II. Overview of the Specific Plan Surrounding Area
The Downtown Specific Plan area is located in the northwest quadrant of the City of El Segundo. Surrounding land uses in the area are generally residential in nature, one to three stories in height. The surrounding area and project area is a fully developed urban environment.
The El Segundo High School campus, the Library and Library Park are located north of the Specific Plan area on Main Street. To the east and west of the 500 block of Main Street is a Two-Family Residential (R-2) Zone, developed mainly with duplexes and two-family dwellings, on Richmond and Standards Streets. To the west of the balance of the Specific Plan boundary is mainly Multi-Family Residential (R-3) zoning, which is developed with small (3-12 unit) apartment and condominium complexes, on Richmond and Concord Streets. Further beyond the R-2 and R-3 Zones is Single-Family (R-1) Residential zoning and development, on Concord and Virginia Streets. (Exhibit 4)
To the west of the Specific Plan area there are also a few parcels zoned Downtown Commercial (C-RS), and Neighborhood Commercial (C-2) on Grand Avenue, and Parking (P) on El Segundo Boulevard. The development on these sites is also consistent with the zoning, and includes one to two story, low-density (0.5 to 1.0 floor area ratio) commercial construction, and a surface parking lot. To the east of the 400 block of Main Street is a Two-Family Residential (R-2) Zone on Standard Street, again developed consistent with the zoning designation. To the east of the 300 block of Main Street is largely Multi-Family Residential (R-3), developed similarly to the areas to the west of the Specific Plan boundary. Additionally, there are a few parcels zoned and developed as Parking (P), on Standard Street, and Downtown Commercial (C-RS), on Grand Avenue, similar to the west of the Plan area. To the east side of the 200 block of Main Street, on Standard Street, is an area that is also zoned and developed as Downtown Commercial (C-RS), again with similar commercial uses and densities.
To the east of the 100 block of Main Street, on Standard Street, is a small industrial zone within the Smoky Hollow Specific Plan area with a zoning designation of Small Business (SB). The land uses in this area (light industrial, warehousing etc.) are consistent with the zoning. South of El Segundo Boulevard is the Chevron Refinery, which is zoned Heavy Industrial (M-2), consistent with the land use.
The majority of the 100 block of the east side of Richmond Street is a surface parking lot for the Chevron Refinery immediately to the south. Smaller Chevron parking lots also occupy the west side of Richmond and the 100 block of Main Street. There are four small City owned surface parking lots with a total of approximately 115 parking spaces, which are open and free to the public, within and immediately adjacent to the Plan area.
All of the Zoning designations on the surrounding properties are generally consistent with the General Plan land use designations. Residential and commercial construction dates from the early 1900’s to the present day, offering a variety of architectural styles.
There are no known endangered plant species associated with the proposed Specific Plan area and none that are known to be associated with the immediate locale. Similarly, there are no known rare or endangered animal species associated with the area or its locale. No known animal life is located in the area. Further, there are no known agricultural, biological, or scenic resources of recognized value located within the Plan area nor in the immediate vicinity.
The community served by the City of El Segundo’s Downtown includes a very diverse population, representing the full spectrum of social, environmental and economic interests.
In 1998, El Segundo had an estimated population of 16,424 residents, a daytime population of approximately 75,000 and a total of 7,300 dwelling units. In 1999, the total residential population within a 1, 3, and 5-mile radius, using the Downtown Specific Plan area as a focal point, was 14,483, 70,647, and 400,618, respectively. The population within the 5-mile radius is projected to be 419,301 in the year 2004, with a growth rate of 4.66%.
During 1980 to 1995, El Segundo’s population has increased by 11%, while housing units have increased by 14%. In 1999, the number of households within the 1, 3, and 5-mile rings from the Specific Plan area, was 6,346, 30,311, and 154,392, respectively. From 1999 through 2004, the number of households is expected to grow by almost 5%. The average household income in 1999 within the same 1, 3, and 5-mile rings was $72,200, $99,000, and $71,500, respectively.
Over the past seventy-five years, the City of El Segundo has established itself as a major employment center for a variety of industrial, aerospace, high-tech and airport-related businesses. In 1998, El Segundo boasted a daytime working population in excess of 75,000 persons. El Segundo is home to many major corporations including Chevron, Computer Sciences, Hughes, TRW, Mattel, Raytheon, Xerox, Aerospace, and Northrop Grumman. The City also provides approximately 2,048 hotel rooms and Los Angeles International Airport is located immediately to the north of the City. These factors provide market opportunities for the Downtown.
The City is aggressively marketing itself as a favorable business environment using the concept of a "Small Town for Big Business." The Downtown District offers a variety of neighborhood serving commercial uses that support residents, businesses and visitors to the City. El Segundo’s Downtown is known for its "small town" atmosphere.
The majority of the Specific Plan area is developed with neighborhood service commercial uses, including uses such as beauty shops, drug, jewelry, and antique stores, restaurants, medical, dental and general offices, banks and similar uses. The Plan area also includes approximately 82 existing residential units, mainly small (1-8 unit) apartments in mixed-use developments, with the primary use being commercial. The Civic Center, which includes the City Hall, and Police and Fire Stations, is also located in the Specific Plan area.
The existing development within the Plan area is largely 1 to 2 stories in height, with a few 3 to 4 story buildings, which step with the rolling topography. The current development standards allow 45 feet in height for construction. The proposed standards allow 30 foot building heights abutting streets and 45 feet at the rear of lots. The total square footage of existing commercial development within the Plan area is approximately 560,000 square feet with an average floor area ratio (FAR) of approximately 0.5 and a range of approximately 0.2 to 1.5 FAR. The current and proposed standards allow an FAR of 1.0:1, with the exception of one site which allows an FAR of 1.5:1.
Existing Utilities and Infrastructure
Water service is provided by the City of El Segundo. City owned 6 and 8 inch water mains are available beneath the north-south alleys in the Specific Plan area from which service connections may be made. There are no water mains within Main and Richmond Streets. There is a water main within the right-of-way along the south side of Grand Avenue. The nearest reclaimed water service is within the 300-500 blocks of Eucalyptus Drive and within Mariposa Avenue between Eucalyptus Drive and Virginia Street.
Fire Station 1, located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Grand Avenue within the Civic Center Complex is within the Specific Plan area. The provision of water for fire suppression is provided from existing hydrants throughout the Plan area; with at least one on each block. Projected occupancy loads in the Specific Plan Area, the potential of life hazard and the degree of fire hazard are all consistent with current conditions.
Sanitary sewage from this area is treated by the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Facility owned by the City of Los Angeles. Sewer service is available through City of El Segundo owned 8-inch sewer mains within the north-south alleys in the area. Sewer service is also available from sewer mains within City streets with the exception of 300-400 blocks of Main Street, and 100-200 blocks of Richmond Street which only have alley sewers.
These utilities are currently existing within the Plan area. Since the project development levels are only slightly above those already approved in the existing General Plan, it is anticipated that adequate facilities are available. Future development and implementation of the Plan would not exceed any regional population or growth assumptions.
Solid Waste Disposal
Solid waste disposal is provided to commercial users by a variety of private haulers. The City of El Segundo provides residential solid waste disposal service. Commercial development within the Specific Plan area would contract with a provider. Landfill capacity for the planning term (10 years) is adequate for assumed population and commercial growth within Los Angeles County. Future development and implementation of the Plan would not exceed any assumptions for either population or commercial growth in the region.
Public and Private Transportation
Currently there are three Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus lines that service the Downtown; Lines 124, 125 and 439. Line 124 operates from Compton to El Segundo along El Segundo Boulevard, Line 125 operates from La Mirada to El Segundo along Rosecrans Avenue and Line 439 operates from Redondo Beach to Downtown Los Angeles via El Segundo. The City of El Segundo operates a Dial-A-Ride service throughout the City as well as a summer beach shuttle.