Santa Monica : Group Backs 1981 Park Plan

Mid-City Neighbors has come out in favor of a City Council-approved plan providing for a 3.5-acre park at Colorado Place.

At its annual convention last weekend, Mid-City passed a resolution supporting the original 1981 plan rather than a revised proposal that was submitted to the city last month by new owners of the project, according to Don Nelson, co-chairman of the residents' organization.

Residents like the plan with 3.5 acres of park at Colorado Place because it is near their homes, he said.

The new plan would provide about 1.5 acres of park at the project, which is bounded by Colorado Avenue, 26th Street, Broadway and Cloverfield Boulevard. An additional 3.3-acre park would be located a few blocks away, on Colorado between Cloverfield and 20th Street.

The revised plan has been drawn up by Southmark Pacific Corp., which in January acquired the 15-acre project from the original developer, Becket Investment Corp. The first half of the project, completed late in 1983, includes three office buildings and an indoor plaza with restaurants and cafes on the Colorado Avenue side.

Southmark wants to complete the second half, facing Broadway, with three office buildings, a 13-story hotel and a 1.5-acre park. The 3.3-acre park on Colorado near 20th Street would be large enough for playing fields, Southmark officials said.

An environmental impact report must be prepared before hearings are scheduled on the new plan, according to Suzanne Frick, the city's acting principal planner.

Because the revised plan differs from that approved in a development agreement in 1981, most of the changes require City Council approval, officials said.

The environmental report will also include an office development that Southmark is planning on Colorado Avenue next to the proposed 3.3-acre park, Frick said.

The Mid-City Neighbors group is concerned about traffic that the new development will generate, and has appointed a committee that will press for mitigating measures and for retention of the park at Colorado Place, Nelson said Monday.

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