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  • 05/17/2019 9:28 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    His rants and threats in the hallway of an old Santa Monica apartment building have earned him the nickname "the nightmare neighbor."

    His name is Mark Yaskoweak and according to court records obtained by The Lookout he "has been under investigation with federal authorities for domestic terrorist threats."

    Standing 6'4' and weighing more than 300 pounds, Yaskoweak has intimidated law enforcement officers who have staged several efforts to evict him and frightened other tenants in the Community Corporation building on the beach south of the Pier.

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  • 05/17/2019 9:02 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Los Angeles officials are moving to provide free legal representation to tenants facing eviction.

    The city’s budget and finance committee last week asked the chief legislative analyst to identify $2 million to help launch a right-to-counsel initiative.

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  • 05/17/2019 8:55 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The United States is facing an affordable housing crisis.

    Nearly two-thirds of renters nationwide say they can’t afford to buy a home, and saving for that down payment isn’t going to get easier anytime soon: Home prices are rising at twice the rate of wage growth. According to research from the advocacy group Home1, 11 million Americans (roughly the population of New York City and Chicago combined) spend more than half their paycheck on rent. Harvard researchers found that in 2016, nearly half of renters were cost-burdened (defined as spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent), compared with 20 percent in 1960.

    The National Low Income Housing Coalition found that a renter working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment (i.e., not be cost-burdened) in exactly zero counties nationwide.

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  • 05/16/2019 2:21 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    SB 50

    A controversial housing bill that would have made sweeping changes to California’s zoning rules won’t advance this year, after lawmakers decided Thursday to hold the measure’s next vote until 2020.

    If passed, Senate Bill 50 would allow fourplexes in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes, and force cities to approve taller, denser apartment buildings near transit stops and in “job-rich” communities. But moments before the bill was set to undergo a key vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee, lawmakers announced the bill will be held for the rest of the year, coming back up for a vote in January.

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  • 05/16/2019 8:28 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    City staff are asking the Council to contract with an outside consultant to manage their homeless tracking system. In order for the City to receive federal funds for homelessness, they are required to maintain a standardized Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Until 2014, the City used its own employees to man the system but then decided it would be more effective to hire outside help.

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  • 05/16/2019 8:14 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The City Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to permanently ban market rate "micro units" in Santa Monica but will revisit the issue later this year.

    While amending the zoning code to ban market-rate Single Room Occupancy (SRO) developments, the Council acknowledged the units -- which range from 220 to 375 square feet -- could fill a niche in the local housing market.

    The ordinance excludes 100 percent affordable housing projects or certain specialized housing uses such as emergency shelters, transitional housing and supportive housing citywide.

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  • 05/16/2019 8:04 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Worried it might be missing the forest for the tree, the Santa Monica City Council on Tuesday voted to allow a lone sycamore to remain while staff crafts a tree ordinance for the entire city.

    The vote capped a four-hour meeting that included testimony from some 70 speakers who debated the merits of an 82-foot-tall tree that has shaded the property at 1122 California Avenue for nearly 100 years.

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  • 05/16/2019 8:01 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    By Pico Neighborhood Association Board of Directors

    Over the past two decades, the Pico Neighborhood has become a very desirable area for developers and land speculators.

    The Pico Neighborhood Association (PNA) and Friends of Sunset Park (FOSP) have been advocating to create the Pico Neighborhood Zoning District (PNZD) to protect the character and scale of the neighborhood.

    On Wednesday night, the Planning Commission will discuss what zoning changes to recommend to the City Council to achieve these goals.

    What has become very clear is that the zoning tool that representatives from PNA and FOSP advocated for has been weaponized against us to do the exact opposite.

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  • 05/15/2019 9:03 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    I’ve spent many years trying to figure out what is behind all the secrecy, deviousness and cunning, and the results I see all around me that I find increasingly dismal. What is the master plan they’re all in lockstep with, that is spinning us into this unholy vortex?

    It’s complex, of course, with many moving parts from the many centers of power in this town. But here’s one version.

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  • 05/15/2019 8:49 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Santa Monica saw 147 fewer serious crimes in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, an almost eight percent drop according to numbers provided by the Santa Monica Police Department

    The decrease in part one crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, thefts and arson, comes one year after Cynthia Renaud was sworn in as Santa Monica Police Department’s chief of police.

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