Lorraine Sanchez, the vice president of the neighborhood group Friends of Sunset Park (FOSP), told the Planning Commission, “Sunset Park residents are at times overwhelmed by too much of everything. Too much traffic on our streets and in the sky above, too much development, and too much power in the hands of developers and City government who look at the City mainly as an economic engine which produces great wealth for the City and the developers.”
Her remarks were made as part of an effort by FOSP to give input to the Commission on October 3 regarding the ongoing update of the Land Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE) of the City’s General Plan. She mentioned that she and her fellow FOSP board members were attempting to inform the Commission on the residents’ sentiments regarding a 2005 survey on LUCE issues.
Sanchez emphasized, “Our residents do not want more growth in density, volume, or height of our City’s buildings.” We want to “preserve the remnants of our beach town.” In terms of affordable housing, FOSP residents “want to maintain economic diversity and keep longtime residents in their homes.” She also mentioned that her board wanted to advise the City to conduct a thorough study before developing workforce housing to see “what type of housing workers want and could afford, see how many workers would want to live here, and see if those needs could be met. “Lastly, she noted that the FOSP “supports a moratorium on development until the LUCE is completed.”
Board member Emmalie Hodgin reminded the Commission that the “number one concern in Sunset Park is cut through traffic,” that her organization continues to “support the down-zoning of industrial lands,” and that they oppose the “development of commercial office space that does not fully mitigate its traffic impacts.” In addition, Hodgin stressed FOSP continues “support for the use of an improved traffic methodology to more accurately predict the effects of future growth.”
The Commission then heard from FOSP President Zina Josephs. Josephs said her organization still supports, as they did in 2005, “that the 227-acre Airport property be included in the LUCE update,” since the 1984 agreement between the City and the FAA will be ending in 2015. She also stressed FOSP’s desire to have a cap placed on Santa Monica College’s enrollment, and to have the City place “better street lighting on residential streets.”
After the presentation, Commission Chair Gwynne Pugh stated that issues brought up were mainly “quality of life issues” and therefore were very relevant to the LUCE update.