If some mobile homes are preserved if and when the Village Trailer Park is developed, they will be cloaked in shadows.
That super-sized shadows would exceed city thresholds has triggered the development project's environmental documents to be recirculated for public comment. Mobile home owners who oppose the development of retail shops and apartment units on the park property said that's good news because it gives them more time to argue for the retention of all 109 original mobile home spaces ().
All previous iterations of plans for the new "East Village"—which still needs City Council approval—called for the complete razing of the trailer park. The latest proposal to keep 10 spaces for mobile homes will be reviewed by the Santa Monica City Council after the public comment period ends Oct. 15, city staffers wrote in a recent memo.
"Having to recirculate the [Environmental Impact Report] gives us another sure year here," Brenda Barnes wrote recently in an email to fellow opponents.
The new plans call for keeping the easternmost portion of the existing Village Trailer Park at 2930 Colorado Ave. while closing the remaining portion and redeveloping it with three new buildings, instead of four.
Overall, it would be a smaller development, with a 14 percent reduction in the number of residential units, additional ground floor open space, and an 8 percent reduction in total square feet.
The original EIR for a larger project without mobile home space was circulated last fall. During subsequent Planning Commission and City Council hearings, residents requested the retention of a portion of the existing Village Trailer Park.
In August, a developer spokesman said as many as 20 of the mobile homes could be preserved, but retaining more than that would make the project "financially infeasible."
Not wanting to lose their homes, some of the residents fought the plans for development since they were first announced in 2006. The park is community described by its residents, many of whom are elderly, as tight-knight, void of crime and altogether irreplaceable.
In a memo dated Aug. 31, city project manager Jing Yeo wrote to the council that staffers would continue working with the developer to consider donating some of the park land to a nonprofit housing provider who would operate the trailer park portion of the property and who may eventually develop it with affordable housing.
Here's a rundown of the modified plans:
- Retention of a portion (10 mobile home spaces) of the existing Village Trailer Park on the easternmost portion of the project site
- Reduction in the overall square footage of the project from 399,581 square feet to 343,970 square feet
- Reduction in the number of residential units from 393 to 377 units
- Reduction in the proposed square footage of commercial space from 117,044 sft to 25,940 sf
- Modification in the bedroom mix of proposed residential units
- Reduction in the number of new buildings from four to three
The new EIR states "shadow impacts would be significant and unavoidable:"
The proposed project would vary from four to five stories in height and, at its maximum, would be 57 feet tall... Shadow-sensitive uses in the project area that would be affected by the proposed project include the existing one-story mobile homes that would remain in the Village Trailer Park, located 34 feet immediately east of the proposed project and the residential neighborhood to the north across Colorado Avenue.
In general, shadows cast by project buildings would be longest during the winter solstice and would shorten through the equinox season until their shortest length during the summer.