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News, Santa Monica, Courts, Santa Monica Airport

Santa Monica Park Advocates Undaunted By Judge's SMO Lawsuit Dismissal

Frank Gruber.
Mirror Archives
Frank Gruber.

Posted Feb. 16, 2014, 8:55 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

A coalition of residents and groups known as Airport2Park.org -- who formed to turn Santa Monica Airport (SMO) into a park -- has released a statement following U.S. District Judge John L. Walter's decision Thursday to dismiss the City of Santa Monica’s lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm the City’s right to close the Santa Monica Airport July 1, 2015.

The statement reads:

We at Airport2Park.org, like nearly everyone else in Santa Monica and neighboring cities, regret that Federal Judge John Walter has granted the FAA’s motion to dismiss Santa Monica’s lawsuit for clarification of its rights to the Santa Monica Airport land, but we have full confidence that ultimately the City will succeed in closing the airport. The decision only delays that determination.

In response to the ruling, Airport2Park spokesman Frank Gruber said this ruling was not going to stop Santa Monica from getting its park at SMO.

“The decision was on narrow procedural grounds, and doesn’t alter the fact that the people of Santa Monica bought this land through a park bond a century ago," Gruber said. "We are confident that when the dust has settled, it will be the wonderful green space residents are hoping for.”

Gruber said it is important to note that Judge Walter’s decision was based solely on narrow procedural grounds and that Walters stated numerous times that the decision did not have anything to do with whether the City’s claims themselves were valid.

"Sooner or later, in one court or another, Airport2Park fully expects that the City of Santa Monica will have its rights to control the destiny of the airport land confirmed, either on the basis of claims made in this lawsuit or on other grounds," Gruber said. "Unfortunately, the FAA was able to use delaying tactics to postpone this decision"

Airport2Park.org is a coalition of residents that includes Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic (www.casmat.org), Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (www.jetairpollution.com), and Sunset Park Anti-Airport, Inc. (www.spaaresidents.org).

For more information, visit www.airport2park.org.

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Comments

Feb. 16, 2014, 11:09:33 am

Don't believe the lies said...

Another astro turf group funded by developers. When they say park, they mean a little park amid their new mixed use high rise buildings. These are the same exact people pushing for the Hines project and other big deals.

Feb. 16, 2014, 11:12:14 am

KL said...

There is no way they will let this land be only green space. Not in a million years. The land is a premium location and there is just too much money to be made building on it.

Feb. 16, 2014, 11:52:00 am

Ed Casey said...

Any idiot that thinks the city is going to OK a park if the airport is gone is living a pipe dream. The best use of the property for is more office space. That is where tax money comes from, not parks.

Feb. 16, 2014, 1:19:07 pm

Craig said...

When is the city going to stop wasting tax dollars fighting the FAA over the airport? Time and time again the city has had this thrown out by the courts. It's been going on for the eleven years I've lived here. I suggest the city come up with a new argument. The old one doesn't work.

Feb. 17, 2014, 11:20:07 am

Jim in SM said...

Close it. It is absolutely not true that the majority of local residents want it open. We should have a referendum to show this once and for all, and to establish limits on future development of the land by locking in its use primarily as a park.

Feb. 16, 2014, 2:42:33 pm

Henry Hall said...

Excuse me, but the majority of Santa Monica residents want the airport to remain. Cut the B.S.

Feb. 16, 2014, 2:57:42 pm

Wow said...

It is cool to see how the same person can post multiple times here by just changing the name

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:06:49 pm

KL said...

Actually, Wow, I am one of the commenters and I only posted once. Just because it goes against your agenda doesn't mean it's a conspiracy.

Feb. 16, 2014, 3:27:13 pm

NaNa said...

The majority of Santa Monica residents _DO_ want it to be closed and turned into a park. They are tired of the noise, pollution and subsidizing the few residents that privately use it. After all are there are ONLY 300 registered pilots in the entire city! Less than 500 mostly non residents even even use it daily, about the same as the dog park.

Feb. 16, 2014, 7:06:02 pm

Matthew said...

Close the airport. It's loud, noise pollution all day long. A park sounds wonderful. You have my vote.

Feb. 16, 2014, 11:14:57 pm

stewart said...

This is ne of those times that I can agree to disagree with Frank Gruber.

Feb. 17, 2014, 12:53:01 am

Robert (Bob) Smith said...

A "Park Bond" a laugh there has been two World Wars since then, and that area has been used for aircraft for at least 3/4 of that time. The suburbs you live in were not even built then. So shut up and put up with the airport. An "Airport" that is known worldwide, even in Australia

Feb. 17, 2014, 7:20:18 pm

JB said...

So, buy a cheap house near an airport and then relentelssly lobby the city to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to close it and replace it with a park that serves the same people who bought discounted houses in the first place. I am glad my taxes are subsidizing this self-interest investment agenda. That's just great. Yay America!

Feb. 17, 2014, 7:21:12 pm

Mack said...

A park does sound wonderful. Knocking down your house and making an even bigger airport sounds wonderful too but neither is going to happen. It's a pipe dream sold by snake oil salesmen in the real estate development business and you've been lied to about the affects of the airport. Anyone with half a brain can deduce that the pollution from the 405 and 10 alone quadruples anything put out by planes. If you feel that unsafe, I suggest Montana. Plenty of clear skies and fresh air there. No ones forcing you to stay.

Feb. 17, 2014, 8:56:32 pm

A resident said...

Mr. Gruber lives in the flight path at the west end of the airport so has a conflict of interest in that his property value will increase significantly if the airport is closed. This is not about parks but creating increased property values for those who bought in the flight path at lower prices than properties not lined up with the runway. The airport was there when they bought their homes.

Feb. 17, 2014, 10:46:58 pm

I Told You So said...

I'm sorry, but the Federal Gov't will never close the Airport. Anyone who thinks otherwise is being silly, really!

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