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The Santa Monica City Council will be making a pivotal decision Tuesday and the 24th annual Santa Monica Festival is around the corner.

Santa MOnica City Council to Vote on Zoning Update

The City Council on Tuesday, May 5, will hold what promises to be another epic meeting on the proposed update to Santa Monica’s zoning ordinance and some controversial amendments to the city’s 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE).

The meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, will continue the discussion from the April 14 and April 15 marathon meeting at which the Council heard more than five hours of public testimony and deliberated dozens of points about the proposed zoning ordinance update, including provisions that would allow early childhood education centers to operate in single-family home areas, height bonuses to encourage historic preservation, and

But perhaps the biggest change the Council is considering is the removal of standards from the LUCE — which was passed unanimously in 2010 — that would allow for 4-to-5 story apartments to be built along Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

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The so-called “Tier 3” standards would have required any project proposed at those heights and densities to have a negotiated development agreement through which the Council could mandate a certain percentage of subsidized affordable housing. With the Tier 3 option off the table and the city’s funds for nonprofit housing developers all but gone, it remains unclear where new affordable housing will come from in the immediate future.

The potential changes would further disincentivize housing construction at a time when Los Angeles County is facing a dire housing crisis.

At the April 15 meeting, the Council discussed the potential removal of Tier 3 from the boulevards.

“We don’t currently have sources of funding to produce those [100-percent affordable] projects; we don’t know where future sources of funding might come from to produce those projects,” said Councilmember Terry O’Day, who also voted against the removing Tier 3 from the boulevards.

The decision isn’t quite yet a done deal, however, since the Council has to officially vote whether to actually revise the LUCE Tuesday, along with its vote on whether to approve the zoning ordinance.

Let the City Council know what you think. You can send an email to [email protected] or to the individual Council members here.

When: Tuesday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: City Hall, 1685 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Time for the 24th Annual Santa Monica Festival

Come down to Clover Park on Saturday, May 9 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to celebrate Santa Monica with food, music, and fun for all.

The 24th annual Santa Monica Festival is a great opportunity to learn about your community in an exciting and festive atmosphere. Dozens of community organizations — including Santa Monica Spoke — will be there with information about all they offer.

“This free, family-friendly festival honors the City’s vibrant creative community and commitment to sustainability and wellbeing through a wide range of activities and performances, including an eclectic musical lineup, healthy culinary demonstrations, heart-pounding fitness activities, crafts, games, food trucks, and more,” according to city officials. A complete schedule is here.

There will be a bike valet and the Big Blue Bus line 8 is offering free rides to Clover Park. For more information, visit smgov.net. You can a sneak peak at all the fun in the video below.