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New Trailer Park Plans Give Public More Time to Comment

Modified plans to preserve 10 mobile homes stalls approval process and gives the public more time to comment on environmental impacts.

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.

SEE ALSO:

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.

To comment on the latest version of the EIR, email Jing Yeo, special projects manager.

 

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Dan Charney September 05, 2012 at 05:47 AM
We have too many retail shops and high end condos and expensive apartments in Santa Monica and certainly enough business parks. We are razing and destroying every single bit of soul and character this town has. Keep the park as is and let it be given to low income people. Stop catering to the developers who ruin our city and go home to Newport or wherever they come from.
Mary Sanders September 05, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Amen, Dan.
Dan Charney October 17, 2012 at 10:11 PM
This end of Santa Monica is all too developed as it is. One business park after another. With this developer owned council- I fear for this wonderful park. Please demolish the Water Garden buildings instead- wow - a loss of many lawyers- what an improvement that would be for the city- and build an architectural sustainable great community - one by one -every area of SM is being destroyed- you should see what is happening to Rose Ave between Main and Lincoln- when will it stop?
Brenda Barnes October 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM
It will never stop until we get a Council majority with specific plans to run the City without developer money. A pie chart the City's consultant showed the Planning Commission on the Traffic Impact Fee demonstrated the City collects 10% from developers and adds 90% from other sources like foundations, grants, and other levels of government. So when they collect $2M in fees from developers and call that a "community benefit," not only do we suffer from the development the fees were for, we also have to suffer from $20M of the Council's spending, which is always something stupid like the $55 million they are spending for two parks between City Hall and the Pier. My husband Peter Naughton is a Cambridge University-educated urban planner with 31 years' experience, and I was an attorney and manager for the Rent Control Board and then represented landlords in Santa Monica before I retired in 1997. We have written about 1,000 pages now against this Village Trailer Park closure, with 56 separate legal arguments, any one sufficient to stop it. However, that took three years of almost fulltime work by two people with specific skills who happened to own a home on the property. To stop the other obscene developments in town, we can't do it one project at a time. The developers' lapdogs have to be voted out. I say anyone who has been in office the past ten years must go. Run the City for residents again, not for tourists, developers or politicians.
j pena October 19, 2012 at 03:44 PM
Brenda, who would you recommend voting for? It is confusing to pick when the Rent Control board says one thing and Sierra Club and League of Women Voters yet another. It looks like Winterer, McKinnon and maybe John C. Smith are slow growth. If you feel comfortable saying I'd like to know from your experience if you recommend for or against any candidates, thanks.
Christel Andersen November 27, 2012 at 05:10 PM
An EIR that allows 2000 more car trips a day in an already too conggested area should never have been approved. If There would have been a Master Plan for the whole Bergamot Area the plan would take the accumulative impact of all development into account. The Alternative Plan with conserving half of Village Trailer Park will allow 100 affordable low income spaces, which each has the possibility of housing a whole family. In times, when Santa Monica can't afford to replace the lost affordable low income units, the choice to explore seriously the Alternative option seems obvious. In hard economic times low income residents and the elderly need to be protected.
JohnCySmith.com November 27, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Four Santa Monica City Council members, led by out-going Mayor Richard Bloom, rushed to approve the "East Village" project before Bloom leaves office for an Assembly seat. The East Village project will pack nearly 400 housing units on four acres of land, destroy more than 100 affordable living spaces the Council often says our city so desperately needs, and add 2,000+ daily car trips to a neighborhood already choking in traffic. EVERY neighborhood group urged the Council to delay the vote until AFTER next month's release of The Bergamot Area Plan. So much for listening to your constituents. Mayor Bloom's final act will serve as his legacy. He will either be remembered as the Mayor who dismissed the concerns of voters, took money from developers and sold out some of the city's most vulnerable residents. Or he can do the right thing, recuse himself from voting (like he did correctly when the Council took up the issue of the Rusty's Surf Ranch lease) and let the next Council give the more neighborhood-friendly alternative plan the consideration it truly deserves. Which is it going to be, Mayor?
Dan Charney November 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Not only CAN this city restore the plans to help those most needy - they NEED to- Community Core is a "cleansing" tool to rid the city of the really needy that Sec 8 protected- a small part of the money for low income housing can be used to take over that cancelled federal program and re-fund those who have been waiting for ten years- as is - they give out a few to the prize SM agencies that help the needy- the mentally ill, the homeless, the battered women- that is good- but so are very low income seniors, some disabled who will be gone since the demise of this important program- SM should take this over and fund it with some of these funds being used for other apt- like the cubicles with huge rules that many don't qualify for-

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