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Loosening Up in Santa Monica

Posted by John Hathorn on May 1, 2015
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Recently, the City Council voted to amend the Land Use and Circulation Element, better known as LUCE. In particular, Council members decided to remove some parts of the LUCE in order to make it harder to put new buildings on the city’s busiest boulevards. Like any other vote, not everyone was pleased with the result, especially considering that it was close. Four Council members voted yes on the amendment, while three voted against it.

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More specifically, the amendment to the LUCE will not permit Tier 3 buildings to be built on major boulevards. Tier 3 describes the largest type of development in this city. Buildings that fall into this category are about 55 feet tall and typically have a floor area ratio of 2.75. This means they are rather dense, but in return, they offer the most community benefits out of all the tiers of buildings in Santa Monica.

Under the amendment, there are a couple of exceptions to the new rule disallowing Tier 3 development on major boulevards. Firstly, 100 percent affordable housing will be permitted. The second exception applies to historic buildings that can be adapted. City planners were generally against Tier 3 development on the city’s main boulevards and therefore supported the amendment to the LUCE. Most people who are against large developments along the major streets simply don’t want tall buildings crowding out existing structures.

However, planning commissioners were in support of Tier 3 buildings. Their argument is that the city’s goal is to add 4,955 new homes by 2030, which may be harder to do now that large developments cannot be built on major boulevards. After all, mixed-use residential structures could feature retail shops and eateries on the first floor and residential housing above that, which should help reach the city’s housing goal. Supporters of this type of development claim it would be especially helpful for existing neighborhoods, which might now feel pressure to squeeze in new homes.

But the decision to amend the LUCE is not official yet. These votes will help advise the staff that will write up the decree. The City Council will then vote on it on May 5. Do you hope the Council will vote for the amendment? Let us know why or why not.

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Here is your real-time real estate market info:

There are two new listings this week: 616 and 610 18th Street. A rare opportunity to own a double lot in a prime Santa Monica neighborhood with a 120 feet frontage and an 18,000+ square feet lot size. Four listings have gone into escrow: 307 25th Street, 1602 Georgina Avenue, 548 15th Street and 101 Esparta Way. Year-to-date closed sales have gone up to 19 from 17 last week; 1130 Georgina Avenue and 537 Euclid Street closed with 537 Euclid closing above offer price.

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New Listings this Week

616 18th Street –   9 bedrooms + 11 baths.  $7,990,000.   Contemporary Mediterranean with large detached 2 story guest house on a double lot.   Huge double lot 17,880 square feet. Features hardwood floors, French doors, formal dining, Cook’s kitchen, fabulous master with vaulted ceiling, large yard, sparkling pool/ spa, and more. Rare opportunity to own an estate sized lot in prime north of Montana neighborhood. Last sold in June 2002 for $2,575,020.

610 18th Street –   3 bedrooms + 4 baths.  $3,295,000.   Tastefully remodeled 1920’s 2 story Traditional in Gillette’s Regent Square. Features formal living and dining room, remodeled kitchen, office sparkling pool/spa and yard. Detached garage serves as a pool side guest house or gym. Available separately is the property next door at 616 18th Street providing a rare opportunity to own a double lot with a 120 feet frontage and almost 18,000 square feet of land. Last sold in April 2010 for $2,391,000.

New Sales this Week!

1602 Georgina Avenue  –   5 bedrooms + 5 baths.  $5,275,000.   Re-listed after not selling earlier this year. 13,000 square foot lot. Historical (on the City of Santa Monica’s list) John Byers Spanish Revival home.   Lots of charm and character and updated with today’s amenities. Cook’s kitchen, large living room, master suite with spa tub and steam shower, two large outdoor areas, and more. Last sold in March 2005 for $4,200,040.

307 25th Street –   3 bedrooms + 5 baths.  $3,495,000.   Single story Contemporary. Loft-like living and dining. Updated kitchen, large master suite, two bedrooms with renovated bathrooms. Sparkling salt water pool, hedged front yard, solar panels. Close to Brentwood Country Mart. Last sold in August 2003 for $1,937,510.

548 15th Street –   3 bedrooms + 2 baths.  $3,150,000.   Beautiful bungalow with lots of natural light. Features skylights, eat-in kitchen, updated appliances, advanced water filtration system, French doors, etc. Detached garage converted to studio or office space. Last sold in May 2010 for $2,250,000.

101 Esparta Way –   3 bedrooms + 2 baths.  $2,895,000.   First time on the market in 43 years (translation, land value) Mid-century with beautiful ocean and canyon views.  Features hardwood floors, high beamed ceilings, courtyard with sitting area, garden, lovely private patio.  Great opportunity to remodel or build new.  Can you believe that when this home last sold in 1972 it was only $69,000? Wow.

Closed Deals this Week

1130 Georgina Avenue – 3 bedrooms + 2 baths – $4,000,000.

537 Euclid Street – 3 bedrooms + 1 baths – $3,000,000. Sold way over asking!

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Pence Hathorn Silver Active Properties:

Call me for a couple of upcoming attractions, priced from $1.9 million to $6 million – they are not in the MLS.

770 Amalfi Dr. – 6 bedrooms + 6 baths – $6,000,000

238 19th St. – 4 bedrooms + 3.75 baths – $3,649,000

865 S. Shenandoah  – 8 unit building, 1 bedroom + 1 bath units – $2,695,000

1154 S. Barrington #210  – 1 bedrooms + 1 bath – $495,000

Search for more homes, see real time analytics and learn about the North Santa Monica / North of Montana Avenue community on our North of Montana blog.  Add your comments (scroll down to the “Add Your Comment” section) and read other blogs. And please call my mobile phone (310) 924-4014 with any questions.

 

 

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