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Council Poised to Set Aside 3 More Properties for Affordable Housing
By Jorge Casuso
April 24, 2023 -- The City Council on Tuesday is expected to pave the way for affordable housing at the sites of the old Downtown Fire Station, City TV's shuttered studio and two small parcels by the Expo Line terminus lot.
The move to designate the City owned properties as "surplus land" will help Santa Monica meet the State's daunting mandate to plan for approximately 6,200 affordable units over the next eight years.
If approved, the City would make the land available under the California Surplus Land Act (SLA) to "specified public agencies and housing sponsors" for low- and moderate income housing or open space.
"The entities have a period of 60 days to respond," staff wrote in a report to the Council. "If the City receives a notice of interest from a designated entity, the City must negotiate in good faith for a period of not less than 90 days."
The three properties at 1444 7th Street, 1654 19th Street and the Expo lot parcels are among 24 City owned properties earmarked for 100 percent affordable housing development in the City's Housing Element.
The property on 7th Street -- that was the site of the 11,362-square-foot Fire Station station built in 1955 -- allow for a building height up to 84 feet, with an additional 10 feet if the housing development is 100 percent affordable.
The property is currently used to store equipment and vehicles for the City’s Promenade Maintenance Division and The People’s Concern, staff said.
It will also be used this summer as a small workspace and parking for the LA County Department of Mental Health Team and therapeutic transport van.
"In the event the City receives offers to purchase or lease this opportunity site, the City would evaluate options to relocate the interim uses within the Downtown Santa Monica district," staff wrote.
The Housing Element adopted by the Council last month paves the way for housing on the site of the City TV building on 19th Street near Colorado Avenue.
The zoning allows a building height of up to 65 feet, with an additional 10 feet if the development is 100 percent affordable, according to staff.
"The facility has been shuttered since 2020 and currently houses equipment that is used for the City’s cable television and video services," staff wrote.
The Council also is expected to designate two small remnant parcels of the Expo Line "Kiss and Ride Lot" that are immediately adjacent as surplus land it designated last October.
"This property was acquired along with the purchase of the Apple Building and Parking Lot 29 parcels as part of a land assemblage to facilitate the construction of Expo Terminus Station," staff wrote in an October 11 report to the Council.
The three designations would come a month and a half after the Council set aside three surface parking lots in the Mid-City Neighborhood as surplus land for low-income housing under the SLA ("3 City Owned Parking Lots Earmarked for Affordable Housing," March 9, 2023).
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