Santa Monica, California
"Santa Monica" redirects here.
For other uses, see Santa Monica (disambiguation).
|Santa Monica, California|
|Spanish encampment||August 3, 1769|
|Incorporated||November 30, 1886|
|Named for||Saint Monica|
|Mayor||Kevin McKeown (D)|
|Total||16.00 sq mi (41.43 km)|
|Land||8.41 sq mi (21.80 km)|
|Water||7.58 sq mi (19.64 km)|
|Elevation||105 ft (32 m)|
|Rank||89th in California|
|Density||10,742.84/sq mi (4,147.77/km)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||,|
Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on five sides by different neighborhoods of the city of Los Angeles: Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south.
The 2010 U.S. population was 89,736. Census
Due to a favorable climate and close proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century attracting many celebrities, like Marion Davies, to build magnificent beach front homes on Roosevelt Highway (AKA Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)).
The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism.
Santa Monica's environmental and sustainability strategies are focused on community-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner.
The city of Santa Monica rests on a mostly flat slope that angles down towards Ocean Avenue and towards the south.
High bluffs separate the north side of the city from the beaches.
Santa Monica enjoys an average of 310 days of sunshine a year.
It is in USDA plant hardiness zone 10a.
Because of its location, nestled on the vast and open Santa Monica Bay, morning fog is a common phenomenon in May, June, July and early August (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents).
Like other inhabitants of the greater Los Angeles area, residents have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray", the "June Gloom" and even “Fogust”.
Overcast skies are common during June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon.
In the late winter/early summer, daily fog is a phenomenon too.
It happens suddenly and it may last some hours or past sunset time.
Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures.
At times, the sun can be shining east of 20th Street, while the beach area is overcast.
As a general rule, the beach temperature is from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 6 degrees Celsius) cooler than it is inland during summer days, and 5–10 degrees warmer during winter nights.
It is also in September highest temperatures tend to be reached.
It is winter, however, when the hot, dry winds of the Santa Anas are most common.
In contrast, temperatures exceeding 10 degrees below average are rare.
The rainy season is from late October through late March.
Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland.
There is very little rain during the rest of the year.
Yearly rainfall totals are unpredictable as rainy years are occasionally followed by droughts.
There has never been any snow or frost, but there has been hail.
Santa Monica usually enjoys cool breezes blowing in from the ocean, which tend to keep the air fresh and clean.
Therefore, smog is less of a problem for Santa Monica than elsewhere around Los Angeles.
However, in the autumn months of September through November, the Santa Ana winds will sometimes blow from the east, bringing smoggy and hot inland air to the beaches.
The city first proposed its Sustainable City Plan in 1992 and in 1994, was one of the first cities in the nation to formally adopt a comprehensive sustainability plan, setting waste reduction and water conservation policies for both public and private sector through its Office of Sustainability and the Environment.
Eighty-two percent of the city's public works vehicles run on alternative fuels, including most of the municipal bus system, making it among the largest such fleets in the country.
Santa Monica fleet vehicles and buses source their natural gas from Redeem, a Southern California-based supplier of renewable and sustainable natural gas obtained from non-fracked methane biogas generated from organic landfill waste.
Santa Monica adopted a Community Energy Independence Initiative, with a goal of achieving complete energy independence by 2020 (vs. California's already ambitious 33% renewables goal).
The city exceeded that aspiration when, in February 2019, it switched over to electricity from the Clean Power Alliance, with a citywide default of 100% renewably sourced energy.
That same year, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan aimed at achieving an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2030, and reaching community-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 or sooner.
An urban runoff facility (SMURFF), the first of its kind in the US, catches and treats 3.5 million US gallons (13,000 m) of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay via storm-drains and sells it back to end-users within the city for reuse as gray-water, while bioswales throughout the city allow rainwater to percolate into and replenish the groundwater.
The groundwater supply plays an important role in the city's Sustainable Water Master Plan, whereby Santa Monica has set a goal of attaining 100% water independence by 2020.
The city has numerous programs designed to promote water conservation among residents, including a rebate for those who convert lawns to drought-tolerant gardens that require less water.
Santa Monica has also instituted a green building-code whereby merely constructing to code automatically renders a building equivalent to the US Green Building Council's LEED Silver standards.
The city's Main Library is one of many LEED certified or LEED equivalent buildings in the city.
It is built over a 200,000 gallon cistern that collects filtered stormwater from the roof.
The water is used for landscape irrigation.
Since 2009, Santa Monica has been developing the Zero Waste Strategic Operations Plan by which the city will set a goal of diverting at least 95% of all waste away from landfills, and toward recycling and composting, by 2030.
The plan includes a food waste composting program, which diverts 3 million pounds of restaurant food waste away from landfills annually.
Currently, 77% of all solid waste produced citywide is diverted from landfills.
The city is also in the process of implementing a 5-year and 20 year Bike Action Plan with a goal of attaining 14 to 35% bicycle transportation mode share by 2030 through the installation of enhanced bicycle infrastructure throughout the city.
Other environmentally focused initiatives include curbside recycling, curbside composting bins (in addition to trash, yard-waste, and recycle bins), farmers' markets, community gardens, garden-share, an urban forest initiative, a hazardous materials home-collection service, and a green business certification.
Santa Monica's population has grown from 417 in 1880 to 89,736 in 2010.
The 2010 United States Census reported Santa Monica had a population of 89,736.
The population density was 10,662.6 people per square mile (4,116.9/km).
The racial makeup of Santa Monica was 69,663 (77.6%) White (70.1% Non-Hispanic White), 3,526 (3.9%) African American, 338 (0.4%) Native American, 8,053 (9.0%) Asian, 124 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 4,047 (4.5%) from other races, and 3,985 (4.4%) from two or more races.
The Census reported 87,610 people (97.6% of the population) lived in households, 1,299 (1.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 827 (0.9%) were institutionalized.
There were 46,917 households, out of which 7,835 (16.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 13,092 (27.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,510 (7.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,327 (2.8%) had a male householder with no wife present.
22,716 households (48.4%) were made up of individuals, and 5,551 (11.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 1.87.
There were 17,929 families (38.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.79.
The population was spread out, with 12,580 people (14.0%) under the age of 18, 6,442 people (7.2%) aged 18 to 24, 32,552 people (36.3%) aged 25 to 44, 24,746 people (27.6%) aged 45 to 64, and 13,416 people (15.0%) who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 40.4 years.
For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.
There were 50,912 housing units at an average density of 6,049.5 per square mile (2,335.7/km), of which 13,315 (28.4%) were owner-occupied, and 33,602 (71.6%) were occupied by renters.
The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.1%.
30,067 people (33.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 57,543 people (64.1%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Santa Monica had a median household income of $73,649, with 11.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 84,084 people, 44,497 households, and 16,775 families in the city.
The population density was 10,178.7 inhabitants per square mile (3,930.4/km).
There were 47,863 housing units at an average density of 5,794.0 per square mile (2,237.3/km).
There were 44,497 households, out of which 15.8% had children under the age of 18, 27.5% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 62.3% were non-families.
51.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 1.83 and the average family size was 2.80.
The city of Santa Monica is consistently among the most educated cities in the United States, with 23.8 percent of all residents holding graduate degrees.
The population was diverse in age, with 14.6% under 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 40.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% 65 years or older.
The median age was 39 years.
For every 100 females, there were 93.0 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
According to a 2009 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $71,095, and the median income for a family was $109,410.
Males had a median income of $55,689 versus $42,948 for females.
The per capita income for the city was $42,874.
10.4% of the population and 5.4% of families were below the poverty line.
Out of the total population, 9.9% of those under the age of 18 and 10.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
In 2006, crime in Santa Monica affected 4.41% of the population, slightly lower than the national average crime rate that year of 4.48%.
The majority of this was property crime, which affected 3.74% of Santa Monica's population in 2006; this was higher than the rates for Los Angeles County (2.76%) and California (3.17%), but lower than the national average (3.91%).
These per-capita crime rates are computed based on Santa Monica's full-time population of about 85,000.
However, the Santa Monica Police Department has suggested the actual per-capita crime rate is much lower, as tourists, workers, and beachgoers can increase the city's daytime population to between 250,000 and 450,000 people.
Violent crimes affected 0.67% of the population in Santa Monica in 2006, in line with Los Angeles County (0.65%), but higher than the averages for California (0.53%) and the nation (0.55%).
Hate crime has typically been minimal in Santa Monica, with only one reported incident in 2007.
However, the city experienced a spike of anti-Islamic hate crime in 2001, following the attacks of September 11.
Hate crime levels returned to their minimal 2000 levels by 2002.
In 2006, Santa Monica voters passed "Measure Y" with a 65% majority, which moved the issuance of citations for marijuana smoking to the bottom of the police priority list.
A 2009 study by the Santa Monica Daily Press showed since the law took effect in 2007, the Santa Monica Police had "not issued any citations for offenses involving the adult, personal use of marijuana inside private residences."
The Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica (south of the Santa Monica Freeway) experiences some gang activity.
The city estimates there are about 50 gang members based in Santa Monica, although some community organizers dispute this claim.
Gang activity has been prevalent for decades in the Pico neighborhood.
In October 1998, alleged Culver City 13 gang member Omar Sevilla, 21, of Culver City was killed.
A couple of hours after the shooting of Sevilla, German tourist Horst Fietze was killed.
Several days later Juan Martin Campos, age 23, a Santa Monica city employee, was shot and killed.
Police believe this was a retaliatory killing in response to the death of Omar Sevilla.
Less than twenty-four hours later, Javier Cruz was wounded in a drive-by shooting outside his home on 17th and Michigan.
In 1999, there was a double homicide in the Westside Clothing store on Lincoln Boulevard.
During the incident, Culver City gang members David "Puppet" Robles and Jesse "Psycho" Garcia entered the store masked and began opening fire, killing Anthony and Michael Juarez.
They then ran outside to a getaway vehicle driven by a third Culver City gang member, who is now also in custody.
The clothing store was believed to be a local hang out for Santa Monica gang members.
The dead included two men from Northern California who had merely been visiting the store's owner, their cousin, to see if they could open a similar store in their area.
Police say the incident was in retaliation for a shooting committed by the Santa Monica 13 gang days before the Juarez brothers were gunned down.
Aside from the rivalry with the Culver City gang, gang members also feud with the Venice and West Los Angeles gangs.
Arts and culture
Music and arts venues
It sits on the Santa Monica Pier, which was built in 1909.
The La Monica Ballroom on the pier was once the largest ballroom in the US and the source for many New Year's Eve national network broadcasts.
McCabe's Guitar Shop is a leading acoustic performance space as well as retail outlet.
The Santa Monica Playhouse is a popular theater in the city.
The New West Symphony is the resident orchestra of Barnum Hall.
Santa Monica has three main shopping districts: Montana Avenue on the north side, the Downtown District in the city's core, and Main Street on the south end.
Each has its own unique feel and personality.
Montana Avenue is a stretch of luxury boutique stores, restaurants, and small offices that generally features more upscale shopping.
The Main Street district offers an eclectic mix of clothing, restaurants, and other specialty retail.
Third Street Promenade
and Broadway (not the same Broadway in downtown and south Los Angeles).
Third Street is closed to vehicles for those three blocks to allow people to stroll, congregate, shop and enjoy street performers.
Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica Place, featuring Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom in a three-level outdoor environment, is at the Promenade's southern end.
After a period of redevelopment, the mall reopened in the fall of 2010 as a modern shopping, entertainment and dining complex with more outdoor space.
Santa Monica hosts the annual Santa Monica Film Festival.
The city's oldest movie theater is the Majestic.
Opened in 1912 and also known as the Mayfair Theatre, the theater, it has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
The Aero Theater (now operated by the American Cinematheque) and Criterion Theater were built in the 1930s and still show movies.
The Santa Monica Promenade alone supports more than a dozen movie screens.
Public library system
The Santa Monica Public Library consists of a Main Library in the downtown area, plus four neighborhood branches: Fairview, Montana Avenue, Ocean Park, and Pico Boulevard.
See also: Sports in Los Angeles
During the 2028 Summer Olympics.
Parks and recreation
Palisades Park stretches out along the crumbling bluffs overlooking the Pacific and is a favorite walking area to view the ocean.
Tongva Park occupies 6 acres between Ocean Avenue and Main Street, just south of Colorado Avenue.
The park includes an overlook, amphitheater, playground, garden, fountains, picnic areas, and restrooms.
The Santa Monica Stairs, a long, steep staircase that leads from north of San Vicente down into Santa Monica Canyon, is a popular spot for outdoor workouts.
Some area residents have complained that the stairs have become too popular, and attract too many exercisers to the wealthy neighborhood of multimillion-dollar properties.
Santa Monica is governed by the Santa Monica City Council, a Council-Manager governing body with seven members elected at-large.
The mayor is Kevin McKeown, and the Mayor Pro Tempore is Terry O'Day.
The other five current council members are Sue Himmelrich, Ted Winterer, Ana Maria Jara, Gleam Davis, and Greg Morena.
In recent years, Santa Monica has voted Democratic in presidential elections, with the Democrats winning over 70% of the vote in all five presidential elections since 2000.
The Libertarian Party has increased its share of the vote in each of the last four presidential elections.
Earning over 2% in the 2012 and 2016 elections, after failing to reach one percent in any of the three prior elections.
Elementary and secondary schools
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District provides public education at the elementary and secondary levels.
In addition to the traditional model of early education school houses, SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House) is "a K-8 public school of choice with team teachers and multi-aged classrooms".
The district maintains eight public elementary schools in Santa Monica:
- Edison Language Academy
- Franklin Elementary School
- Grant Elementary School
- John Muir Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School
- Santa Monica Alternative School House [SMASH]
- Roosevelt Elementary School
- Will Rogers Learning Community
The district maintains three public middle schools in Santa Monica: John Adams Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and SMASH.
Private schools in the city include:
- Carlthorp School
- Santa Monica Montessori School
- Crossroads School
- Saint Monica Catholic Elementary School
- Concord High School
- Pacifica Christian High School
- Lighthouse Christian Academy
- St. Anne Catholic School
- Saint Monica Catholic High School
- New Roads School
- PS1 Pluralistic School
All high school classes in the Asahi Gakuen system are held at the Santa Monica campus.
As of 1986, students take buses from as far away as Orange County to go to the high school classes of the Santa Monica campus.
Many SMC graduates transfer to the University of California system.
It occupies 35 acres (14 hectares) and enrolls 30,000 students annually.
The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles is also in Santa Monica near the Santa Monica Airport.
Universities and colleges within a 22-mile (35 km) radius from Santa Monica include Santa Monica College, Antioch University Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary's University, Pepperdine University, California State University, Northridge, California State University, Los Angeles, UCLA, USC, West Los Angeles College, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Occidental College (Oxy), Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Southwest College, Los Angeles Valley College, and Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine.
Santa Monica has a bike action plan and launched a bicycle sharing system in November 2015.
The city is traversed by the Marvin Braude Bike Trail.
Santa Monica has received the Bicycle Friendly Community Award (Bronze in 2009, Silver in 2013) by the League of American Bicyclists.
Local bicycle advocacy organizations include Santa Monica Spoke, a local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
Santa Monica is thought to be one of the leaders for bicycle infrastructure and programming in Los Angeles County although cycling infrastructure in Los Angeles County in general remains very poor compared to other major cities.
In terms of number of bicycle accidents, Santa Monica ranks as one of the worst (#2) out of 102 California cities with population 50,000–100,000, a ranking consistent with the city's composite ranking.
In 2007 and 2008, local police cracked down on Santa Monica Critical Mass rides that had become controversial, putting a damper on the tradition.
The Santa Monica Freeway between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles has the distinction of being one of the busiest highways in all of North America.
In Santa Monica, there is a road sign designating this route as the Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway.
State Route 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard) begins in Santa Monica, barely grazing State Route 1 at Lincoln Boulevard, and continues northeast across Los Angeles County, through the Angeles National Forest, crossing the San Gabriel Mountains as the Angeles Crest Highway, ending in Wrightwood.
Santa Monica is also the western terminus of Historic U.S. Route 66.
The vehicle will be equipped with a Scelzi utility body, it is based on the Isuzu N series chassis, a UQM PowerPhase 100 advanced electric motor and is the only US built electric truck offered for sale in the United States in 2009.
A Big Blue Bus was featured prominently in the action movie Speed.
The city of Santa Monica is also served by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) bus lines.
Metro also complements Big Blue service, as when Big Blue routes are not operational overnight, Metro buses make many Big Blue Bus stops, in addition to MTA stops.
Design and construction on the 6.6-mile extension (10.6 km) of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica started in September 2011, with service beginning on May 20, 2016.
Travel time between the downtown Santa Monica and the downtown Los Angeles termini is approximately 47 minutes.
Historical aspects of the Expo line route are noteworthy.
It uses the former Los Angeles region's electric interurban Pacific Electric Railway's right-of-way that ran from the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles to Santa Monica.
This route was called the Santa Monica Air Line and provided electric-powered freight and passenger service between Los Angeles and Santa Monica beginning in the 1920s.
Passenger service was discontinued in 1953, but diesel-powered freight deliveries to warehouses along the route continued until March 11, 1988.
The abandonment of the line spurred future transportation considerations and concerns within the community, and the entire right-of-way was purchased from Southern Pacific by Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The line was built in 1875 as the steam-powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad to bring mining ore to ships in Santa Monica harbor and as a passenger excursion train to the beach.
Since the mid-1980s, various proposals have been made to extend the Purple Line subway to Santa Monica under Wilshire Boulevard.
There are no current plans to complete the "subway to the sea," an estimated $5 billion project.
Airport and ports
Commercial flights are available for residents at LAX, a few miles south of Santa Monica.
Two major hospitals are within the Santa Monica city limits, UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and St. John's Hospital.
There are four fire stations providing medical and fire response within the city staffed with 6 Paramedic Engines, 1 Truck company, 1 Hazardous Materials team and 1 Urban Search & Rescue team.
Santa Monica Fire Department has its own Dispatch Center.
Ambulance transportation is provided by McCormick Ambulance Services.
Law enforcement services is provided by the Santa Monica Police Department
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica.
The Department's West Area Health Office is in the Simms/Mann Center.
In popular culture
- 2013 Santa Monica shooting
- Aragon Ballroom (Ocean Park, Santa Monica, California)
- Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker, co-founder and benefactress of Santa Monica
- List of cities and towns in California
- List of City of Santa Monica Designated Historic Landmarks
- List of people from Santa Monica, California
- List of public art in Santa Monica, California
- Muscle Beach
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa Monica, California.