October 24, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

SMa.r.t. Column: Yes, Santa Monica, there is a Santa Claus

It’s that time of year again, but tragically this year so many things are staggeringly different and difficult on many levels for the people and businesses here. The joy, peace and good spirits we normally look forward to in the holiday season have sadly dwindled down to unease and uncertainty in the grip of COVID-19. The full impact of society’s temporary and permanent changes still remain to be seen. Even so, we believe there still exists our hope, courage and determination to make things better. It’s on that note we are putting forward the “wish list”  we want Santa to bring us this coming year.

We can achieve our goals by providing a focus and emphasis on common sense directives and realistic economic added value solutions which won’t add tax burdens to already aching budgets and pocketbooks. The best interests of most Santa Monica residents and businesses have been frozen out somewhere in distant space by over development, poor planning and zoning “solutions” which predominantly orbit around the financial sun god of investment groups, real estate financial funds and short term profit opportunists. These lack any real appreciation of and interest in preserving and advancing the true quality of living here in Santa Monica. 

That said, we “wish” for the following:

1. As the City updates the Housing Element, that “new models” of housing affirmatively and proactively incorporate “community land trusts” and “limited equity housing cooperatives” as a progressive, non-market based form of home ownership. The benefits include but are not limited to opportunities  for permanent affordability, improved stewardship of land, and a strengthened local economy. Residents would be further invested in their community and this would result in less occupant turnover and create greater stability overall.

https://www.cacltnetwork.org/https://centerforneweconomics.org/apply/community-land-trust-program, https://community-wealth.org/content/community-land-trusts-clts

2. The City should promote the development of a wider range of housing types including more live work units, lofts and family sized units. It’s important to plan residential growth into different areas around the city and zoning for residential growth not focusing only on single family zoned areas and adjacent areas.

3. Refine an Urban Design Plan for the downtown area and Major corridors including city owned parcels that are able to be developed with mixed use supporting neighborhood and family owned businesses with affordable housing, including a reinvigorated Promenade that is accessible to all residents and includes small family run businesses and fast food franchises.

4. Santa Monica to create and promote state funding incentives for development and the repurposing of existing industrial and commercial buildings to incorporate studios and residences by not increasing parking requirements. This is a huge form of environmental recycling.

5. The City to achieve sustainable independence from water importation by 2023 as is stated in the Santa Monica water sustainability goals.

6. All new developments must be designed with minimal to no impact on energy and water consumption and additional costs for required physical infrastructure as possible.

7. Santa Monica should join 50 other cities to legally stop the State’s fraudulent claim that the City should and must increase its population by about 20% by building 8874 new units in eight years. Properly analyze with real confirmed data what our community needs are by recognizing parameters other than the SCAG numbers which are incorrectly based on faulty data.

8. Renewable on-site energy source requirements (including car recharging) that, given current technology, would limit heights to three, and possibly four stories . The added value here is it would also keep heights in line with the requirements of the multi-year design effort of the LUCE (Land Use Circulation Element) which specifically states and mandates that building heights should be reduced. This is the antithesis of what we are now seeing happen here. No-one wants to come to a congested overrun Downtown Los Angeles by the sea. This is for the long term benefit of all, residents and visitors alike, and the preservation of the essence of what makes this our beach town.

9. Save the History Building at Santa Monica High School from the School District’s spendthrift  demolition derby. 

10. Provide City owned, city wide, dark fiber, high speed internet system, built as a public utility  for all our businesses, students, visitors etc.

11. Put some real long term and livable solutions into solving our share of homelessness through local initiatives and collaboration with both the City and County of Los Angeles which will contribute significant progress in reducing crimes and returning safety for residents and enjoyment of our parks, streets and beaches.

12. And last but not least we want good health and well-being with everyone being vaccinated as soon as possible. We value our precious elderly, all the courageous and selfless essential workers, the police, fire departments and medical professionals. Teachers are also very essential, so we hope they will be prioritized as well since we need to reopen the schools ASAP. 

This will be a year we would all like to forget, but the silver lining if there is one is at all is that we have come to see many profound changes and learn by them, in some cases we have been sorely reminded of the values created by the quality of life in Santa Monica (or absence thereof) and how that effects everyone and everything in the long run. 

Wishes can be realized only if our community stands together and the new City Council does what’s required in order to move our city back to common sense solutions, directions and sustainable goals.

by Michael Jolly for SM a.r.t.

(Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow)

Ron Goldman, Architect FAIA; Dan Jansenson, Architect, Building & Fire-Life Safety Commissioner; Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA, Planning Commissioner Commissioner; Robert H. Taylor, Architect AIA: Thane Roberts, Architect; Sam Tolkin, Architect; Marc Verville accountant ret.; Michael Jolly, AIRCRE

For previous articles see www.santamonicaarch.wordpress.com/writings

Related Posts

GoodRx Completes New Santa Monica Pen Factory Headquarters

October 23, 2021

October 23, 2021

Westside Real Estate Scene October 25, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Good RX, an app based healthcare company, will be moving...

Celebrate Santa Monica’s Community Heroes

October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

The 27th Annual New Heroes Celebration, sponsored by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 27,...

Metro Considering Joint Development of Transit Land To Build Affordable Housing

October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

Agency looking into goal of building 10,000 units of affordable housing By Dolores Quintana LA Metro has received a report...

Three Charged in Alleged Scheme to Steal Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Meant for Homeless Assistance

October 22, 2021

October 22, 2021

Attorney General Bonta files charges in connection with alleged theft from Los Angeles-based homelessness assistance program By Sam Catamzaro California...

VA Secretary Announces Plans House Over 500 Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles by End of Year

October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Updated October 22, 2021 with added statement from the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority. Announcement comes after Secretary Denis McDonough’s...

Homeless Man Sleeping in Santa Monica Park Set on Fire

October 21, 2021

October 21, 2021

Suspect at large in October 16 incident By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are searching for a suspect wanted for...

Ocean Park’s Uplifters Kitchen Closes

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Sadly, Uplifter’s Kitchen, a health conscious vegetarian and vegan friendly cafe...

Charges Filed Against Woman for Attacking Former “Survivor” Contestant in Santa Monica

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Michelle Yi, two other unnamed victims attacked in area of 2nd and Arizona By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro Michelle...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

E-Bike Company Wheels Settles Consumer Protection Lawsuit With Santa Monica

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

Company agrees to pay $300k for operating without a license in 2019 By Sam Catanzaro E-bike company Wheels recently settled...

Santa Monica Fire Department Put Out Two Freeway Blazes Over Weekend

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

No injuries reported in Sunday morning incident By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Fire Department (SMFD) made quick work putting...

Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica For The Weekend: Santa Monica Beat – October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

October 18, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Vice President Kamala Harris Visits Santa Monica For The Weekend *...

Santa Monica’s 100 Homes Initiative Moves Forward

October 16, 2021

October 16, 2021

City seeks public participation in new HUD-funded program By Dolores Quintana The City of Santa Monica is moving forward with...