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Santa Monica looks to controversial rezoning

A snapshot of Santa Monica taken on June 11, 2011.
A snapshot of Santa Monica taken on June 11, 2011.
Chris Yunker/Flickr

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The Santa Monica City Council will publicly discuss Wednesday controversial Zoning Ordinance Update (ZOU) that would allow for more dense housing - meant to increase the supply of housing the city.

It’s the first comprehensive change to the city’s zoning in more than three decades, and local no-growth activists are rallying against it. They say it'll change the character of their "beach town,"and are demanding an overall height reduction of all zoning standards and a ban childcare in single-family neighborhoods. But supporters say the reality is that Southern California needs to build more homes.

Is there a way to preserve the feel of Santa Monica while still sustainably planning for more housing? And if not, how should the city proceed? The final ordinance will come up for a vote on May 5.


Jason Islas, editor of Santa Monica Next, a group that’s in favor of the zoning updates. He grew up in Santa Monica but currently lives in Korea Town (he says he can’t afford to move back)

Lorraine Sanchez, board member of the Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA), which opposes the zoning updates