The city, acting under a 1988 state Supreme Court ruling, will conduct an additional environmental impact report for two four-story parking garages planned at Santa Monica College.
The last-minute decision to do the additional report was announced at Tuesday's City Council meeting, where the project had been scheduled to be discussed. Now, the project will be put on hold for at least three months, Planning Director Paul Berlant said.
The environmental study will examine alternatives to the garages, such as a shuttle service. In a December, 1988, ruling involving a San Francisco case, the Supreme Court said an environmental impact report must look at alternatives to a project as well as the project itself.
The two garages would provide 1,538 parking spaces for the college in an effort to alleviate a longstanding shortage of places to park. The project was approved in concept last year after months of negotiations with college officials and neighboring residents.
However, in recent months, additional neighborhood opposition has emerged. These opponents contend that the garages would only worsen traffic in the congested college area.