TO: CITY COUNCIL
From: SANTA MONICA COALITION FOR A LIVABLE CITY (SMCLC)
RE: SUPPORT FOR ITEM 13-C ON NOV 27, 2007 AGENDA (SUSTAINABILITY EVALUATIONS FOR NEW DEVELOPMENTS)
One of the valuable lessons to take from the recent Court of Appeal opinion in the Playa Vista case, is that cities cannot approve projects that will strain infrastructure capacity by assuming that some solution will be found once the project is built.
We all know that our built out city does not have limitless infrastructure capacity. When considering new development opportunities, we look to you as well as the Planning Commission to thoughtfully analyze future growth demands for sewer, water, roadways, schools, parks, and emergency services.
For these reasons, SMCLC strongly supports Item 13-C, and the recent requests to you from the Planning Commission and the Task Force on the Environment that staff reports analyzing development proposals include sustainability evaluations as to whether the project is consistent with our Sustainability City Plan.
Task Force on the Environment
RESULTING COUNCIL ACTION
Council directed staff to recommend criteria for analyzing planning and land use decisions for consistency with our adopted Sustainable City Plan, such that objective sustainability evaluations of policies and projects may be added to Planning Commission and City Council staff reports on such matters.
Council confirmed that the Santa Monica Sustainable City Plan (SCP) and principles be integrated into the General Plan's Land Use/Circulation Elements (LUCE) update process and outcomes. This General Plan update process should include ways to implement the LUCE/SCP principles together and implementation may include mechanisms such as performance-based standards and zoning requirements to ensure that future land uses meet the LUCE/SCP principles and goals. The ultimate goal is for an integrative LUCE/SCP framework and review process. No resources should be diverted from completion of the LUCE process so that its completion and integration with the SCP occurs as soon as possible.