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  • 07/15/2019 8:37 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Siricki founded a company designed to function as a bridge between students and landlords.

    Nearly 12 years later, Zuma Housing stands as the westside’s largest student housing provider. With offices in both Los Angeles and Istanbul, Siricki’s company employees around 50 people. The young entrepreneur constructed a housing company built around the needs of students, with the motivation to help other international students like himself.    

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  • 07/15/2019 8:17 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    More than 1,400 buildings in Santa Monica are still seismically vulnerable despite efforts by the city to ensure building owners retrofit their properties.

    A report released by the city’s building and safety department one week after two major earthquakes shook the Los Angeles area shows that 77% of vulnerable buildings in Santa Monica have not yet been earthquake-proofed. City Council passed a law in March of 2017 requiring building owners to retrofit buildings that are likely to suffer serious damage in an earthquake.

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  • 07/15/2019 8:15 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The Rent Control Board (RCB)  is recommending to City Council that renters should be allowed to challenge citations that code enforcement officers issue to their landlords.

    The board voted unanimously last week to write a letter to the council recommending the local law be amended to allow a tenant to challenge a citation issued to their landlord pertaining to their unit. Vice chair Nicole Phillis began pursuing the policy in May, when longtime renter Eileen Carry was evicted after refusing to take down a patio trellis that both she and her landlord were cited for because it violated local code that restricts the height of fences and hedges.

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  • 07/12/2019 9:34 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    As two major jolts and a swarm of aftershocks rattle Southern California, the vast majority of the owners of Santa Monica's most vulnerable buildings have yet to file evaluation reports under the City's seismic retrofit program, Planning Department records show.

    The owners of more than 1,000 "soft story" buildings -- apartment buildings with flimsy first floors held up by thin columns above a carport -- have not filed reports as their September deadline approaches, according to data provided to the Lookout by the City.

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  • 07/12/2019 9:33 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Following residents’ longstanding concerns regarding mansionization and neighborhood character, the city is reviewing development standards in the R-1 single-family areas, which incidentally represents about one-half of our city’s total area. This led me to a rabbit hole of questions with woefully few answers. Following is the first of a two-part article exploring mansionization and related issues.

    What controls our city?– not the environment, or quality of life, or even our appetite for cars.? It is our corporate economy and the developers they side with! And of course investors are primary over residents.

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  • 07/10/2019 8:52 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The Rent Control Board is considering allowing tenants to challenge citations from code enforcement officers after a longtime renter was evicted for installing a trellis on her patio.

    It’s a unique case, the board’s general counsel J. Stephen Lewis said, but vice chair Nicole Phillis wants to prevent it from happening again. In May, she asked the board to consider recommending that City Council prevent code violations from being used as a basis to evict rent-controlled tenants and grant tenants the ability to seek variances from the code. The board will vote Thursday whether to make such a recommendation.

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  • 07/09/2019 3:10 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages. As devastating as the Northridge earthquake was, seismologists warn that the hypothetical “Big One”- an earthquake magnitude of 8.0 or more- would be even more disastrous.

    Twenty-five years after the Northridge earthquake, for many Californians, the likelihood of the “Big One” is imminent. While it’s impossible to predict exactly when or where a massive earthquake will strike, cities throughout Southern California, including Santa Monica, have made vast improvements towards earthquake preparedness. 

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  • 07/09/2019 3:05 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The Homeless Count offers an insight into the scale and dynamics of Santa Monica’s homeless population. The 2019 Homeless Count numbers held steady overall with 987 people counted. The numbers decreased or remained stable in areas where there were targeted interventions.

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  • 07/08/2019 11:31 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Construction on three miles of walking and biking paths along Santa Monica State Beach will begin later this summer.

    Council approved a $12.3 million contract with two engineering firms last week for renovations to the Santa Monica Beach Trail and Ocean Front Walk that will make the paths safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The project has been in the works since 2016 and is meant to address frequent congestion on the heavily trafficked trails.

    After construction is completed in about one year, cyclists and pedestrians on the beach trail will be able to use separate paths from Bay Street to northern city limits. A 16-feet wide, two-way bike path and 12-foot wide pedestrian path will stretch for two miles, separated by a concrete curb. The path is currently only 14 feet wide and shared by both cyclists and pedestrians.

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  • 07/08/2019 7:53 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    City Council approved the improvements to the chambers’ audiovisual, agenda and meeting management systems last week at the urging of city staff, who said the existing equipment and software, which were installed in 2009, are becoming obsolete and unreliable.

    “It is increasingly difficult to repair or find replacements for many of the system’s components since many of the models have been discontinued,” staff said.

    The new audiovisual and meeting management systems will allow the public to request to speak electronically using a kiosk in the lobby. Councilmembers will vote electronically and the results will be automatically displayed on new high-resolution monitors with closed captioning.

    Meeting minutes will be automatically generated and speakers will be able to plug in their tablets and laptops to give presentations.

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