April 14, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica Airport Ballot Initiative Gathers More Than 15,500 Signatures:

A group of proponents aiming to amend the Santa Monica City Charter to require voters approve any potential plans to redevelop the local airport submitted more than 15,500 signatures to City Hall on Tuesday.

If County officials verify the submitted signatures, the issue of who determines the future of Santa Monica Airport (SMO) could be on the ballot. The initiative’s proponents hope voters would be able to decide on the proposed Charter amendment in the Nov. 4 general election.

The proponents, who organized under the group “Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions,” only needed to submit about 9,000 signatures.

A committee receiving funding from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and supported by businesses, pilots, and residents in the area, the Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions said it believes City officials “have not been forthcoming with voters and taxpayers about redevelopment and land-use plans for the valuable airport property.”

“The aim of the ballot initiative is to put the future of the development of airport land in the hands of the Santa Monica residents,” said John Jerabak, one of the members of the Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions. “It’s 227 acres of flat land that the residents own. Any development decisions about that land need to be vetted by the entire community.”

Joining Jerabak in submitting the 15,500-plus signatures to Santa Monica City Clerk Sarah Gorman were Flora Yin and Michael Arno.

According to the initiative’s proponents, the Charter Amendment would achieve two requirements: voters would determine whether the use of SMO would be changed to non-aviation purposes; if voters do not approve any changes for SMO, the City must continue operating it as an airport.

“This Charter Amendment is an insurance policy for the citizens of this city,” Lauren McCollum, one of the initiative’s proponents and a local businesswoman, stated. “If the legal status of the land changes, the City can make whatever land use decisions it wants. But, it must get voter approval rather than listening to a few political insiders.”

Interestingly enough, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously adopted a plan to look into how SMO could either be shut down or have its operations significantly cut. Furthermore, Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor and Santa Monica Councilman Kevin McKeown both said at the March 25 council meeting if SMO were indeed shut down, it would remain a low-density project and the land where the airport sits would not be converted into “Century City West.”

However, while Santa Monica may indeed develop a low-density development policy for the actual SMO land, the airport’s eastern edge is actually in the City of Los Angeles. By eliminating the land’s aviation use, proponents believe Los Angeles could develop high rises right up to the City’s border with Santa Monica at the airport.

In a statement released by the community group Airport2Park.org, the charter amendment proponents were accused of conducting a pay-for-signatures campaign.

“Many residents who did sign have asked the City Clerk to rescind their signatures,” the statement read. “The community campaign was effective enough to push the price-per-signature the AOPA paid from about $4 originally to as much as $20 this week.”

The statement continued: “The AOPA has spent freely to try to buy a spot for its measure on the November ballot. It’s prepared to spend much more in its effort to block the city’s desire to increase airport rents to market level and to mitigate SMO’s current negative health and safety impacts, and prevent Santa Monica from ultimately closing the airport and building a great park.”

in News
Related Posts

Registration Now Open for Summer at New Roads

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

New Roads School is accepting registration for its summer program, a vibrant selection of classes and camps curated to meet...

CodeREV Inspires Kids to Code

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Budding coders, robotics engineers, game developers, animators and STEM campers are invited to join CodeREV this summer for a memorable...

YMCA Santa Monica: When School Is Out, Camp Is In

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

As the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District nears its end,  YMCA Santa Monica is setting up for its popular Summer...

Top 4 Party Boat Rentals in San Diego

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Here’s a rundown of the top 4 party boat rentals that will elevate any event to an unforgettable experience: Alana...

Venice Shorts: Media Trucks Scour Canals After Saturday’s Violent Assaults

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Just How Safe Is Venice? By Nick Antonicello Car vandalism, tool theft, break-ins, property theft, pick-pocketing at the beach, rampant...

Accents Owner Steven Hanna Reflects on Decades Long Legacy

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

For 37 years, Accents Jewelry has transcended mere commerce, evolving into a vibrant community, a crucible of creativity, and a...

Santa Monica Breakfast Club Hosts 8th Annual Mad Hatter Tea Party

April 12, 2024

April 12, 2024

Whimsical Event Raises Funds for Local Families’ Dental Care Needs The Santa Monica Breakfast Club is gearing up for its...

Council Advances Plans for 120+ Affordable Apartments

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Development Aims to Serve Individuals and Families Earning Between 30 to 80% of the Area Median Income The City...

(Video) The New Menu Experience at Cassia Restaurant in Santa Monica is Delicious

April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024

The Southeast Asian dishes satisfy. Friendly ambiance, flavorful food, subtle cocktails, beer and wine, and scrumptious desserts. @smmirrornews The New...

Lyft Driver Charged with Sexual Assault Following Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Incident Occured in September By Zach Armstrong A Lyft driver who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman last year has...

SB 1509 Advances: Malibu Officials Rally Behind Negligent Operator Treatment Bill

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Senator Stern’s Legislation Gains Momentum in Effort to Curb Reckless Driving SB 1509, the Negligent Operator Treatment bill spearheaded by...

“New Girl” Actor Sells Palisades Abode for $3.1M

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

He and His Wife Undertook a Renovation of the Unique, Two-Story Abode, Transforming It Into a Picturesque Beachfront Dwelling Actor...

Nationwide Retail Theft Scheme Leads to Five-Year Prison Sentence for Santa Monica Man

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Man Led a Group That Hoodwinked Department Stores Across 23 States By Zach Armstrong A Santa Monica man was...

Two Women Assaulted and Injured Near Venice Canals, LAPD Initiates Investigation

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

The Venice Community Will See an Increase in Patrols Along With Black and White Police Vehicles By Zach Armstrong An...

Report: State Farm’s California Policy Shakeup to Hit Palisades the Hardest

April 10, 2024

April 10, 2024

Customers Affected Will Receive Notifications Starting July 3 for Property Holders and August 20 for Commercial Apartment Holders The San...