Santa Monica Maintenance Yard

10/27/09 — The Santa Monica City Council recommended this alternative hybrid maintenance yard concept with additional conditions on the Verizon and adjacent Santa Monica College parking sites (8-A staff report). The City Council Wrap-Up described:

Exposition Light Rail Phase 2 Maintenance Facility Update – authorized the City Manager to further explore and mitigate the effects of the proposed Exposition Light Rail maintenance facility including the proposed alternative concept hybrid maintenance facility site; requested that the Exposition Construction Authority (Expo) work with the City to ensure that any environmental impacts associated with the hybrid concept are fully mitigated; work with Expo and other agencies on layout and financial issues associated with the newly proposed hybrid alternative; work with SMC on the identification of property on Airport residual land as replacement parking and possible terms for a land swap; and work with Expo to develop any necessary agreements regarding the hybrid site, if adopted by the Expo Board, and adjust the final budget for the Expo Phase 2 project as appropriate, with the following additions: 1) staff undertake an independent review of CEQA options and report back to Council; 2) staff to work diligently to ensure that the Paint & Body shop will not be located on the site; 3) staff to develop a process that allows community input into the design of the maintenance facility prior to the matter being considered by the Expo Board; 4) Identify standards and effectiveness of mitigations prior to the Expo Board review; 5) Research noise concerns from Lantana tenants; 6) Compare uses at the original Verizon site to those included in the proposed hybrid maintenance facility site; 7) Ensure that the values of the proposed land swaps are equivalent; 8) Staff ensure the Expo Authority is committing sufficient resources to actually complete the mitigations to the levels in which they are being designed and negotiated; 9) City Attorney’s office to come return with an analysis on the CEQA requirements.

8/12/09 —After detailed presentations on the study of 40 potential maintenance yard sites and much public comment and discussion, the Santa Monica City Council tonight unanimously (6-0) approved a motion for the seven points of the staff recommendation, with the additions of "city-owned or controlled linear buffer of approximately 120 feet" in the first point, plus (1) Expo continuing its process with the community and (2) to also assess Site E201 (9th-Olympic-11th-Colorado). Santa Monica Daily Press; Santa Monica Mirror

New images of the buffer were similar to the 7/14/09 version below. Access to E201 would curve off of the Colorado tracks from the north, crossing eastbound Colorado traffic, and would displace some 19 businesses, which Councilman Bob Holbrook noted, would "cost a fortune to relocate".

8/7/09 — The City of Santa Monica is proposing a new alternative (staff report; 8/4/09 article) for their 8/11/09 City Council meeting, that would use the Verizon site and Santa Monica College parking lot to preserve a buffer zone but not cross Stewart. Here's the map:

7/14/09 — The Santa Monica City Council proposed moving part of the phase 2 maintenance yard to the west side of Stewart Street and separating the yard tracks from existing apartments with new residential and retail (staff report). The City Council Wrap-Up following the meeting summarized:

Exposition Light Rail Phase 2 - Recommendation for Alternative Siting of Maintenance Facility within the City of Santa Monica and Supplemental Report – City staff and Expo representatives presented an alternative the included using a city-owned parcel at 1800 Stewart Street, a Santa Monica College-owned parcel and a site currently owned by Verizon near Olympic and Stewart streets. Council also directed staff to continue to explore other possible sites. Council approved staff’s recommendation, as amended to expand the locations to explore for alternative sites and to ensure community involvement.

Above is the original plan from the Draft EIR (Appendix F). Below is the proposed new plan (Attachment A, PDF), that would move heavier maintenance to the west side of Stewart Street. Note the loop tracks in the new version but not the original.

Santa Monica's Appendix D (PDF) concept (below) would separate yard tracks from existing apartments with new residential and retail (at the left, on the northeast corner of Exposition and Stewart) . Note the big disclaimer, that applies to all of the new images.

Here are two 3D visualizations, from the east (above) and from the west (below). The taller gray boxes are the 2-story apartments across Exposition Blvd. from the current Verizon site.

6/4/09 — This view from Exposition Blvd. shows Verizon's existing maintenance facility's service truck parking lot and metal buildings facing the apartment buildings across the street.

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