January 25, 2010

To:      Planning Commission (Cc: Eileen Fogarty, Jing Yeo, Kyle Ferstead, City Council)
From:  Board of Directors, Friends of Sunset Park (with support from the North of Montana Association
            and the Santa Monica Coalition from a Livable City, as of 1/27/10)

Re:      Bergamot Transit Village Center, 1681 26th St. - 1/27/10 agenda  

[Please include this comment in the Public Record.]

1. The FOSP Board of Directors strongly opposes the Bergamot Transit Village Center
project at its current size, which is more than 3 times the current zoning.

2. There are no "public benefits" that can possibly make up for the negative impact of the increase in commuter traffic coming through our residential neighborhood that will result from
nearly 1 million sq ft of development at Olympic and 26th/28th.

3. Bergamot Village will be about 3/4 the size of the proposed Bundy Village and Medical Park at Olympic at Centinela, which will wrap around the Martin Cadillac property to Bundy Avenue.  The Draft EIR for that project estimates 20,073 additional daily car trips. 3/4 of that projected traffic count leads us to believe that the Bergamot Village might generate about 15,000 daily car trips, many of which would pass through Sunset Park on Centinela, Cloverfield/23rd, and Lincoln, the only north-south "through" streets in the southeast quadrant of Santa Monica. 

The City of Santa Monica has commented in the Bundy Village Draft EIR that its traffic would impact
About 17 major intersections in Santa Monica, including many in Sunset Park between Centinela and Lincoln. (See attachment A.)

4. Many streets near Olympic and 26th already have high traffic counts. (See attachment B.)

5. Many intersections near Olympic and 26th already have low Level of Service (LOS) ratings.
(See attachment C.) 

6. A city summary of "Total Cumulative Development" shows 4,878,978 sq ft of Commercial/Retail/Restaurant development "currently planned and pending within the City of Santa Monica and surrounding communities." (That's the equivalent of about ten Santa Monica Place malls.) Many of the larger projects will be located in the Light Manufacturing and Studio District (LMSD), near the proposed Bergamot Transit Village Center. This is in a city that already has a jobs/housing imbalance. These projects will all generate a lot of commuter traffic and, the larger the project, the more traffic we can expect. (See attachment D for a list of projects in or near the LMSD zone.)

7. In 2005, at the time of the Lantana Campus expansion (on Olympic and on Exposition, between Stewart and Centinela), we took a position that the FOSP Board would oppose all large development projects unless the traffic impact on residential neighborhoods could be mitigated.

8. Also in 2005, at the beginning of the General Plan update process, we mailed a questionnaire to all FOSP members and flyered the questionnaire to all 7,000 households in Sunset Park.
(See attachment E.)

87% of residents who responded wanted the LMSD and the M1 districts either downzoned to reduce density and traffic, or wanted to keep the densities the same. 75% wanted the current heights (2-3 stories) to be maintained.  Only 9% wanted more office buildings in the LMSD.

9. Notification within a 500-foot radius for such a gigantic project is totally inadequate. We request that notification requirements be increased to 1,000 feet for all commercial projects, and for housing projects of more than 20 units, and that all city-recognized neighborhood organizations be notified as well, in a timely manner. 

10. In conclusion, the parcel is zoned for 310,000 sq ft, and the developer is proposing 969,000 sq ft. Santa Monica residents think this is much too large! We strongly urge that the height, scale, and mass of this project be drastically reduced, to the point that traffic impacts on residential neighborhoods can be mitigated. 

Thank you for your consideration. 


Attachment A – City of Santa Monica 6/15/09 comment re Bundy Village
                           and Medical Park (Olympic & Centinela)

Intersections in Santa Monica that will be “significantly impacted”:

1. Colorado & Stewart
2. Olympic & 20th
3. Olympic & Cloverfield
4. Olympic & 26th
5. Olympic & Stewart
6. Olympic & Centinela (north leg)
7. Olympic & Centinela (south leg)
8. Centinela & westbound I-10 freeway on-ramp (north of Pico)
9. Centinela & westbound I-10 freeway off-ramp (south of Pico)
10. Centinela & eastbound I-10 freeway on-ramp (south of Pico)
11. Centinela & eastbound I-10 freeway off-ramp (Pico & 34th)
12. Pico & Centinela
13. Pico & Cloverfield
14. Pico & 23rd
15. Pico & Lincoln
16. Ocean Park Blvd. & Centinela
17. Ocean Park Blvd. & 23rd
18. Santa Monica Blvd. & Cloverfield  


Attachment B -- 24 Hour Traffic Counts (2006)- Transportation Management

26th Street, Wilshire to Olympic – 17,752
Cloverfield, Santa Monica Blvd. to Olympic – 42,937
Cloverfield, Olympic to 10 freeway – 29,458
Cloverfield, 10 freeway to Pico – 28,496
20th Street, Wilshire to Pico – 25,427

Olympic, 20th to 26th – 28,577
Olympic, 26th to Centinela – 33,880
Wilshire Blvd., 17th to Centinela – 39,806
Colorado, 20th to Centinela – 17,749
Pico Blvd., 20th to Centinela – 26,663
Ocean Park Blvd., 23rd to Centinela – 27,189

Attachment C– Intersection Level of Service Ratings (2004) [A” is good, “F” is bad)

20th & Olympic:                           D (am) and F (pm)
20th & Pico Blvd.:                        F (pm)
20th & Pearl:                                F (am) and F (pm)
23rd & Pearl:                                D (pm)
23rd & Ocean Park Blvd.:            E (am) and E (pm)
Cloverfield & Olympic:                F (am) and F (pm)
Cloverfield & Pearl:                     D (pm)
Cloverfield & Ocean Park Blvd.: D (am) and F (pm)
26th & Santa Monica Blvd.:         F (pm)
26th & Broadway:                        D (pm)
Stewart/28th & Olympic:              D (pm)
Centinela & Colorado:                D (pm)
Centinela & WB I-10 freeway:    F (am) and F (pm)

Attachment D – Large development projects in or near the LMSD zone

1) January 27 -- Bergamot Transit Village Center development agreement "float up" - Planning Commission public hearing - 7 PM - City Hall - NE corner of Olympic & 26th (the former Paper Mate factory site at 1681 26th St.) - 969,000 sq ft, 81-foot heights.  (This parcel is zoned for about 300,000 sq ft.) This could possibly generate 15,000 daily car trips, impacting many intersections on Olympic, 20th, 26th, Centinela, and other streets. Jing.Yeo@smgov.net

2) February 3 (delayed from January 20) -- Paseo Nebraska development agreement "float up" - 7 PM - Planning Commission - City Hall - Public hearing re a 3.5 acre development on Olympic/Nebraska (between Stewart/28th & Centinela), with 58-foot heights and 356,000 sq ft, including 545 multi-family housing units, 80,000 sq ft of commercial and office space, and 1,000 parking spaces. That could possibly generate 4-5,000 daily car trips. Roxanne.Tanemori@smgov.net  

3) February 11 -- Bundy Village and Medical Park -- L.A. City Planning Commission, time TBD  at Olympic & Centinela, wrapping around the Martin Cadillac property to Bundy Avenue - 1.3 million sq ft;
6 to 12 stories; 3,276 parking spaces, 20,073 additional daily car trips, impacting many intersections in Santa Monica. 384,735 sq ft of medical offices, 119,838 sq ft of retail, 385 residential units.

The City of Santa Monica comment on the Draft EIR states that 17 intersections in Santa Monica will be impacted, including the 10 freeway on- and off-ramps at Centinela and intersections on Santa Monica Blvd., Colorado Avenue, Olympic Blvd., Pico Blvd., Ocean Park Blvd., and Lincoln Blvd.. In the Draft EIR, the owner of the Martin Cadillac property on the NW corner of Olympic and Bundy commented that if car sales don't pick up, he might build a 650,000 sq ft project on his property.

Councilman.Rosendahl@lacity.org , Luciralia.Ibarra@lacity.org (L.A. Planning Department), and info@BrentwoodCommunityCouncil.org -- "Bundy Village, Case No. VTT-66732-CN-DB-GB" -   Additional information is available at www.StopBundyVillage.com and at www.BundyVillage.info/
4) New Roads School (aka Herb Alpert Educational Village) - 3131 Olympic - The 2003 FEIR included  adding to the existing facility (pre-school through high school) for a total of 65,481 sq ft and 213 parking spaces, a 350-seat performing arts theater, gym, library, two 3-story buildings, 37 classrooms. In June 2009, the Planning Commission approved a development review, CUP, and variance. The ARB review occurred in December 2009 and documents referred to 116,957 sq ft. The property, which is perhaps 2.9 acres, extends from Olympic to Nebraska, and is adjacent to Paseo Nebraska.

5) 2834 Colorado Creative Studio Project (formerly Lionsgate) - The City Council has approved a development agreement "float up" for a 5-story 153,600 sq ft post production facility (across the street from 1-story homes and a pre-school) with ca. 584 parking spaces. This could possibly generate 2,300 daily car trips. Bruce.Leach@smgov.net  
 6) Roberts Business Center - 2848-2912 Colorado - Plans for heights up to 58 feet, with 135,000 sq ft of creative office space, 12,000 sq ft of neighborhood commercial space, 84 units of multi-family residential, and 538 parking spaces. This could possibly generate 2,100 daily car trips. Jing.Yeo@smgov.net 
7)  Village Trailer Park - 2930 Colorado - Plans to demolish the historic 3.85 acre Village Trailer Park, with its swimming pool and mature trees, and change the zoning from R-MH (Residential-Mobile Home) to LMSD (Light Manufacturing Studio District). Plans include 229,860 sq ft  -- 40,030 sq ft of commercial space, 8,030 sq ft of retail space, 181,800 sq ft of residential (240 condos and 109 apartments), and 738 parking spaces.  This could possibly generate 2,900 daily car trips. Jing.Yeo@smgov.net

8) SMC Academy of Entertainment and Technology at 1660 Stewart St. (west side, between Olympic and Colorado). Under the 2009 Master Plan Update, p.24, the project will include a 3-story building for KCRW and a 2-story expansion of the Academy, for a total addition of 47,170 sq ft, plus a 7-story parking structure (5 above ground, 2 below ground) for a total of 450 parking spaces.  

9)  Agensys, Inc. development agreement “float up” -  Community meeting on Jan 19, 2010 -- a new 153,000 sq ft facility with 300 parking spaces to support research and development, offiice and manufacturing operations for the biotechnology company at 1800 Stewart St. (between Olympic and the 10 freeway -- formerly Richlar). Brad.Misner@smgov.net 

10) SMC Main Campus Student Services and Administration Building (under construction) – 1900 Blvd. Blvd. (near the SW corner of Pico and 20th) - a new 3-story building, with 500 underground parking spaces next to an intersection with an “F” Level of Service rating in the PM. (Pico & 20th).


Attachment E – FOSP 2005 questionnaire excerpts

Question 12: Some residents have been frustrated by the City's approval of large development projects that have led to increased traffic congestion. If the City remains unresponsive, would you favor vote approval of large developments above a certain size?
Yes: 85% (265 responses)  No: 15% (47 responses)

Question 24: Within the old industrial core (Lincoln to Centinela, Santa Monica Blvd. to the freeway, would you prefer:

   a. downzone to reduce density and traffic - 47% (143)
   b. keep the densities the same - 40% (121)
   c. increase density - 4% (12)
   d. other - 10% (29)

Question 25: As the old industrial core is gradually re-developed, would you prefer? (Check one or more.)

   a. keep things the same - 48% (135)
   b. more office buildings - 9% (26)
   c. more housing - 28% (78)
   d. other: - 30% (84) -  12% parks and open space (34)
                                       6% mixed use (16)
                                       3% low rise, affordable housing (8)
                                       2% refurbish existing industry (5)
                                       1% develop area without increase in traffic (4)
                                        1% business/services to meet residents' needs (4)
                                       1% performing art/art venue (3)
                                        2% other (6)

Question 26: Regarding building height, the range downtown is generally 3 to 6 stories; on Ocean Avenue, 3 stories; and in the industrial areas, 2 to 3 stories.
Would you prefer in the Old Industrial Core:
     Higher - 13% (36)
     Lower - 13% (37)
     Maintain - 75% (288)