City Ready to Try Again on SMO Outreach Plan

Date:

The following is a press release from the City of Santa Monica. To read our past coverage of the city’s attempt to devise an outreach plan, click here.

The City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, will consider an important step forward in the process to close the Santa Monica Airport and reimagine the site for future community benefit.  

At its Dec. 19 meeting, the Council is set to discuss entering into an agreement with consultant Sasaki Associates, Inc. to analyze the existing site conditions and study options for the future of the airport land, including robust community outreach in partnership with city staff.  

City staff recommended Sasaki following a Request for Proposal process and is committed to moving forward with a plan centered around a “Great Park,” consistent with Measure LC.  

In January 2023, the Santa Monica City Council approved moving forward with a public process to determine the future of the Santa Monica Airport. The 227-acre property, which was once a park, represents nearly five percent of the city’s total land area. The city has obtained authorization to close the airport for aviation uses after Dec. 31, 2028, and passed a resolution in 2017 codifying that plan.  

The property is subject to voter-approved Measure LC, which restricts development on the airport property to only allow parks, public open spaces and public recreational facilities and the maintenance and replacement of existing cultural, arts and educational uses. Per Measure LC, any other potential use of the site would be subject to voter approval. 

Determining how to repurpose this land in a way that best serves Santa Monica, now and for generations, is a complex undertaking, and, as with many land-use planning projects, is a significant point of interest for the community. 

The proposed outreach process would include more than 60 meetings and listening sessions with community members in various formats over 21 months. The work would proceed in five phases: analyzing the existing conditions, setting the guiding principles for the project, creating three scenario alternatives, refining to a preferred scenario, and celebrating the final plan.   

With input from the community, city boards and commissions, and the City Council, Sasaki would develop multiple possible scenarios for the future of the airport, centered around a “Great Park” as well as economic feasibility studies and innovative financing strategies.  

This work would culminate in a single preferred alternative scenario that would go before the City Council for final approval. 

For more information and to provide written public comment for the Dec. 19 City Council meeting, click here

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