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Commission Makes Recommendation on Trailer Park's Future

After Santa Monica Planning Commission's decision, whether the park will be razed and converted into a mixed-use project is now up for City Council approval.

In voting to recommend approval of a development agreement Wednesday night with Village Trailer Park LLC, the Santa Monica Planning Commission said it sought to soften the blow to residents .

The vote was unanimous. If ultimately approved by the City Council, the agreement will pave for an mixed use project consisting of hundreds of apartments and condos and retail and office space on the property at 2930 Colorado Ave.

Construction would force the relocation of dozens of existing mobile homes and their owners. In exchange, they stand to receive money and services, but the amounts are up for negotiation.

The Planning Commission wants to see tenants who move to the new apartments collect $1,652 per month in rental subsidies from the developer until the units are move-in ready. The draft agreement says they'll have 30 days to decide to lease a unit in the new "East Village." Commissioners want to extend it to 45 days.

Residents who opt to not to live in one of the shiny new condos, will receive at least $18,500 to relocate their trailers elsewhere.

Commissioners said they want to treat the tenants "like kings and queens."

Among the other conditions they are seeking: compensation or $500 cash for the cost of moving; case management services for the elderly and disabled; and the option for residents to own, whether its an existing trailer they've relocated or a new one purchased by the developer, if they relocate to Mountain View Mobile Home Park, also in Santa Monica.

Most of the residents object to the development and don't want to move.

Brenda Barnes, one of the most vocal and active residents, scoffed at the notion that they were being treated like royalty.

"Are you serious? I like the analogy to kings and queens—for the opposite reason from that used by the wrong-headed commissioner who used it—because we are homeowners.  'A man's home is his castle,'" she said.

As proposed, the project consists of 480 new apartments and condos and 30,000 square feet of retail outlets and offices. The plans for the project have changed in the past few months, with the developer scaling back the amount of commercial floor space, while increasing the housing and amount of walkways and gathering spaces for outdoor dining and parks.

But some commissioners said Thursday they still aren't satisfied with the design, which they perceive as too bulky and not including enough open spaces.

Of the 480 residential units, 147 would be rent-controlled. Planning Commissioners want to increase the number that would be restricted for tenants with "very low" and "low" incomes from 38 to 62.

Commissioners also recommended that residents who relocate to Santa Monica's other mobile home park, Mountain View Trailer Park, get the option to own, whether its an existing trailer they've relocated or a new one purchased by the developer.

SK June 22, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Back when the city of SM cared about their residents, low-income housing and economic diversity was an issue of pride amongst city officials. But now thanks to our Planning Commission and City Council, the poor are again bearing the brunt of greed. But then, funding for million dollar restrooms and special-needs parks and Big Brother parking meters has to come from somewhere, so best to force the poor out of their homes so expensive (and of course, ATTRACTIVE) condos, apartments and retail shops can add more congestion to the already over-filled streets of Santa Monica. After all, low-income people have no right to live in our fair city, only to visit it via the brand spanking new Metro line (which also needs to be paid for). Thanks again, Planning Commission, and future thanks to the City Council who will push this measure through for the "betterment" of all residents, except the low income residents. Although I support the right of private landowners to sell their land, city is ultimately responsible for allowing the development of it. our elected/appointed officials seem determined to turn Santa Monica into the west coast NYC. Prediction: by 2020, you will be forced to pay a Santa Monica city zone driving permit to access your job and/or home. And if you are low-income worker, then you can take that new Metro line to work, the one that was paid for by forcing out another low-income homeowner.
Gregg Heacock June 22, 2012 at 03:10 PM
As for treating the residents of Village Trailer Park like Kings and Queens, has anyone seen "Game of Thrones"? Or what about Charles I or Marie Antoinette? This is a take-over by developers, whose are invested in serving themselves, not the city, and surely not the residents of Village Trailer Park. East Village, as the developer would like to call it, has apartments the size of those housing students at UCLA, only the rent will be much higher. Dense with little open space, this is another lost opportunity for the Mid-City area, which could be a cultural haven in Santa Monica if city planning were not subservient to developers' desire for an immediate high return on their investments that could cost this city its future.
Andrew Hoyer June 22, 2012 at 03:38 PM
It's just really sad that the city can't see the need to follow the LUCE that they spent so much time and money developing. There really is a need for an Area Plan to be finished first before they start making Development Agreements in my neighborhood. Given the lax way in which the city has enforced existing DA's (see St John's Hospital) how can we be confident that anything they approve now will actually occur or fit in with the future goals for the Mid-City Area?
Claudia Schafer June 23, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Damn straight, SK. SM is turning into something more like a West Coast Miami. Eventually the entire Beach will be lined with high rise hotels, catering to wealthy tourists from around the world - not to locals. We 99%ers won't be able to work or live here. Shop local? Once a rallying phrase is rapidly becoming a joke between the extra sales tax, impending quadrupled parking costs, and gradual squeezing out of local businesses. Seriously, this was a nice place to live before it became Stick-it-to-ya Monica.
Roberto Gomez October 10, 2012 at 06:03 PM
My name is Roberto Gomez and I am a candidate for Santa Monica City Council. I would ask the residents of Santa Monica to join me in signing a petition to send to the Los Angeles District Attorney to investigate the City Council and Planning Division for corruption. Will you stand with me? Also, we need to file a lawsuit to keep the City Coucil from ruling on any construction in the City of Santa Monica until that investigation is complete. Let's make the favorite song for these City Council members be "Bad boys, Bad boys what ya gonna do when they come for you." Roberto Gomez Candidate for City Council Save Village Trailer Park email: SantaMonicaGent@aol.com www.StopCityDestroyingHousing.com

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