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The holidays are just around the corner, but there’s no shortage of things to keep us busy until then. Celebrate the Bike Action Plan’s three-year anniversary this week, sound off Santa Monica’s future as the Planning Commission considers one of the most important planning documents at a Town Hall meeting, and don’t forget to give back to the community for the annual Westside Thanksgiving Dinner.

Town Hall Meeting

The Santa Monica Planning Commission will host a Town Hall meeting on November 19 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln Middle School (map) to give residents a chance to voice their opinions about the pending Zoning Ordinance Update, arguably the most important planning document.

Anti-development groups have already begun sounding the alarm, hoping to use this meeting to fundamentally undermine the vision set forward in Santa Monica’s award-winning Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) by killing any possibility of building future mixed-use neighborhoods along transit corridors like Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. They hope to further reduce density and height limits from the already modest standards set forth in the LUCE.

It is vital that those of who understand the environmental and social advantages of good transit-oriented development — as outlined in the LUCE — attend this meeting and speak in favor of good urban planning and in opposition to further downzoning along major transit corridors. Comments can also be submitted online here.

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For more information, send an email to [email protected]

Valet bike parking provided. Car parking available on-site. Big Blue Bus lines #2 on Wilshire Blvd. and #3 on Montana Avenue stop near the workshop location.

Bike Action Plan Turns Three

It’s hard to believe, but it has been three years since Santa Monica adopted its award-winning Bike Action Plan (BAP) and there is plenty to celebrate, including the successful Downtown Santa Monica Bike Center.

The full service Bike Center, with hundreds of secure bike parking, bike rentals and tours, and myriad other services, opened in November 2011 to much fanfare, when it was celebrated as one of the Bike Action Plan’s centerpieces.

On Tuesday, November 18, head to the Bike Center between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. for an open house, which includes “sweets, treats, snacks and beverages.” Then, at 5 p.m., join the Bike Center crew for a group ride and casual get-together at Louie’s of Mar Vista. For more information, click here.

But the festivities don’t end there. Santa Monica Spoke will hold a BAP celebration at its update meeting on Saturday, November 22. Also at the meeting, get an update about Santa Monica’s pioneering bike share program, approved by the City Council last week. Stay tuned to Spoke’s website for forthcoming details.

Santa Monica Talks

Did you miss Santa Monica Talks last Thursday? No problem! There’s another chance to meet your City officials and hear about all the great work that’s being done at City Hall on Tuesday, November 18 at 6:15 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium, East Wing (map).

If you can’t make that one, you’ll have another chance on Thursday, November 20. That meeting also starts at 6:15 p.m. at Real Office Centers in Downtown Santa Monica (map).

Westside Thanksgiving Dinner

The decades-old community Thanksgiving tradition of bringing together people from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds continues this year at the Westwood VA. While the dinner is on Thanksgiving Day, organizers are asking for your help in providing clothing for those in need.

According to Westside Thanksgiving Dinner officials, 10 businesses around Santa Monica have volunteered to become collection points for clothing donations through November 23. The list includes Groundworks Coffee, Kronovet Realty, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. For a complete list of businesses and their addresses, click here. To find out how you can help out in other ways, visit the Westside Thanksgiving Dinner homepage.