Court of Appeals Blocks Demolition of Parking Structure Three Until Feb 25

City Of Santa Monica Has Nine Days To File Opposition

By Dolores Quintana

In the ongoing fight over the future of Parking Structure Three, The Santa Monica Bayside Owners Association (SMBOA) has been granted a longer stay of the judgment issued by the Superior Court to prevent the demolition of Parking Structure Three. However, the matter is far from being settled. In addition, the Appeals Court has ordered that Parking Structure Three will be closed as of Feb. 10. The structure will be fenced to prevent any further usage until the appeal has been resolved.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the Court gave the City until February 25 to file a preliminary opposition to the stay and left open the possibility of issuing an order to lift the stay after that date.

Parking Structure Three has been a bone of contention since 2018 when the Santa Monica City Council first planned to demolish the structure to make way for an affordable housing project for lower income residents. Property and business owners in the Third Street Promenade area nearby have been vocal about their opposition to the City’s plan.

David Houston, Owner of Barney’s Beanery, said “Unfortunately, we have now been dealt another business threatening blow by the city. We’ve been notified that the city intends to demo Parking Lot Three and rebuild it as a homeless structure. This will be devastating to our business as well as every other business on 3rd Street Promenade. First of all, this takes away the primary parking location for most of our customers and staff. Secondly, Parking Structure Three houses all our trash bins. The city is telling us to cart our trash several blocks, across main streets, and through crowds of people to a trash site on 2nd Street. Obviously, this is unworkable. Finally, the biggest complaint we receive from our customers and staff is the overabundance of homeless people in the area. Free housing will only attract more homeless as it has done throughout the city wherever this has been tried. Our business is currently off by over 50%. I can’t imagine how much this will hurt us going forward.”

The lawsuit filed by SMBOA against the City of Santa Monica was thrown out on Feb. 4 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff which prompted the SMBOA to appeal the decision as the structure was scheduled to be demolished on Feb. 14.

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