The NAYS Have It!
It was 3 to 4 over and over again at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Council members Ken Genser, Kevin McKeown and Bobby Shriver voted consistently against increased density and height limits as proposed in the planners’ “Strategic Framework” for the revision of the land use and circulation elements of the General Plan (LUCE).
But virtually every time they voted No, Mayor Herb Katz, Mayor Pro Tem Richard Bloom, and Council members Bob Holbrook and Pam O’Connor voted Yes.
Though it’s clear to everyone but City Hall, its apologists, assorted developers, their henchpeople and other very special interests, that a majority of residents cherish this iconic beach town, and want its scale and character preserved and embellished.
They said it at the beginning of the LUCE process, via questionnaires and surveys. Their views dominated “Emerging Themes,” the planners’ first report, but have been ignored by the planners in all subsequent LUCE documents.
Planners and their allies on the Council like to boast that “thousands” of people took part in the LUCE workshops. When pressed as to how many “thousands,” they generally settle on 4,000. Subtract from that number all the participants who thought the workshops were rigged as well as those who opposed the planners’ proposals at the workshops.
In contrast, over 10,000 people signed petitions to put the Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT) on the fall ballot. It would limit commercial. development to 75,000 square feet annually.
On anybody’s slide rule, 10,000 beats 4,000, especially a wobbly 4,000.
Finally, Dispatch staff members have lived here, individually and collectively, for many many years, so we know a whole lot of people, and none of us knows anyone who wants to turn Santa Monica into Fat City, No one! Nada!
But City Hall persists in thinking it not only knows better, but has the right to ignore us or veto us – despite the accumulating evidence that it has no idea what it’s doing, Its mindless economic development policies have caused all the problems that now plague residents. The oversized developments it has routinely approved insult this beach town and us.
The LUCE proposes more of the same. But Genser, who is running for his sixth term, Shriver, who is finishing his first term and, as we write, has not announced whether he will run for a second term, and McKeown, said NO. Emphatically. Repeatedly.
Though they were in the minority on the dais, they spoke for the majority of residents. Their colleagues and the planners and consultants were probably too busy listening to themselves to notice, but They lost the high ground Tuesday night, and the Nays have it.
The Council will continue its review of the LUCE tonight The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Be there.
Note: See Planning Commissioner Jay Johnson’s take on the Tuesday night meeting and the LUCE below.