Last week in the run-up to the vote on the Downtown Community Plan (DCP), Jason Islas posted an article dissecting a letter from City Manager Rick Cole to the Santa Monica City Council.

Islas contended that the letter, while couched in the verbiage of not taking sides, was clearly warning the Council against backlash if they approved a DCP that would make it easier to build more projects in Downtown Santa Monica.

But while the article is a must-read on its own, perhaps the comments section is even better where Cole, Leslie Lambert (a current planning commissioner and long-time affordable housing advocate) and Paul Silvern (a consultant hired by the city to study the economic feasibility of potential projects under the standards proposed in the Downtown Community Plan) engage in a more in-depth discussion of the plan than you can find pretty much anywhere.

If you can look past Cole sort-of implying Next is Fake News in the first post — Thanks, Rick. We love you too — there’s a lot there to unpack. There were times that I needed some help, such as when Silvern writes, “the prototypes we tested are all Type IIIb construction, which consists of Type V wood frame construction over a ground floor concrete podium (up to 72 feet), or over two stories of concrete podium (for the 84-foot/4.0 FAR prototype).”

But Lambert responded as though she understood him, so I’m sure it makes sense to people who study this sort of thing.

It’s not often we single out our comments section as somehow newsworthy in and of itself, but if you’re interested in reading more on the DCP, or just really enjoy jargony discussion of Planning issues, then set aside ten minutes to check this out.

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