10 Notable Council Actions from 2017
January 9, 2018
by Joseph Vandenorth
Santa Monica is known for being a bold city willing to tackle modern issues by adopting, and sometimes pioneering, policy and innovative programs to advance wellbeing, sustainability, and inclusion. In 2017, Santa Monica City Council tackled complex issues around land use, immigration, energy, and more. Here's a look at notable moments from City Council in 2017. You can also read about some of the Office of Communications favorite moments in Santa Monica from 2017.
The homelessness crisis impacts everyone in LA County. After great progress was made in reducing homelessness by a quarter over five years, the numbers went up drastically in 2017. It's hardly a moment to be proud of as a society, though Santa Monica is taking a proactive approach and recently committed to a new plan for addressing homelessness including more police officers on SMPD's Homeless Liaison Program, two new Library Service Officers, hiring a dozen outreach workers as well as a Senior Advisor on Homelessness to bring all of these efforts in collaboration with each other.
The DCP is the central planning tool that will guide the future of Downtown Santa Monica over the next 15 years. The DCP incentivizes housing production through a streamlined administrative approval process for projects that meet set size, height, and design standards. It also includes the most ambitious affordable housing requirements and incentives in California with 20-30% of all new units designated as affordable for low-income residents and families.
The City of Santa Monica joined a national coalition of 26 U.S. cities and counties in filing an amicus brief seeking to halt the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. With cities including Los Angeles and New York, we urged a nationwide injunction against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would prevent DHS from ending the DACA program or using information obtained from DACA applicants for deportation proceedings.
The new plan will triple the number of public charging stations over the coming years, allowing electric vehicles owners and renters a more stable infrastructure for everyday use. The City will expand its public network of charging ports from 89 to over 300 within three years, including curbside charging, streetlight charging and fast charging stations.
The historic agreement with the FAA follows decades of work by the Santa Monica community to mitigate impacts of airport operations on local communities. The runway shortening will bring immediate relief to residents. “Reducing flights by large jets will improve the lives our residents and neighbors living adjacent to SMO. This is another victory for Santa Monica," said Mayor Ted Winterer.
On December 5, 2017, the Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously to join Los Angeles Community Choice Energy (LACCE). The move would shift all Santa Monica electricity customers to competitive electricity, sourced from up to 100% renewable sources compared to Southern California Edison, which offers less than 30% renewable.
The City of Santa Monica and Mayor Ted Winterer joined 61 mayors, representing over 35 million Americans, in standing up for the values and goals of the Paris Agreement. Santa Monica has led on climate action and sustainability for more than 20 years and has more ambitious work to come in the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan.
The City of Santa Monica joined the filing where six states challenged President Donald Trump’s second attempt at restricting travel into the United States from six majority-Muslim nations. “The revised travel ban continues this administration’s unconstitutional actions that do not align with Santa Monica values or the values of our great country,” said Mayor Ted Winterer. “Santa Monica is proud to stand with other cities, including our neighbors in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, in saying no to hate and reaffirming our ideals.”
The Santa Monica City Council voted to divest all City funds from Wells Fargo bank due to their involvement in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline and their other misleading business practices that do not align with Santa Monica policies. The motion was brought forward by Councilmembers Terry O’Day and Tony Vazquez.
Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted to approve the second reading of an ordinance requiring all new single-family construction in the City of Santa Monica to be zero-net energy (ZNE). Santa Monica is the first city in the country to adopt a ZNE ordinance, leading California to ensure new construction meets the most energy-efficient, cost-effective standards in the industry. The new law goes into effect on May 1, 2017.
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