The proposal to start it all has been put on hold in Santa Monica more than six months after the unconventional builder’s remedial strategy rewrote California’s development rules.

The shift comes in an unprecedented settlement. On Tuesday night, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an agreement with WS Communities (WSC) under which the developer agreed to withdraw most of its 14 builder applications for remediation — including A particularly large project on Brascal Avenue — in exchange for expedited processing and additional incentives for potential new projects that comply with the city’s newer, more intimate zoning codes.

The deal also resolves other pending litigation between the developer and the city, including WSC’s harassment allegations against tenants and the developer’s complaints about the city’s leasing rules.

“We’re doing this to actually help get rid of builders’ remedial projects,” Santa Monica City Councilman Caroline Torossis said during the meeting. “We’ve heard very clearly from the community that they are very concerned that 4,000+ units are going to come to our city without any form of local control.”

Transaction Details

The settlement applies to 13 of 14 builder remediation applications originally filed by WSC last fall, and Santa Monica did not meet state compliance requirements for its housing element, the document outlining the city’s housing plan. The builder’s remedy, a decades-old legal provision that was all but forgotten until last year, allowed developers to bypass local zoning entirely as punishment for cities that failed to meet state-mandated elemental deadlines, As long as the project meets the affordability requirements.

Santa Monica was built after months of negotiations between WSC and the city government, with varying implications depending on the location. At nine of those properties, it paved the way for WSC to submit new projects that comply with the city’s latest housing code, while at 3030 Nebraska, where WSC originally submitted a 15-story, 2,000-unit apartment project, this It has sparked outrage among some residents and local officials — it allows for massive reconfiguration, allowing developers to submit as many as four smaller projects.

At these locations, the agreement states that the city must streamline developers’ rights to new, zoning-compliant applications. The total processing time is up to 150 days for smaller items and 210 days for larger items.

“It was a lightning-fast turnaround time,” said Dave Rand, the WSC attorney who negotiated the deal. “That’s really the point because builders’ remedial projects all have to go through possibly extensive CEQA [reviews] …public hearings, uncertainty of outcome, possible litigation — now we’re talking about potentially getting a license in 150 to 210 days. ”

All nine sites were upgraded to more development in the city’s most recent Housing Element update — a builder remedy last fall that may have accelerated a major shift to density and made new deals possible. For the remaining three properties subject to the agreement, which fall within the city’s more restrictive residential zoning, WSC agreed to withdraw its builder’s application for remediation without resubmitting any new applications.

The deal also provides other incentives for WSC to resubmit locations for new projects, including lower affordability requirements, higher parking caps and the ability to pool affordable units into offsite projects. It will also allow WSC to account for off-site units that would normally require on-site units for the state density bonus program – a key sweetener as WSC can pursue up to 50% increased density through state bonuses.

Rand emphasized that the deal means real housing, including affordable housing, could rise faster in a city desperate for housing.

“I’m very happy,” the lawyer said. “Whether it’s as a housing advocate or as an agent for this particular developer, because I love actually being a part of projects that are happening and being built. … Fighting just costs everyone money and time.”

unknown number of units

WSC has yet to submit new plans for the sites, so the exact dimensions and number of replacement units for its builder’s remedial application remain unclear.Last month, in a preview of a deal that was somewhat in the works, developers several sites are listed For sale, marketing materials don’t mention builder remedies, instead touting hypothetical projects that rely on Santa Monica’s updated zoning and 50% state density bonus.

WSC’s remaining builders’ remediation project at 1433 Euclid Avenue was originally submitted as a 12-story, 190-unit project.Last year, the city received two other relatively modest applications for builder remediation, including one from Leo Pustilnikov, a developer embroiled in Another legend in a major project in Redondo Beach.

The committee voted unanimously in favor of the settlement after receiving more than a dozen public comments, including several representing the interests of a school near Nebraska Avenue, who urged the committee to delay the vote.

The settlement — which demonstrates the potential of builder remedies as a powerful leverage tool — is likely to resonate beyond Santa Monica as unfavorable housing jurisdictions across the state continue to grapple with legal provisions that, in certain In some cases Digging to fight state authority.

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