Santa Monica Council Asks Attorney to Draft Law to Simplify Demolition Process

The Santa Monica City Council has asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would simplify the procedure for demolishing commercial and industrial buildings and some single-family homes.

Under the ordinance, officials would also evaluate the historical significance of buildings that are at least 50 years old and requests to demolish those structures would face city Landmarks Commission review.

Current ordinances make it difficult to tear down some buildings, council members said Tuesday night. Under the new plan, owners could demolish commercial and industrial buildings without guaranteeing a replacement project, a demand that has been in effect for two years.

Destruction of buildings protected under rent control would still require Rent Control Board approval under the new ordinance. The council also asked the city attorney to phrase the ordinance in a way that would discourage the unnecessary demolition of old single-family homes in densely populated areas such as Ocean Park.

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