The Wilshire/-Montana Coalition (Wilmont) is a neighborhood group that began over ten years ago. Its boundaries are Ocean Ave. to 21st St., Wilshire Blvd. to Montana Ave.
The coalition is currently working on neighborhood parking problems because, according to their Vice-Chair Jeanne Dodson, “Wilmont is the most densely populated area in the City” having two to four times more residents per block than any other part of Santa Monica. Because of the density, the neighborhood severely lacks parking for visitors, nannies, domestic workers and deliveries.
Coalition documents show members are unanimously supporting a proposal whereby the “north-south streets in the Wilshire-Montana District would be changed to one-way. Then, with only one lane being used for traffic, the second lane would provide enough space for diagonal parking – instead of parallel parking. Depending on the width of the individual streets and other factors, parking could potentially be increased from 30-70%” throughout the entire Wilmont residential area. “This solution wouldn’t entail tearing down buildings, months of construction or cost tens of millions of dollars. It would only require some paint and new signs,” coalition documents stated.
Another area Dodson mentioned Wilmont is working on is “internet communication with the community along with the other neighborhood groups.” The goal is to use the internet to unify the city’s residents. The City of Santa Monica has given $20,000 to the neighborhood groups for set-up fees for the project to get started.
Wilmont is also continuing to contribute to the City’s ongoing update of its Land Use and Circulation Elements of the City’s General Plan.
As always, Wilmont is “unifying the neighborhood to help figure out what the issues in the neighborhood are” and working to rectify troublesome situations. Wilmont welcomes participation and suggestions from all residents.
In 2005, Wilmont successfully prevented wireless companies from putting a cell phone tower anywhere in the Wilmont vicinity. The group also worked on the parking problem and preventing runaway development.
The Wilmont Board officers are Chair Sean Milligan, Vice-Chair Jeanne Dodson, Treasurer Rosemary Sustarich and Secretary Freida Dubin. Board meetings are held every third Monday of the month at 7pm at the Ken Edwards Center. Their annual meeting will be on Saturday, June 24, 12-5pm at Christine Reed Park. For further information, call 310.840.2257 or go to www.wilmont.org.