa Monica’s parks, including historic Palisades Park.
Effective January 1, a city permit will be required for trainers seeking to provide commercial fitness instruction in those locations.
Information about the permitting process is provided here: www.smgov.net/trainers.
We are still waiting to learn how the new parks ordinance will be enforced, and how citizens can report possible violations. We will pass on that information when it becomes available.
NOMA regular monthly meeting
December 5, 2013
Light refreshments at 6:30 pm, meeting 7-9 PM
Montana Branch Library, Community Room
Getting to know Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day and his perspective on issues we care about
Following is a message from “Save Chain Reaction” which was endorsed by the NOMA board of directors at our November meeting.
Help Save Our Sculpture
Paul Conrad's iconic Chain Reaction public art sculpture located next to the Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica belongs to ALL of us. But it may not be there for much longer. The City plans to scrap this significant work of art by Pulitzer Prize winning LA Times cartoonist and sculptor Paul Conrad if $400,000 is not raised by Feb. 1, 2014 to save it. This Santa Monica landmarked sculpture is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as important, and is supported by the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Santa Monica Conservancy. Its message of peace remains relevant today.
That is why we are urging you to help save Chain Reaction.
If Chain Reaction disappears, we lose:
• an irreplaceable work of public art
• a monument to peace and nuclear disarmament
• a Santa Monica landmark
Here’s how you can BE A LINK in saving Chain Reaction:
· DONATE: rally.org/savechainreaction.com
· SIGN THE PETITION: www.change.org/petitions/santa-monica-city-council-restore-and-preserve-paul-conrad-s-public-landmark-chain-reaction
· SPREAD THE WORD: www.facebook.com/SaveChainReaction
Find more information here: www.savechainreaction.com
Big Blue Bus Survey - You may want to participate in the Big Blue Bus survey that asks residents to describe what kind of service they think should be provided to access the future Expo Light Rail. You can access the survey online at this link:
December 4, 2013 – Planning Commission Meeting– Bergamot Transit Village Center (Hines Project) -- 7 PM -- City Hall.
Planning Commission Discussion of the Zoning Ordinance Update – December 11 & 18th January 8th, 15th & 22nd, and February 5, 2014 – 7 pm City Hall
Carol Landsberg, Secretary
North of Montana Association
November 20, 2013 -- The board of directors of the North of Montana Association (NOMA) today voted unanimously to oppose the current proposal for development of the Bergamot site. We see the proposed project as far too big and too dense for the site, and we feel that it would cause unacceptable traffic problems that would degrade the quality of life of both the immediate neighborhood and the city as a whole.
In a recent meeting with officials from the development firm Hines, the company's proposal was opposed by representatives of all the city's neighborhood organizations, Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMMRR), and Santa Monicans for a Liveable City (SMCLC).
Following is our letter to the Planning Commission.
To: Santa Monica Planning Commission
From: Board of Directors, North of Montana Association (NOMA)
RE: 11/20/13 agenda item 8-A -- Bergamot Transit Village Center
The Board of Directors of the North of Montana Association (NOMA) strongly opposes the current version of the Bergamot Transit Village Center. The project needs to be drastically reduced. It's too tall, it's too dense, there's too much office space, the amount of office space per employee was incorrectly calculated, and the project will generate way too much traffic in an area that is already at gridlock. Only a greatly reduced project with much less office space, and much less trip generation, would be acceptable.
We heartily endorse the statement by Friends of Sunset Park, which follows here.
We have looked through the EIR and, out of hundreds of DEIR comment letters from governmental agencies, neighborhood organizations in both Santa Monica and Los Angeles, and many, many individuals, only one letter was in support of the project.
The current proposal includes the following to replace the 200,000 sq ft Papermate factory:
-- 766,908 sq ft in total (50% larger than Santa Monica Place)
-- 374,434 sq ft of office space (further exacerbating the city’s jobs/housing imbalance)
-- Heights up to 84 ft (the same as the Water Garden, which many of us feel is too tall)
-- 7,585 new daily car trips estimated in the EIR
The proposed project would result in significant and unavoidable impact at 25 intersections, including:
-- 23rd/Walgrove at Rose Avenue & Venice Blvd.,
-- Cloverfield at Santa Monica Blvd.,
-- 28th/Stewart at Olympic Blvd.,
-- Centinela at Colorado, Olympic, I-10 freeway westbound ramps, & Venice Blvd.,
-- Bundy at Olympic, Pico, Ocean Park Blvd., & National, and
-- Barrington at Wilshire, Santa Monica Blvd., & Olympic;
1) Caltrans wrote in 2012 that existing average daily traffic on the I-10 Santa Monica Freeway is 192,000 in the vicinity of the project, and that "the project will have significant traffic impact."
2) The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) wrote in 2012 that, "The project should be directed to remove these impacts through either a scaled reduction or land-use reconfiguration of the project."
3) Another comment in the EIR noted that "By the DEIR's own admission, the project is in an area that is largely built out, and many of the surrounding intersections operate at or near capacity....The city and applicant should consider alternatives or project reductions which would result in less traffic impacts."
4) The jobs-housing imbalance in our city, which has resulted from more than 9 million sq ft of office/commercial development since the 1984 LUCE was adopted, has created tremendous congestion on streets in Santa Monica and West LA, as well as the I-10 and 405 freeways. A key goal of the LUCE is to "reduce future traffic congestion" and "reduce regional commercial uses." The proposed Hines project violates these basic principles by a) adding 375,000 sq ft of office/commercial uses, and b) increasing traffic congestion.
5) Hines apparently estimated traffic and parking based on 286 sq ft per office employee. Meanwhile, a survey posted by the Wall Street Journal in 2012 states that "The average for all companies for square feet per worker in 2017 will be 151 square feet. Therefore,new daily car trips generated by the project could be closer to 15,000 rather than 7,585.
In the Sunset Park neighborhood, all of our east-west "through" streets (Pico, Pearl, and Ocean Park Blvd.) are congested/gridlocked many hours of the day, not just from 5 to 6 PM, or whatever staff considers the PM peak hour.
Our only north-south "through" streets (23rd and Lincoln) are also congested/gridlocked many hours of the day. Frustrated motorists take every possible side street and alley to try to get to and from work, schools, and homes, endangering pedestrians and other drivers.
On some streets we have cars idling in front of our homes for hours at a time, making it impossible to get in and out of driveways. FedEx diesel trucks use our residential streets and alleys to come and go from their headquarters in the Marina, fouling our air.
Residents have difficulty getting to and from work. Parents have difficulty getting their children to school, after school activities, music lessons, and CIF games. People with health problems have difficulty getting to and from doctors’ offices. Doctors and other local health workers find it impossible to get to professional meetings at UCLA and elsewhere. Another resident has written about getting stuck in traffic for an hour and watching her pet die before she could reach a nearby vet clinic.
Is this what the LUCE meant by "preserving residential neighborhoods"? We think not. We already have the Santa Monica Business Park and Santa Monica College in our neighborhood, as well as cut-through traffic from the hospital district, the Special Office District, and the Cloverfield entrance/exit on the I-10 freeway. Our neighborhood cannot handle more traffic.
For these reasons, we strongly oppose the current Bergamot Transit Village Center. Only a greatly reduced project with much less office space, and much less trip generation, would be acceptable.
Santa Monica police have arrested a suspect in the recent rash of smash-and-grab burglaries on Montana Avenue, and are continuing to investigate.
Writing in Surfsantamonica.com, Jason Islas reports that Ronald Perkins, 55, was arrested Thursday. "At this time (Perkins) has been arrested in connection with the burglaries,” SMPD Spokesperson Sergeant Jay Moroso told The Lookout. “That doesn't mean that he's the only one out there.”
In what merchants say is likely the biggest burglary spree on Montana Avenue in more than three decades, six stores were targeted between November 6 and 11. The stores had their windows smashed and their cash registers broken open. SMPD sources told NOMA that two similar burglaries occurred on Lincoln Boulevard and Main Street in the same time frame.
Islas noted that the rash of break-ins roused the concern of the North of Montana Association (NOMA), which interviewed area merchants and sent out email alerts urging neighbors to be vigilant.
Several merchants told NOMA they are concerned that criminals are targeting the neighborhood because Santa Monica Police Department staffing patterns are concentrating patrols in downtown areas and at the pier, away from Montana Avenue.
Dear NOMA members and friends,
The City has posted its Draft Zoning Ordinance, and the public now has a month to look at it
before the document begins to undergo public review in hearings
before the Planning Commission and City Council.
This important document has not been revised since 1988. The finalized version
will form the basis of development decisions in this city for many years to come.
An electronic version of the draft is available at this link: http://www.smgov.net/Departments/PCD/Zoning/Zoning-Update/
Hard copies are available at all Santa Monica library branches
and for sale at the Planning Counter in City Hall.
The schedule of public meetings follows here.
December 11 -- Overview, Introductory Provisions, General Terms
December 18 -- Administration & Permits, Base & Overlay Districts, Residential Neighborhoods
January 8 -- Base & Overlay Districts; all other chapters
January 15 -- General Regulations
January 22 -- Related Provisions
February 5 -- Recommendations to City Council
March 3, 4, and 11 -- review
March 25 -- adoption
November 11, 2013
Dear NOMA members and friends,
We at NOMA have learned that there has been a rash of break-ins on Montana Ave. over the past week, and we'd like to alert everyone to be aware and vigilant of what is going on around you.
After talking with merchants, we have learned that there were five break-ins on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. In each of those cases, someone broke through a door or window, gained access to a store and made away with between $100 and $200 in cash. The stores hit last week were Number One Beauty, Andrew's Cheese, Palmetto, SemiPrecious and Citron.
Jack Tour, who has owned Number One Beauty for 28 years, said his store was robbed at about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The other four stores were robbed between 2 and 4 a.m. on Thursday, November 7.
Then, Sunday night, another store was hit: Cheeky Chic, a pop-up store at 1624 Montana Avenue. After gaining entry by smashing the glass in the front door, someone stole designer leather goods with a retail value estimated at about $4,000.
Montana merchants are saying that this is the largest sweep of burglaries on stores along the avenue that anyone can remember over the past thirty years. Several said they are concerned that criminals are targeting the neighborhood because Santa Monica Police Department staffing patterns are concentrating patrols in downtown areas, away from Montana Avenue.
Scott McGee. the Santa Monica Police Department's neighborhood resource officer for our area, tells us there have also been at least one recent window smash burglary each on Wilshire and on Main Street. Officer McGee says officers are coming in outside of their normal working hours to work these cases. "It's important to us and just a matter of time" before the suspect or suspects are apprehended, he said.
We will provide additional details as we get them. Neighbors are advised to notify police promptly if they notice anything suspicious. Dial 911 in an emergency; otherwise, the Santa Monica Police Department's non-emergency number is: 310-458-8491.
Thanks to All Who Shared park concerns