Whose Destiny Is It Anyway?
Santa Monica’s version of the state-mandated revision of cities’ land use and circulation elements of their General Plans (LUCE) Should have been complete and in place in 2004.
The state requires the revision at 20-year intervals so that residents can naintain control of their towns’ destinies. But Santa Monica is so sophisticated, so advanced that it turns its destiny over to “experts,” r uber-consultants, specialists.
So far, it hasn’t gone well. The ‘84 “Destiny” plan led to an explosion of
Commercial development. Its unintended consequences included
traffic nightmares and a rash of oversized developments that fractured the townscape.
The 2004 revision is now six years behind schedule. Early on, residents called for scaling commercial development down and back, a restoration of the beach town way of life, and a general renunciation of the City’s aggressive economic policies.
In 1993, City Hall began referring
to itself as the City, and everything else as the city. We were allowed to ride in the car, but we were no longer allowed to drive it.
In 2004, the City’s “experts” began “shaping” the city’s destiny. They have been at it for six years. Along theWay, there have been workshops, and several thick volumes. but there has not been a coherent plan.
This Wednesday, April 7, Lincoln Middle School will be the site of the only formal presentation of the draft LUCE To residents. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Later a series of Planning Commission and City Council hearings on the revision will be held, and the final call will be made.
People who liked the mindless frenzy of the last two decades will love the accelerated pace of the next two decades, as limned in LUCE. Everyone else should speak now, or watch the City turn this iconic beach town into an obscene caricature of itself.
In this crucial instance, people who do nothing are as dangerous as people who do the wrong thing.