If you are not in your car, it’s relatively easy to get around Silicon Beach. Walk Score, a metric that’s the current darling of the real estate market, is a basic measure of services within a certain radius. Venice 90291 is the 20th most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with a Walk Score of 75. Santa Monica with +/- 89,736 residents has an average Walk Score of 78 -most errands are walkable. The most walkable Santa Monica ZIP codes are 90401, 90403 and 90404. Santa Monica is also very bikeable with a bike score of 83.
Walkability is a vast subject, involving health, community, the environment, demographics, and economics. “It’s so complicated, and it’s so simple,” says Carson Looney, principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. “Walkability is common sense. It’s about creating a better place, a destination, an experience.”
Playa Vista zip code 90094 is the 56th most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with 4,933 residents. Playa Vista has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable. Culver City 90232 has an average Walk Score of 73 with 38,883 residents. Mar Vista 90066 is the 42nd most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with 38,901 residents and a Walk Score of 65. Marina del Rey – 90292 – more of a driving area.
Studies by Brookings Fellows and economist Joe Cortright and by developer Christopher Leinberger confirm that homes with access to goods and services by foot perform better economically. “The typical working American pays as much for transportation as housing,” says city planner Jeff Speck. When a home is near “where people don’t need to drive, they should be able to charge more.”
In his latest book, “Walkable City,” Speck notes that Millennials are a big force in the demand for walkability, as they’re opting for the city in droves. The biggest population bubble in the last 50 years wants to live in places with excitement and buzz.
The other driving force behind the shift to walkability is Baby Boomers. They are leaving their sprawling homes in the suburbs and opting to live in places where they don’t have to drive as much to get to services and where they can age in place.
There are about 2,049 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Santa Monica. People in Santa Monica can walk to an average of 6 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.
Silicon Beach offers a healthy, walkable lifestyle, and that’s why we like living here.
edited by Jodi Summers
Cash sales made up 41.2% of total home sales in January 2014, down from 43.5% the previous year, but up from 38.4% from the previous month. This CoreLogic chart ntoes that Florida had the largest share of all cash buyers with 59.8%, followed by Alabama (58.5%), New York (51.9%), Missouri (50.1%) and Mississippi (49.5%).
If your city does well, it would stand to reason that the city’s inhabitants would fare well as well. Residents reap the benefits by having a good quality of life, good schools and services. Life is easier.
The City of Santa Monica is making it easier as well. One of the hallmarks of the current administration is the recent transition to a two-year budget cycle. Santa Monica is proud of our long history of good government and fiscal responsibility. The City would like to share some of their achievements in sustaining our fine position:
• Maintained its AAA credit rating (held since 1995)
• Received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting in each of the last 29 years;
• Achieved a 5% General Fund budget decrease in fiscal year 2013-15 biennial budget;
• Paid down retirement unfunded liability using savings, lowering retirement costs by $1.4 million per year;
• Adopted financial planning revenue and expenditure policies to guide the development of balanced budgets in accordance with best practices.
Just so you know, the City of Santa Monica maintains an internal auditor position, and external audits show no deficiencies in controls or financial practices. All of these accomplishments serve to ensure that over time, Santa Monica can weather the inevitable downturns in the economy.
Additional savings have been achieved through a number of changes to employee salaries and benefits, including:
• City employees have contributed toward their pensions since they were increased in 2007, and currently pay up to 9.2% of salary towards retirement.
• Employees have paid increased contributions toward health care costs over the past four years.
• Retirement benefits for new employees were lowered even before enactment of California’s pension reform bill.
The City of Santa Monica is proud of its consistently balanced budget, and the manner in which its financial policies in open meetings. For more information about the city’s budget, go to smgov.net/finance.
Santa Monica is a model city because we do things well. People enjoy our beaches, our arts and entertainment, our lifestyle. It’s an easy place to live. You get home and your cares drift out to sea. The world appreciates us.
2013 was another year of excellence for the City of Santa Monica. Relish this list of accolades, as our city is “commitment to excellence and professionalism in all facets of municipal government and civic life.”
CITY OF SANTA MONICA ACHIEVEMENTS 2013
* Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street – Project of the Year, American
Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter
* Ocean Park Boulevard Complete Green Street – Green California Leadership Award
Collections Operations Systems – Gold Excellence Award, Solid Waste Association of North America
* Advanced Traffic Management System – Project of the Year, American Public Works Association, Southern California Chapter
* Santa Monica Beach Restrooms – Merit in Public/Civic and Sustainable Design,
National Concrete Masonry Association
* Marketing: Santa Monica’s Interactive Party Truck & Outreach Campaign – Silver Excellence Award, Solid Waste Association of North America
* Tree City USA – Arbor Day Foundation
* Big Blue Bus Administration Building – LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
* Most Business-Friendly City – 2013 Finalist LA County Economic Development Corporation
* Santa Monica Youth Tech – 2013 Public Technology Institute Winner
* Local Voter Information: SMVote.org – 2013 Public Technology Institute Winner
* Be Excited! Be Prepared – 2013 Public Technology Institute, Web 2.0 Recognized
* Best of the Web – 2013 Center for Digital Government
Top 100 Fiber Leaders – 2013 Broadband Communities magazine
* Financial Reporting – Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from
the Government Finance Officers Association
* SMFD “Stella the Dog” Rescue – Compassion Award from PETA
* CityTV – Two Emmy Award Nominations
* The Wellbeing Project – Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge
* Santa Monica Public Library – 5-Star Rating, Library Journal Index
* Annenberg Community Beach House – Best Beach Club for the People, Time Out Los Angeles
* Annenberg Community Beach House – Best Place to Swim, Argonaut Best of the Westside 2013
* Outstanding Recreation & Parks – Award Winner, California Association of Park & Recreation Commissioners and Board Members
* 1450 Ocean Camera Obscura Tracing 360˚– Big Draw Inspiration Award 2013
* 1450 Ocean Camera Obscura Plein Air Drawing – Big Draw Inspiration Award 2013
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