February 12 2023

This Tuesday the City Council will be discussing whether to “upzone” Santa Monica’s neighborhood commercial districts that include Main Street, Ocean Park Boulevard, Pico Boulevard and Montana Avenue (“Streets”).

“Upzoning” would allow these unique Streets to be developed with new five or six-story projects. The resulting demolition of existing buildings would displace and eliminate most of the essential neighborhood-serving businesses. They would be replaced with higher rent tenants like chain stores, destabilizing the neighborhoods, reducing residents’ quality of life and increasing traffic and parking woes.

Also being considered is whether to allow lot consolidation for Ocean Park Boulevard, Pico Boulevard, and Montana Avenue. If approved this would allow developers to consolidate lots and build larger, mega projects on these Streets.

When our Planning Commission recently reviewed these changes it made a strong, well-supported recommendation to Council against upzoning these Streets and urged the Council to keep the existing heights and densities in these neighborhood commercial districts. Read the Planning Commission letter here: https://santamonicacityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=4&ID=14074&MeetingID=1353

These four walking Streets contain most of the neighborhood-serving, affordable businesses residents use in their daily lives – local food stores and restaurants, laundromats, shoe repair and pharmacies, all within a short distance of people’s homes. Residents don’t just rely on them – they are a vital part of the fabric of our community that contribute to making Santa Monica feel special.

We agree with the Planning Commission and will urge the City Council to protect these neighborhoods and small businesses by keeping the current zoning and not allowing lot consolidation.

The City Council needs to hear our voices. If you agree it’s important to “buy local” and support these small businesses and maintain the quality of these walkable Streets, please email the City Council by noon on Tuesday February 14, 2023 and tell them to protect these Streets.

Please refer to 2.14.23 City Council Agenda Item 7a in your email subject line and send it to: