Email List

To join our e-mail list, please enter your e-mail address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Shows

Sections

Classifieds

Directories

Contact

City Council, Development, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Seven Reasons Village Trailer Park DA Should Not Go Ahead: Letter To The Editor

Posted Feb. 5, 2013, 9:28 am

Letter To The Editor

Editor's Note: This is an open letter to the Santa Monica City Council.

Dear Councilmembers,

Why do we end up simply taking the best of what developers are willing to give us?

Even if the Village Trailer Park developer agrees to provide additional affordable units, I would strongly encourage you to rethink this Development Agreement. Assuming overriding issues of elderly eviction, landmarking, or conservation zoning are regrettably past history, this D.A. should still be rescinded when you consider the overwhelming design fallacies:

1. Access to 290 of 377 units (77%) from windowless 5ft. wide interior corridors which are 400 – 500 ft. long or 1-1/3 to 1-2/3 the length of a football field – truly an inhuman “quality of life.”

2. Garage circulation requires traveling in two subterranean levels as much as 2000ft. or 6-2/3 football fields to reach an assigned space.

3. Lack of privacy and light in narrow canyon courtyards 225 foot long and twice as high as they are wide (i.e. the width of the council chamber but with walls 3 times higher)

4. No open space that is not 100% concrete paved with raised or depressed planters and “potted” landscape.

5. Non-mitigated traffic impacts generating 2200 daily trips!

6. Total lack of relationship to the adjacent neighborhood which will result in reduced property values for those neighboring residents along with massive visual and traffic issues.

7. Community benefits that don’t address resulting educational and infrastructure needs which this project will create.

Why didn’t staff ever mention anything negative resulting from this design in their lengthy reports (other than traffic). And, it’s also disturbing that the Planning Commission and Architectural Review Boards don’t have the time to discuss these projects in the depth required. But clearly this project is way too dense with these design fallacies creating a slum-like environment.

Why should a developer’s smooth-talking, opportunistic ambition trump the common welfare? It is becoming all too apparent in our city that the wreckage from this type of ambition threads its way largely unchecked through our political and community life. And if we didn’t approve this much density, we wouldn’t need all the drastic parking provisions being proposed.

If the council accedes to an “affordable compromise,” it will truly be a community travesty. Please step back and think this through.

Alain de Botton wrote that “bad architecture is a frozen mistake writ large. We owe it to the fields and trees (and the homes we replace) that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness.” And Le Corbusier stated “the fate of cities are made in town halls.” Please do the right thing and maintain this revocation.

Ron Goldman, FAIA

Santa Monica resident

Post a comment

Comments

Feb. 6, 2013, 1:23:36 pm

Jonathan Mann said...

Because the staff doesn't care. These are more reasons why the voters should recall the entire present city council and put in people who will listen and heed what the residents want.

Feb. 6, 2013, 2:21:36 pm

StevieD said...

"Why should a developer’s smooth-talking, opportunistic ambition trump the common welfare? " Because the owner of the property should decide what they want to do with their property, not the "common welfare." Unless the commoners wish to purchase the property and develop it themselves. Why must we push unwanted projects down the throats of property owners?

Feb. 6, 2013, 5:16:13 pm

Drew said...

"1. Access to 290 of 377 units (77%) from windowless 5ft. wide interior corridors..." If you don't want to live there, don't live there. But it already sounds a lot nicer than my apartment from the 1960s. "2. Garage circulation requires traveling in two subterranean levels as much as 2000ft. or 6-2/3 football fields to reach an assigned space." Again, if you don't want to drive that far to your parking space, maybe you should walk or ride public transit! "3. Lack of privacy and light in narrow canyon courtyards 225 foot long and twice as high as they are wide (i.e. the width of the council chamber but with walls 3 times higher)" Lack of Privacy and Light aren't really related, are they? It's not even worth arguing. It's not up to random, uninformed people from the community to tell a property owner what to do with property he or she OWNS. It's currently a crime ridden, ugly, old, empty trailer park. Is that the best use of the 4 acres?? Is that really what we want in the heart of Santa Monica? I'm sure it was a great place to live for a while, but nothing lasts forever and I for one embrace this positive change!

SM Mirror TV