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Development, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Hotels

Fairmont Miramar Needs To Go Back To The Drawing Board: Letter To The Editor

Posted May. 13, 2012, 1:53 am

Staff Report

Dear Editor,

On May 2 the City of Santa Monica, the Chamber of Commerce and several other prestigious local groups, including the Santa Monica Mirror, gave a 2012 Sustainability Quality Grand Prize to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, lauding among other things its social responsibility and stewardship of the natural environment.

The hotel was praised for its responsible tourism that includes “minimizing the hotel’s operational impact on the planet.”

I have no reason to question the validity of the award. But – and there is a big but – on April 24 the City Council gave the Fairmont Miramar developers the go-ahead to work with staff on their grandiose plan for “revitalization.”

This plan, while it saves our beloved Moreton fig tree, razes the entire block, destroys the iconic hotel, the bungalows, the numerous beautiful old trees, extensive shrubbery and foliage – all of the award-winning characteristics – in order to construct a fortress of high-rise towers, a diminished hotel and some 120 luxury condos, doubling the current amount of floor space to over 500,000 square feet on one city block.

The impact on traffic, parking, light, air, and shadow will be significant and change the quality of the neighborhood.

Some eight or ten years ago I spent a couple of years working on the City’s first Sustainable City Task Force. I believe that the award to the Fairmont Miramar at this time makes a mockery of our city’s dedication to the environmentally friendly values we adopted then – values our residents still subscribe to wholeheartedly.

The Miramar needs to go back to the drawing board. It needs authentic revitalization, using the current footprint, not a profit-driven condo project, to retain its current sustainability leadership.

Eleanor Blumenberg

Santa Monica

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Comments

May. 13, 2012, 6:10:42 pm

Carole Meltzner said...

This is SO true. City Council and Planning Commission -- READ THIS LETTER TO THE EDITOR!

May. 13, 2012, 4:37:05 pm

Sue McHugh said...

I couldn't agree more with Eleanor. As a taxpaying resident here since 1994 and a property owner since 1998 I am apalled with the the city's lack of concern for residents while kowtowing to tourists. I also value tourist dollars but please make these developers tell us why their expansions are needed. Are all the hotel rooms full all the time? I doubt it - I am dreading the congestion any Fairmont expansion will cause - not to mention the aggravation construction will bring to the area. We have all been subjected to the horrors of city planning wit the water main project that was supposed to be completed in March but continues to tear up streets and choke parking spaces with giant equipment. Enough already!!!

May. 13, 2012, 12:05:09 pm

L. McCann said...

Ms. Eleanor Blumenberg, I am in agreement with you on every level. This "grandiose plan for “revitalization", is just that. You said..."The Miramar needs to go back to the drawing board. It needs authentic revitalization, using the current footprint, not a profit-driven condo project, to retain its current sustainability leadership". And That sums it up. Thank you, I appreciate you. Sincerely, L. McCann

May. 18, 2012, 3:25:16 am

Adam Rakunas said...

Abso-damn-lutely. Santa Monica is not New York City or Miami Beach. It is time to say enough to to this ridiculous proposal and kill it.

May. 16, 2012, 6:46:15 am

wolflen said...

while i agree that the project is going to build up that part of the city..it will not impact traffic to any great extent..the nice "sleepy beach town" is long gone..welcome to the 21st century..yes it will be built up to the max..and people will WANT to live and work here..(see: NY City)..and as in all major cities that are vital...there will always be the tearing down of the old and birth to the new..and the constant maintenance of the surrounding inferstructure..if a much slower pace of life is for you...there are more accommodating locations to live..

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