The Sierra Club has announced its recommendation for voters to support Santa Monica ballot measure LC at the Nov. 4 election that mandates voter approval for any proposed development other than park or open space at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) if the airport closes or if it is decreased in size.
Measure LC was placed on the ballot by a unanimous vote of the Santa Monica City Council, and, if passed, would be an amendment to the City’s charter. Sierra Club is recommending a “no” vote on a competing ballot measure, “D.”
Hillary Gordon, Chair of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter’s Conservation Committee, summed it up in a declaratory statement after the Club’s decision was approved.
“Let’s bring cleaner air, less noise, and more green space to the Santa Monica Airport area,” said Gordon.
Sierra Club finds itself in good company with its support of measure LC, as LC has strong support from community groups in both Santa Monica and Los Angeles and is supported by 12 of the 14 candidates running for Santa Monica City Council, as well as Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin and California State Senator Ted Lieu.
Over the years the Sierra Club has supported California state legislation aimed at addressing the environmental impacts of air pollution, noise pollution and safety concerns from SMO aircraft operations upon densely populated neighboring communities in both Santa Monica and Los Angeles.
Sierra Club has gone on record in support of turning SMO into a park, being one of the initial organizations to sign on to the citizens campaign called Airport2Park.
The organization leaders believe that the replacement of SMO with a great park, including plenty of public open space and bringing back some native wildflowers and wildlife would not only solve the public health concerns that exist today, but would offer very much needed open space and nature to the west-side of Los Angeles and the Santa Monica area.
In its opposition to Santa Monica City ballot measure D, Sierra Club warns of the serious problems that could visit Santa Monica and West LA if it were to pass.
Measure D was placed on the ballot by national aviation interest groups, and would, if passed, preserve the status quo at the airport, which includes significant air pollution and continued carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
Measure D would require a vote to make even basic changes to mitigate the critical toxic environmental impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods. The measure also has no requirements about future development limitations if the airport were to close, and many fear that, if the airport closes, overdevelopment will continue to march forward in this area if D passes and LC does not.
“Our message is strong and clear. Vote ‘yes’ on ballot measure LC. Vote ‘no’ on ballot measure D,” said David Haake, Chair of Sierra Club’s West LA Group. “Measure LC clearly is favorable to closing Santa Monica Airport and replacing it with a park and open space.”
The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots community-based environmental organization.