Santa Monica College (SMC) shuttle bus service at the Santa Monica Airport was displaced by development plans for Airport Park, and now the proposed Santa Monica College (SMC) Bundy Campus nearby may not have any access to that new campus from Airport Avenue or Donald Douglas Loop.

A unanimous vote of the Santa Monica Airport Commission Wednesday, November 23rd, recommended that the Santa Monica City Council deny airport access to the SMC Bundy Campus on Airport Avenue and Donald Douglas Loop.

The college had purchased the former BAE Systems site on Bundy Drive for the Bundy Campus.

BAE had ingress and egress to its Bundy Drive facility from Airport Avenue.

College officials didn’t oppose the shuttle relocation because they thought that the new campus would continue to have access to and from Airport Avenue, said Greg Brown, SMC director of planning.

“We want to resolve this with a political solution and are hopeful that we can work this out with the city,” said Brown.

In the Airport Park environmental impact report (EIR), traffic consultants Kaku Associates had recommended that SMC move its shuttle parking lot to the new site, since the shuttle was displaced from the airport site because of Airport Park development.

The Mar Vista Neighborhood Council had earlier drafted a resolution asking for certain assurances from the SMC board of trustees.

The Neighborhood Council board members said they want legal assurances that development will not arbitrarily begin without a master plan, a full environmental review, and full adherence to CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) regulations.

This draft resolution is being reworked by the Neighborhood Council Ad Hoc Committee and will go before the full Neighborhood Council board Tuesday, January 11th.

After receiving a draft of the revised resolution, Brown said he was “pleased that there seems to be an interest in working together cooperatively with the college on these issues from the leadership of the Community Council.”

Brown stated in an e-mail to the Neighborhood Council Urban Planning Committee that there are some items in the revised draft resolution “that we may all agree on,” and “the college may have limited degrees of agreement with some other items.”

Brown also stated that he had a problem with two of the resolution items because the college is committed to offering a reasonable program of classes starting this summer on the site :

n opposition by the Mar Vista Community Council to any issuance of a certification of occupancy for any building on the Bundy Campus site to the board of trustees of SMC, until a full environmental impact report of the project is completed; and

n rejection by the Mar Vista Community Council of findings and conclusions of the current mitigated negative declaration of the renovation project of West Building #4.

Kaku Associates, traffic consultants for the Bundy Campus, had proposed at a November meeting that an additional traffic signal be placed on Bundy Drive near an existing signal at Airport Avenue.

Mar Vista Neighborhood Council Urban Planning Committee chair Maritza Przekop said that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) advises against the concept — and the Neighborhood Council agrees — that an additional traffic signal is required for mitigation of the additional Bundy Campus traffic.

In March, the SMC trustees approved retrofitting the former BAE Systems site — a 64,000-square-foot multistory building near the center of the proposed campus — into 18 classrooms and a variety of other uses, including student services (admission, counseling), labs, computer rooms, a small library, a bookstore, study rooms, a multipurpose room for meetings, nursing lab space and a cafeteria.

There is also an 8,000-square-foot area reserved for offices, and the college is currently considering the 31,000-square-foot two-story building fronting Centinela Avenue for administrative offices. Bundy Drive becomes Centinela Avenue in this area.

The project description also states that the four-story building would be used for the college nursing, early childhood education and continuing education programs, with one floor for general education classes.

Occupancy is not expected before next summer.

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