The RAND Corp.'s plans to expand its Santa Monica headquarters cleared a hurdle on Thursday when the state Coastal Commission voted unanimously to approve the city's coastal plan and not limit the think tank's growth.
"We were delighted to receive the 12-0 approval of our coastal plan," said City Manager John Jalili, who fought the commission staff's earlier recommendation to limit expansion after RAND threatened to move its Main Street headquarters to another city.
Three weeks ago, after meeting with RAND executives and city officials, the staff cleared the way for Thursday's decision by reversing its recommendation that RAND's growth be limited to 10% of its 285,000 square feet of office space and that it provide two public-access routes to the beach through its property.
The decision upset local peace activists who oppose RAND's war- and nuclear-weapon-related research.
Jerry Rubin, a spokesman for the Committee Against RAND Expansion, said the fight is far from over.
"It's going to be a long campaign," Rubin said. "(RAND is) going to have to come before the Planning Commission and the City Council and we'll be there."
Jalili said the plan will be submitted to the City Council within 90 days.