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Developments with Landmark Buildings Get More Construction Time

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


Rusty's Surf

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Lookout Staff

July 1, 2013 -- Development projects that include a designated Santa Monica landmark will have an extra half year to complete construction under an emergency ordinance approved by the City Council last week.

The Municipal code already allows three 180-day extensions – one and a half years – after the building permit expires if the project is “being executed in good faith” and “there are no negative impacts to the community as a result of the extension.”

Under the emergency ordinance approved Tuesday, the applicant would need to satisfy the requirements set forth in the current ordinance “demonstrating that circumstances were beyond his or her control,” according to staff.

The applicant also must show that “substantial progress has been made, no health or safety hazards are present, and there are no unreasonable aesthetic or economic impacts to the community,” staff said.

The ordinance addresses existing buildings with significant materials that are concealed behind existing building elements and discovered during construction, planning officials said.

“Buildings of designated historical significance in Santa Monica may include those that were originally constructed with methods and materials that are obsolete and do not meet current building code standards,” said Ron Takiguchi, building officer for the Planning Department.

“Some of these building materials may have been originally designed to carry a significant structural component to the building such as structural shear walls,” Takiguchi said.

Discovery of these obsolete materials may require a redesign that must be reviewed by City staff, pushing back the construction schedule beyond the developer’s control, he said.

The emergency ordinance allows permits for current projects to remain active, Takiguchi.

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