Temporary injunction to stop the demolition of multi-storey car park 3 issued

Hearing Jan. 24 following LA Superior Court decision

By Dolores Quintana

The Santa Monica Bayside Owners Association (SMBOA) petition to temporarily halt the demolition of Public Garage 3 has been granted for the time being.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michelle L. Beckloff, who previously granted SMBOA’s motion for a preliminary injunction, also granted the preliminary injunction against the group in this case. The injunction does not force the city to continue operating the 3 parking lot on 4th Street between Arizona Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. Both the city council and the California Coastal Commission are opposing the petition, which seeks to block demolition of the building to build new, affordable housing for low-income earners on the property.

Judge Beckloff wrote in the ruling, “Based on an assessment of the likelihood of success based on the parties’ competing damages, the court finds that the petitioner has established entitlement to an injunction while the litigation is pending,” as reported by The Santa Monica Quoted from Lookout. SMBOA, following the judge’s rulings in her favor, is required to post bail of $150,000 to cover damages that could be awarded to the city if plaintiffs file a lawsuit by January 24 at 5:00 p.m. 00 o’clock, or they forfeit the injunction.

Then the court will hold a hearing on Jan. 28 to make changes to the bail amount based on the arguments both sides put forward on the matter. Judge Beckloff wrote that the hearing would also “expedite the trial of the petition.”

That decision came just days after the City Council agreed to engage EAH Inc. in an exclusive agreement to build sustainable, affordable housing on the Parking Structure 3 site with the units aimed at raising uninhabited Santa Monica residents house. City officials said EAH was selected as the developer to lead this project based on “the team’s extensive experience in permanent supportive housing, major developments, support services and property management.” as quoted from The Santa Monica Outlook.

The EAH’s proposal states that they would be responsible for building the new homes and then managing the property to ensure that “all residents would be supported with home maintenance services and good neighborly actions,” according to the EAH City officials quoted from the Santa Monica Lookout. City officials further explained that “the unique needs of the households occupying the supportive housing component of the development would be addressed through intensive case management services. In the course of the further refinement of the development concept, supporting services will be tailored to the needs of the residents.”

The city council also issued instructions to its employees and the developer to “continue to work together on ways to advance affordable housing as quickly as possible”. the same day they approved EAH as the developer for the project.

Indeed, Mayor Sue Himmelrich made her views clear on the issue, saying, “Our region suffers from a lack of affordable housing, and we in Santa Monica are committed to alleviating the crisis and getting people into homes that provide the basis for… stability can be . We don’t wait for private development to go ahead. We lead by providing a valuable resource that makes this possible – land. This is a project that addresses the greatest needs of today, including homelessness, affordability and equity, and reflects the values ​​of our community,” said Himmelrich.

The heart of SMBOA’s argument is that the City of Santa Monica and its business owners cannot afford to lose the 337 parking spaces in Parking Lot 3. The city’s response is that the rebuilding of Car Park 6 replaced that potential loss. SMBOA’s lawsuit further alleges that the California Coastal Commission’s decision to grant permission for the demolition “constituted a failure to grant permission because of failure to meet statutory requirements.” according to the group’s legal counsel.

Judge Beckloff’s decision countered this assertion that “the litigation in court as presented by the petitioner is somewhat muddled” because it “does not specifically address alleged errors of law or abuse of powers”. However, Judge Beckloff agreed that the petition “provided sufficient evidence [that] The city considered the demolition of PS 3 only in the context of rebuilding without rebuilding.”

City spokeswoman Constance Farrell said, “A final decision on the matter is likely as late as April, subject to the final briefing schedule, which will be determined by the court on January 28.”

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