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Open Letter to City Council:

Dear City Council,

In the 18 months that we (SMCLC) have followed land-use issues in Santa Monica, we have never heard a resident express a desire for more market rate condos, green or otherwise.

In fact, we have heard the opposite time and time again: that what residents fear is the further elimination of our apartment stock and the irreplaceable loss of diversity in our city – the loss of neighbors who will be evicted or replaced by high-end condo commuters and much bigger buildings.

So we were both shocked and dismayed at the turn of events at last week’s city council meeting when market rate condos were added to the list of preferred uses, entitling developers to maximize development of their project if they elect to make it “green” (Gold LEED standard).

We believe this in no way represents any community consensus.  Every community group who went on record asked you not to treat LEED as a preference because of the view that condo developers do not need incentives in Santa Monica and “greenwashing” (i.e., building the condos but then failing to get the environmental certification) also could occur.

If you do this, you are telling the residents of this city that you really do not believe the values you claim to hold dear – that we need work force housing and housing for low and moderate income residents.  Instead, you are saying, as long as developers can make a profit building “green” market rate housing (which they can) – buy whatever land and apartment properties they need.  There is no amount of affordable housing this city can ever generate to recoup what has been (and will be) lost.

This will be the alarming consequence of your deliberations over the potential negative impacts of Prop. 90.  Whatever impacts occur from Prop. 90, they will not, in our judgment, be as pernicious to the diversity and existing affordable housing stock of our city as what you tentatively adopted last week.

We urge you to reconsider this fundamentally ill-advised move.

Residents are very concerned that our downtown is being overbuilt and that additional commercial development yields far too few public benefits and three times the adverse traffic impacts of residential development.  Residents want our city’s commercial rate of growth slowed so that Santa Monica remains accessible to the residents who live here.

For these reasons, we urge you to adopt similar reduced development standards that decrease the height limits and the floor area ratios (FAR) in these key, overlooked commercial areas so that Santa Monica’s current scale and character are protected.

 

Sincerely,

MARK ARMOUR

BILL BAUER

REUBEN BRANFMAN

EDWARD COSTELLO

JOANNE CURTIS

GLEAM DAVIS

PAUL DEASON

THOMAS DELANEY

JOE DOKTOREZYK

MARY FENSTERMACHER

PAUL FERNANDEZ

BRURIA FINKEL

VICTOR FRESCO

SUSAN GIESBERG

DIANA GORDON

GEORGIA GRIGGS

LEIKO HAMADA

NORA HAMILL

ART HARRIS

CHARLES AND HELEN HEWITT

ZINA JOSEPHS

FRANCISCO JUAREZ

BRIAN KAHRS

SHIRLEY KELSON

RANDALL KLARIN

KAREN KLEEMAN

SHERRILL KUSHNER

ILA LAVONT

NADIA LAWRENCE

DAVID LEE

RUTHANN LEHRER

MICHAEL LEVINE

JAMIE MARKS

KENNETH MCCRAE

SUE MILLER

GAIL MYERS

BEA NEMLAHA

KELLY OLSEN

MAYNARD OSTROW

AUDREY PARKER

JAFER PATTERSON

LUBA PAZ

CARLOS PINEIRO

KATHRYN RADDON

ADRIAN REIF

LORRAINE SANCHEZ

KATHY SEAL

JEFF SEGAL

DALE AND ROY SHULTS

DORIS SOSIN

HELEN AND ANTHONY SPAULDING

LINDA SULLIVAN

SONIA AND BRUCE SULTAN

ROGER TEMPLETON

ALAN TOY

KEVIN WATERBURY

TED WINTERER

BILL ZIMMERMAN 

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