Draft Plan for Downtown Santa Monica Released Today

Revised Downtown Community Plan now a stronger tool for the community as it enters next phase of outreach and refinement

February 12, 2016

Draft Plan for Downtown Santa Monica Released Today

The City of Santa Monica Planning and Community Development Department issued today a revised draft of the guiding planning document for Downtown Santa Monica called the Downtown Community Plan (formerly the Downtown Specific Plan). This new release sets priorities for Downtown and includes the vision the community expressed over the last four years in a more user friendly format.

"The plan is how we’ll answer the question: ‘How do preserve and enhance the civic, cultural and economic heart of Santa Monica?’” said City Manager Rick Cole. “This is a living document to guide our efforts to strengthen a ‘hometown’ Downtown. By collaborating to do 'real planning' we can establish binding standards to protect our unique sense of place and ensure future infill development compliments our historic character.”

The plan has been renamed the Downtown Community Plan (DCP) to be more representative of what the document is—a roadmap for the long-term planning, preservation and care of the Downtown community. This edition is the result of community and stakeholder input and represents a 20-year vision for Downtown.

“Downtown Santa Monica is our community’s living room making it essential to include all residents in the creation of this document,” said Mayor Tony Vazquez. “This includes that feedback and more work lies ahead in getting diverse input to ensure our blueprint truly represents what Santa Monicans want to see for their downtown.”

This version has been extensively rewritten and reorganized from the previous edition released in February 2014. It’s now shorter and more results-driven with clear actions to be taken on by public and private interests in the areas of affordable housing, arts and culture, historic preservation, open space, mobility and placemaking.  

The next phase of work around the DCP will involve a series of innovative community outreach activities this spring to inform residents, business owners and other stakeholders about the Plan and to gather input and feedback for a final DCP to be released in late summer. Information on community events and an online public input tools will be released later this month. For more information and to sign up for email updates, visit downtownsmplan.net.  

About the Downtown Community Plan (formerly the Downtown Specific Plan)

The Downtown Community Plan is guided by the 2010 Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) vision of a thriving, mixed-use urban environment that provides multiple opportunities for living, working, entertainment and enrichment. The LUCE envisioned an energetic and contemporary Downtown for residents, employees and visitors that integrates the light rail and preserves the unique character of the district and its commercial and residential life. The LUCE also called for enhancing Downtown through better linkages to some of City's most visible attractions: the Civic Center and the Beachfront. However, the LUCE deferred implementation of the vision and the specific standards to creation of a Downtown Specific Plan.

Over the past two years, the Downtown Specific Plan (now called the Downtown Community Plan)) process has included over a dozen workshops and public hearings, as well as stakeholder interviews and discussions with various boards to develop an action plan to achieve a community vision for the future of the Downtown. For more information, visit downtownsmplan.net

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