Santa Monica Planning Commissioner and City Council candidate Richard McKinnon has called for an immediate end to large-scale development in Santa Monica based on Development Agreements, saying they are no longer viable in Santa Monica because of an ongoing lack of water.
The halt is part of McKinnon’s environmental policy – Deep Green – which he released Thursday.
McKinnon said this was the worst drought in 50 years, headed towards the worst on record.
“The drought is already forcing a 20 percent reduction in water for residents,” McKinnon said. “Santa Monica cannot keep building larger, denser buildings, and cramming in over-development when water is nonexistent. We are ignoring reality.
“The 35 proposed DA agreements of developers, with dozens more to come, would create a line of huge luxury hotels on Ocean Avenue, hundreds-of-thousands of square feet of new office space, and thousands of new units. This, in a city that is already stretched to water capacity.
“Santa Monica’s 35-year-long over-development has created water scarcity, endless traffic jams, and an unsustainable future. This cannot continue.”
The other features of McKinnon’s Deep Green Policy include:
— Making Santa Monica carbon-neutral by 2030, including all modes of transportation and industry.
— Creating a City utility to supply 100 percent renewable energy within five years.
— Insisting that all new buildings be LEED Platinum.
— Toughening new rules for Average Vehicle Ridership to force commercial and retail interests to cut daily car usage and trips.
— Establishing rules for new development to safeguard scarce water resources.
McKinnon said climate change must be recognized and dealt with.
“There has been an ongoing 30-year cutback of residential water to allow huge, new commercial development and thousands of new apartments,” McKinnon said. “This must stop. Santa Monica is about to lose its skyline to luxury hotels and receive almost nothing in return. Our regionally-important and famous beachfront will be unrecognizable. To continue to build on is folly.”
McKinnon is a renter, small business owner, and former Parks & Recreation Commissioner.
He currently serves on the Santa Monica Planning Commission, where he said he works to improve the quality of life in the city.
A committed environmentalist, McKinnon is the former Chair of “Bike It!” Day.
He has been a leader in several non-profit organizations within the Santa Monica school system. McKinnon and his family immigrated to the United States from Australia 14 years ago, saying they are “proud to call Santa Monica home.”