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West L.A. Expo Stations Getting Mixed-Use Makeovers

Public meeting April 10 will kick off environmental review of L.A.'s plan to rezone areas surrounding five light rail stations from Culver City to Santa Monica.

Santa Monica isn't the only city gearing up to study how new pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development along the Expo Light Rail corridor will impact traffic and surrounding neighborhoods.

Metro and the city of Los Angeles are about ready to start an environmental impact report on their plans to rezone areas within a 15 minute walk of the five Expo stations from Culver City to Santa Monica. The stations are in Culver City, which is already open, and at National and Palms, Exposition and Westwood, Exposition and Sepulveda and Exposition and Bundy.

SEE ALSO: Light Rail Opens in Culver City—On to Santa Monica

The goal, according to city planners, is to encourage people to actually take the train by allowing "some increased development intensity near stations" and "improving the configuration and condition of streets to better promote pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular circulation." Other changes will likely include adding public green space and affordable housing.

SEE ALSO: Mayor Wants to Lure Tech Start-ups to Expo Corridor

The plan does not include the three stations under construction in Santa Monica, which is already moving forward on re-zoning a large swath of land near the future Expo stop at the Bergamot Station Arts Center.

Work to extend Expo Light Rail from the line's current terminus in Culver City to downtown Santa Monica is chugging along and remains on track for a 2015 completion date. Pending successful inspections and testing, the train will open to riders in 2016. About 64,000 riders are estimated to take the train from its starting point in downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica by 2030.

A public meeting to kick off the environmental review of the five stations between Culver City and Santa Monica is at 6 p.m. April 10 in at the IMAN Cultural Center in Palms. Feedback will be taken following a presentation on the project at 6:15 p.m.

The cultural center is at 3376 Motor Ave.

Can't make the meeting but have something to say? Send comments to Lameese Elqura by April 15. They can also be mailed to Elqura at the Department of City Planning, 200 N. Spring St., Room 667, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Greg Fry March 21, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Rest assured that the municipal governments involved--be they Santa Monica or Los Angeles--are not the least bit interested in promoting a brave new "green" world. They are only interested in responding to the interests--and the $$$--of the developers who want to make maximum money by building outsized, over-developed and infrastructure-wrecking monstrosities who pretend to rationalize such by offering "green" pretenses and the like. Our already gridlocked streets will only become more gridlocked, adding to the nightmare of necessary vehicle trips and crippling emergency response vehicles. Enough is enough! Take your monstrous development projects elsewhere where they might actually be welcomed, and needed.
W Smith March 21, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Shouldn't environmental impact reports happen BEFORE building any structure(s)??? That's what's called PLANNING. I guess this is more proof that the subway/train whatever you want to call it, is the primary driver. Who builds all of this? UNIONS... We all know how California treats its unions. (Echoes of the California high speed rail and the Lancaster to Vegas rail.) I doubt any community discussion will change anything.
proactive100 March 21, 2013 at 04:38 PM
A developer friend once told me that if he needed something from a city in CA, he simply contacted the appropriate Democratic Party power broker. They would come back to him with a list of candidates and incumbents with dollar numbers by their names. He would make the campaign contributions indicated and magically the city council would now pass whatever measure he needed for his project. Our system has been corroded by money. A constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court is needed to start cleaning up our government. It won't solve all money-in-politics problems, but it is the place to start. If you want to make a difference support one of the many groups pushing for this such as Move to Amend.
Fred Alexander March 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Greg you are so correct, if you do not own a bicycle plan on moving out of Santa Monica. Join SMCLC.NET and make a difference. We all know the power of developers.

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