A pilot program being launched Friday, January 7th, will keep Santa Monica City Hall open for limited services on previously closed Fridays.

The Santa Monica City Hall had been closed every other Friday to reduce traffic and air pollution in the city.

Starting this week, a limited number of staff members will be at City Hall Fridays to provide permit center functions.

Those functions are designed to help people get information and pay for building permits, plan checks, public works permits, business licenses, parking citations, film permits and parking permits.

Santa Monica City Hall staff had been working a nine-day, 80-hour cycle — called the “9/80” — which gave employees a Friday off every two weeks.

To ensure that employees worked 80 hours every two weeks, staff would work ten hours a day during weeks when City Hall was closed Fridays and staff worked only four days during the week.

“While our ‘9/80’ work schedule has been very beneficial in terms of reducing vehicles on the road and cleaning up the air, City Hall’s closure every other Friday has resulted in some inconvenience to those whose service needs don’t match our schedule,” said assistant city manager Gordon Anderson.

Residents, businesses and developers lobbied City Hall officials to make the schedule changes.

“This pilot program will help us serve them better and still maintain our commitment to clean air,” Anderson said.

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