Thursday, January 20, 2005

Community Council considers Bundy Campus of Santa Monica College, Exposition Blvd. light rail
BY HELGA GENDELL

The Mar Vista Community Council's (MVCC) board of directors approved a Santa Monica College Bundy Campus resolution and an Exposition Boulevard Light Rail resolution at its meeting Thursday, January 11th.

The board also approved changes to the council's by-laws, subject to approval by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE), the City of Los Angeles department that has jurisdiction over authorized Neighborhood Councils such as the Mar Vista Community Council.

The by-laws can be viewed on-line at www.mvcc.org

SMC BUNDY CAMPUS — The Santa Monica College (SMC) Community District board of trustees has asked consultants to develop a full master plan and environmental impact report (EIR) for a proposed Bundy Campus at 3171 Bundy Drive in the Mar Vista area.

Greg Brown, director of planning for Santa Monica College, told the Mar Vista Community Council board of directors January 11th, that a proposed master plan and EIR for the college's Bundy Campus in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, would address all issues related to building the proposed Bundy Campus.

Brown said that once the master plan and EIR are released, public hearings would be held prior to any construction beginning on the proposed Bundy Campus.

The Bundy Campus resolution asks that the SMC board of trustees:

  • ensure that Stewart Avenue and the Stewart Avenue gate to the campus remain permanently closed to all pedestrian and vehicular ingress/egress to and from the Bundy Campus, except for emergency use by governmental agencies;
  • support the prohibition of off-campus parking by limiting enrollment and staff at the campus to presently existing capacity;
  • not use the Bundy Campus as an off-site parking facility for the main SMC campus and other satellite campuses, and actively support efforts to prohibit overflow parking into the Mar Vista Community Council neighborhoods;
  • SMC be responsible for loss or damage caused by students and SMC personnel on neighborhood streets and adjacent residential neighborhoods;
  • implement traffic control measures with the participation of the Mar Vista Community Council and MVCC stakeholders;
  • not plan for future use of on-site or off-site construction of buildings and parking structures without submission of a master plan, EIR meeting CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and a traffic plan at least 120 days prior to any public written notice of intent.

The resolution also stated that the Mar Vista Community Council:

opposes issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any building on the Bundy Campus until a master plan and EIR are completed in compliance with the law;

rejects findings and conclusions of the current mitigated negative declaration by SMC for the renovation project of West Building #4, and rejects all proposed alternatives by Kaku Associates, traffic consultants for the campus project; and

supports Airport Avenue as the safest, most viable access to the Bundy Campus, and wants to prohibit buses from operating within the boundaries of the campus.

EXPOSITION LIGHT RAIL — The Exposition Boulevard light rail resolution the board approved recognizes continuing developments in the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) planning process and urges the MTA to develop a light rail connecting downtown Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica that:

  • is most effective in encouraging commuters and in reaching its maximal long-term value as an asset to Los Angeles County's economic and transportation infrastructure;
  • uses the Flower Street routing, instead of the Hill Street routing, to connect USC to downtown Los Angeles, because the Flower Street routing eliminates two unnecessary turns and establishes a significantly quicker rail connection to the downtown region;
  • includes an elevated station at the Exposition Rail Line Phase I terminus at the busy Venice Boulevard/Robertson Boulevard intersection in Culver City, in that every potential Phase II routing will require a grade separation at that intersection to enhance speed and safety for both rail and automobile commuters;
  • utilizes grade separations whenever possible to ensure speed and safety for the Exposition light rail line and any intersecting traffic arterials on both Phase I and Phase II;
  • uses the existing MTA right-of-way along Exposition Boulevard and immediately funds a new draft EIR for the completion of Phase II;
  • includes any mitigations for an Exposition light rail line Phase II that addresses concerns of residents in Mar Vista, Palms, Cheviot Hills, Rancho Park, Culver City and other Westside neighborhoods affected by this future proposed rail line.

The Mar Vista Community Council has scheduled a stakeholder meeting for 2 p.m. Sunday, January 23rd, at Saint Andrew's Lutheran Church, 11555 National Blvd. (near Federal Avenue), Mar Vista.

Residents are asked to complete a survey, which will be available at the stakeholder meeting.

The survey will address issues pertinent to Mar Vista and the surrounding communities.

For those not attending the stakeholder meeting, the survey is available at the Mar Vista council's Web site by clicking on "Stakeholder survey," at www.marvistacc.org

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