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City's Former Land Use Attorney Now Serves on Santa Monica Landmarks Commission

 
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By Jorge Casuso

August 7, 2017 -- When the Santa Monica Landmarks Commission meets next Monday, a familiar face will be on the dais serving in a very different capacity.

Barry Rosenbaum, who was appointed to the Commission by the City Council on June 27, will serve on one of the boards he formerly advised as the City's former land use attorney.

A Santa Monica resident who worked for the City for more than 30 years, Rosenbaum formerly advised the Council, as well as boards and commissions, in areas that included planning, historic preservation, housing policies, ethics and constitutional law.

"During my approximately eleven years advising the Landmarks Commission, I became intimately familiar with the essential work that the Commission performs and the laws under which it operates," Rosenbaum wrote in his application.

Barry Rosenbaum
Barry Rosenbaum (From Linkedin)

"Now that I am retired from the City Attorney’s Office and my youngest daughter is about to attend the Thornton School of Music at USC in August, I have the opportunity to give back to the community in ways not previously possible."

Rosenbaum said he was attracted to the Landmarks Commission's goal of "preserving the stories of past generations" and recognizes "the paramount need to preserve the City’s heritage."

"I have also observed the intense scrutiny under which the Commission operates given the substantial pressure in the City to promote and encourage redevelopment, notwithstanding the significance of what may be lost," Rosenbaum said. "I know that the Commission quite admirably withstands this pressure.

"Given my past experience, I am quite confident that I could help support the Commission to continue to fulfill its mission, notwithstanding these significant countervailing pressures."

Rosenbaum joins the Commission -- which designates landmarks, structures of merit and advises on potential historic districts -- as it prepares to consider major changes to the Landmarks Ordinance adopted in 1976.

"While this ordinance has served the City well," Rosenbaum said, "it is certainly time for a thorough assessment of how it might be revised to better serve the City going forward.

"Given my past work experience, I believe I am well-qualified to assist in this process."

As the City's Senior Land Use Attorney from 1997 to 2016, Rosenbaum also drafted local laws with a focus on land use, housing, historic preservation, environmental protection, community events, street performance and vending, he wrote in his application.

He also advised the City in updates to its Land Use and Circulation Element, Housing Element, Zoning Ordinance and specific and area plans and was involved in "significant appellate litigation addressing land use and constitutional issues."

Rosenbaum was chosen by the Council from a field of four candidates that included Ken Breisch, an architectural historian who served on the City's Planning Commission for eight years.

The other two candidates were Derek Davermont, a local attorney, and Michael Salazar, a member of the Ocean Park Association (OPA) board who served on the City of Pasadena's Design Commission and Community Development Committee.

 


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