WILMONT TO COUNCIL: NO ON ST. JOHN’S PLAN
As you know, Wilmont is an area characterized by very serious scarcity of parking. The Yahoo Center and St. John’s Hospital are outside of Wilmont, but the proposed amendment to the DA can have an impact on parking and traffic, particularly in the southeast portion of Wilmont.
At our annual general membership meeting on June 11, 2011, our membership voted almost unanimously for resolutions that deal with parking issues related to the proposed DA changes. The resolutions are:
Shared parking for local use only
Shared parking is an important component of the LUCE, and we look forward to using it. At the same
time, the LUCE includes a goal of “no net new trips.” We are concerned that parking shared by business developments could lead to increased traffic unless all businesses using the parking are within the recognized convenient walking distance of three standard blocks. If the distance is greater, the remote business will need to add shuttle traffic between its location and its parking. Traffic will also be added as business customers and/or employees drive around looking for more convenient parking. We oppose shared parking where it will tend to increase traffic.
Parking required in a DA must be built
Residential parking is a matter of great concern to people who live in Santa Monica. Because lack of residential parking increases traffic and its attendant pollution, this scarcity even affects people who do not use cars. Non-residential Development Agreements generally include on-site parking. This parking is intended to offset parking required by employees and other users of the development. Ideally, the development will not consume existing residential and commercial parking.
If parking is not built, the quality of life for people who live, work, or do business near the development is reduced. Adding residential parking restrictions really doesn’t solve the problem. It just moves it. It does nothing to help nearby businesses who find that their employees and customers can no longer park.
It is essential that all parking promised in development agreements be built at the agreed-upon location.
We are very concerned about the impact of valet traffic between St. John’s Hospital and remote parking. Exactly how are the cars being transported between the full-service valet at St. John’s without adding any new vehicle trips? If a car is being parked at remote location, the person parking the car either has to walk back to St. John’s or be shuttled back. Similarly, when the car is picked up, the valet must walk or be shuttled to the remote location. The staff report notes that it may take longer to retrieve a vehicle. This added wait time means that the alternatives are not truly “functionally equivalent” to the person waiting for a car.
We expect St. John’s employees to continue to prowl the local neighborhood looking for parking, often parking briefly at the metered spots intended to support our local businesses. This will continue to add
trips in the local area.
We are concerned about the impact this DA amendment could have on Wilmont residential parking and on Wilmont residents as we try to navigate Wilshire and other streets with the additional traffic and difficulty getting to our local merchants.
We are also concerned about the quality of life for our neighbors and friends, particularly in Mid-Cities and Northeast Neighbors.
The Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition urges you to reject the proposed amendment to St. John’s Hospital’s Development Agreement.
Chair, Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition