The Santa Monica City Council will meet for the first time in 2012 Tuesday night to explore two real estate transactions, among other issues.
The city has reportedly had little luck in its search to buy property for a new fire station in downtown, so the council will talk about exchanging some public land for privately held parcels.
"Time is of the essence," Andy Agle, the city's Director of Housing and Economic Development, wrote in a memo, explaining that any of the suitable sites staffers have looked at in the past year are either not for sale or are in the midst of being developed.
The existing Fire Station No.1, built in 1955, needs to be retrofitted and is being outgrown. Two years ago, officials determined that buying new land and building a new station was preferable to renovating the existing station at 1444 Seventh Street.
On a related note, "given the scarcity of land" in Santa Monica, the City Council will also look to explore the possibility of buying property that has come up for sale near the city's Corporation Yards at 2500 Michigan Ave.
It is common practice, staffers wrote in a memo, for them to alert the council when properties with potential come up for sale. They suggested the site could possibly be used to expand the Corporation Yards.
'Worst Possible Outcome' in Redevelopment Case
Wearing their hats as the directors of the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Santa Monica, City Council members will need to vote to chose a successor to the soon-to-be dissolved agency.
In the wake of the California Supreme Court's decision Dec. 29, redevelopment agencies across the state will die Feb. 1. Any contracts that the agencies held for new and existing development and affordable housing projects, however, will be carried out.
The City Council is likely to become the successor agency, seeing such projects through to fruition and making payments on the redevelopment agency's bonds and loans.
The high court's decision to uphold a new state law annihilating the agencies "was the worst possible outcome," Agle wrote in a memo to the council.
More Development in Downtown
The council is poised to give final approval to a new five-story apartment complex and commercial development at Fourth Court and Broadway Avenue. Most of the residential units will be small studios and will not come with any parking. Read more about the project:
Shiny New Equipment for Police
The Santa Monica Police Department is asking permission to spend more than $1.3 million on new equipment.
Specifically, it's asking to buy 75 laptops at the cost of $565,292 and 45 new black and white patrol cars as well as five cars for administrators from Wondries Fleet Group for $1.24 million.
The Santa Monica City Council meets in open session at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 1685 Main Street. To view the night's agenda in its entirety, visit the city's website at http://www01.smgov.net/cityclerk/council/agendas/2012/20120110/a20120110.htm