Protecting the Downtown We Love
By Jennifer Kennedy, SMRR Treasurer and Planning Commissioner
The Santa Monica Downtown Community Plan is currently underway at City Hall. What is the Downtown Community Plan? It is a document that will consist of policies and regulations drafted for the downtown area in order to implement the city’s General Plan. Sound complicated? It’s more straightforward than you might think.
Downtown Santa Monica is a place where residential life, businesses, and recreational uses are all present. The blending of these features in one area contributes to an active, urban, pedestrian-oriented community, but it takes focused zoning standards to realize this vibrant community’s vision. The plan will provide guidance for development, mobility, cultural opportunities, open space, housing, preservation, and sustainability, in order to maintain and enhance our downtown’s attractive, local-serving character.
Who is affected by this plan? You, that’s who! Whether you live in downtown, work, shop or play there, you should get involved in its planning process. City plans affect how you live, work and move throughout our town. During April and May, the city’s Planning Department will be conducting outreach to obtain feedback from you about the downtown. There will be workshops, meetings, surveys and social media opportunities available to share your thoughts. Visit the website www.downtownsmplan.org for more information.
SMRR’s platform, which has been written and strengthened by SMRR members like you over the years, expresses our collective voice in opposition to excessive development, and in favor of affordable housing opportunities as well as high quality services and amenities for residents. SMRR-supported elected officials look to the SMRR platform for guidance on issues such as housing, land use, and the environment to name a few. We’d love to see you at SMRR’s biannual platform meeting to help update, reaffirm and support the platform’s resident-led principles for our community (which includes the downtown). So what’s the bottom line? Downtown is our living room and it’s our turn to protect and enhance it for future generations.