Editor’s Note: This is an open letter to the Santa Monica City Council regarding tonight’s agenda item of the Hines project.
Dear Mayor O’Connor and Members of the City Council,
Well, here we go again. Unfortunately, in September you have chosen to vote for the proposed Bergamot Transit Village Development despite strong opposition voiced by many residents.
This project is a developer’s dream. But for us Santa Monica residents, it will be a nightmare.
Reading and digesting the 334 pages staff report brings up warning signs, one after another.
In addition to the tremendous increase in density and the questionable calculated traffic increase, we couldn’t find a good explanation why a development of this size would be built on landfill, over an earthquake fault, knowing also that Santa Monica is “sitting on squishy ground.”
Do you remember that the Papermate factory had significant structural damage after the 1994 Earthquake?
To make a long story short, this development is too big and will change Santa Monica into a city that, you should know that by now, residents do not want. Equally important, contrary to the opinion of the Chamber of Commerce, as stated in their letter of January 24, this proposal does not implement the vision created by the people.
If it would, then residents wouldn’t object to it. We realize that some of you are beholden to developers, but it is no justification for voting in favor of oversized developments.
If there ever was a proposal that needs to be sent back to the drawing board for a drastic reduction – this is it! Ask the developer to cut everything in half, and maybe we will get excited about it.
Heinz and Regula K. Ziegler