Santa Monica prohibits market rate micro apartments

After temporary ban, council approves permanent restriction

May.May 17, 2019 04:00 PM
Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis and Santa Monica City Hall attached
Santa Monica Mayor Gleam Davis and Santa Monica City Hall attached

There’s no room in Santa Monica for any more micro units — at least for now.

Market-rate apartments under 375 square feet are now permanently banned in the city of Santa Monica, though officials plan to address new housing models again later this year. The Santa Monica Daily Press reported that the city council voted this week to stop allowing the micro units unless they are for affordable or supportive housing projects.

The council members will assess the housing market and discuss new housing models later this year and could reconsider their position.

The city first passed a temporary ban in March when officials said they didn’t want the market flooded with the tiny studios so that more larger units would be built for families.

The planning department saw a rapid influx of projects recently with market rate micro units, including applications from developer WS Communities to build six buildings in downtown Santa Monica, all with units ranging from 219 to 373 square feet.

WS Communities is led by Scott Walter, who was formerly with NMS Properties. The firm planned a total of 363 micro apartments, and 95 percent would have been market-rate. One of its buildings in Santa Monica lists 340-square-foot units for $2,915 per month.

WS Communities said previously that the planned units account for just 15 percent of all unit types that have been proposed or approved or are under construction downtown. The firm is based in Santa Monica and has completed about 20 projects in the immediate area. [SMDP] Gregory Cornfield

Related Articles

From left: Neil Shekhter and Governor Gavin Newsom (Credit: Kevin Scanlon, Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, and iStock)

Tenant group calls for CA rent strike

Skid Row Housing Trust CEO Lee Raagas and a rendering of the project (Credit: Michael Maltzan Architecture via Urbanize)

Skid Row Housing Trust, Michael Maltzan Architecture plan mass-timber housing tower

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer (Credit: iStock)

City Attorney Mike Feuer will run for mayor. Here’s what it means for LA real estate

Hobart Garden Apartments at 1344 N Hobart Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps)

Reiner Communities pays $48M for 142-unit East Hollywood complex

Steve Ballmer, Mayor James Butts and the Forum (Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for WE Day, and Ritapepaj/Wikipedia)

Clippers could sail into Inglewood buoyed by Ballmer’s billions

From left: Renderings of La Veranda and The Chesterfield (Credit: Abode Communities/Urbanize)

Developers land $43M to construct affordable housing projects across LA County

From left: Alan, Adam, and Alex Shekhter, with renderings of 501 Broadway and 601 Colorado (Credit: WS Communities and LinkedIn)

Shekhters’ WS Communities lands $157M loan to build 850 rental units in Santa Monica

The Gabay brothers want to bring back District Square (Credit: Department of City Planning via LA Times)

Gabay lawsuit to revive District Square may have merit