We have lived in the Pico Neighborhood for over 30 years.
The Bergamot Transit Village development is huge. The revised Papermate site pending development is still too large and will negatively impact all of the surrounding areas with the increased traffic and congestion. With this development project, in addition to all the other pending projects, the density of commercial buildings in this area will be over the top. There is no need for this massive development in this area. Why is all of this massive development happening in the Pico Neighborhood?
Traffic is already highly impacted in this area. Try driving either direction down Pico, Olympic, and Cloverfield boulevards, Stewart Street or Colorado Avenue after 4 p.m. on weekdays. They are like parking lots. The streets cannot sustain that level of traffic and it is a safety hazard for residents. Emergency vehicles will not be able to reach residents if there is a need. They will be stuck just like every other car.
In all of the development proposals we have reviewed, we can see no mitigation being proposed for the impact on local streets such as Stewart and Cloverfield in Santa Monica, or Bundy Drive in West L.A. How will cars move from any of these developments to the Santa Monica Freeway? Stewart between Olympic and Pico is one lane each direction and is already totally impacted from the current commercial and school traffic. Cloverfield is equally impacted, and Bundy backs up so much it impacts Olympic.
Existing developments already in this immediate area include:
1) Yahoo Center — 1.2 million square feet
2) Water Garden — 1.27 million square feet
3) MTV Networks — 318,000 square feet
4) Lantana Media Center — 543,000 square feet
Large developments in that area that have already been approved by the City Council:
1) Agensys —153,000 square feet
2) Colorado Creative Studios/Lionsgate — 197,000 square feet
3) New Roads School — 117,000 square feet
The 47,000-square-foot expansion at the SMC Academy of Entertainment & Technology on Stewart and 28th streets between Olympic and Colorado, with 450 parking spaces, doesn’t require city approval.
Projects that will soon be coming before the City Council for approval:
1) Roberts Business Center — 250,000 square feet with commercial space, up to 170 residential units, and 538 parking spaces.
2) Village Trailer Park re-development — 230,000 square feet of commercial, retail, and 349 residential units, with 503 parking spaces, displacing about 100 current residents who own their own mobile homes and rent space at the trailer park.
3) Paseo Nebraska (NMS Properties) — a 3.5 acre parcel bordered by Olympic, Berkeley and Nebraska streets, including the Santa Monica Studios site and the SCI-Arc site — 356,000 square feet. Five-story project, with commercial and creative office space, 545 apartments, and 1,000 parking spaces.
4) Projects that don’t require City Council approval include 40 units of low-income housing on the southeast corner of Pico and 28th, and a huge low-income housing project on Virginia Avenue just east of Cloverfield.
Note: This letter originally appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press.