Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City posted the following letter to its friends on its website yesterday.

We want to update you on our ongoing fight to downsize the mega Hines project at 26th and Olympic, and how our efforts are paying off.

Over the past months your support of SMCLC has enabled us to:

* Hire a prestigious law firm and traffic engineer who prepared extensive reports highlighting serious problems with the Hines project studied in the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) which we then presented to City Council and staff as well as to the public;

* Join forces with groups from the entire Westside of Los Angeles who are now all working with us and the City of LA to demand completion of a regional area plan for this entire 140-acre area site before the Hines project or the other large projects in it are approved individually by our City Council;

* Work with the City of LA, the LA Department of Transportation, and Caltrans, each of which has now raised serious, ongoing issues with the size and impacts of the Hines project and insisted on further studies or changes to mitigate the impacts, including a reduced project;

* Unite with all of Santa Monica’s neighborhood groups in successfully challenging the highly accelerated, unreasonable hearing schedule sought by the developers of the Hines project and the Village Trailer Park project before any Area Plan is released for public review;

* Obtain public records for key Hines project documents and key HUD Grant documents to determine whether the City is proceeding legally; and

* Serve comprehensive objections to the abysmal draft Development Agreement that Hines crafted for the City to review;

As a result of these efforts, Hines and the City have now agreed to postpone going to the Planning Commission or the City Council until the beginning of next year. That means we will be able to track and publicize Council candidate donations in this upcoming election and continue to build our broad coalition to challenge the project unless it is suitably reduced in size and impacts.

We’re making history in Santa Monica. A victory against this mega project will cause residents to have a seat at the table when these projects are proposed and will ensure that backroom negotiations are a thing of the past.

Thank you for your support,

Victor, Diana, Sherrill, Susan and Jeff

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