Planners to Placemake May 7

The City will hold a community-wide workshop on Monday, May 7, at
7 p.m., at the Santa Monica Civic Audit-
oriun, which it describes as “the next step in the Land Use and Circulation Elements (LUCE) process.”

Santa Monica’s Planning and Community Development Department
is currently focusing on what it calls “neighborhood outreach and building
consensus on ‘Placemaking’ through a series of community-wide workshops.

Continue reading Planners to Placemake May 7

SROs Surge, City Reacts

If voters had approved state proposition 90 in the election last fall, California cities’ ability to control their own growth and development would have been diminished.

Several weeks before the election, in an effort to blunt the potential negative impacts of Prop 90 locally, the Santa Monica City Council imposed more stringent limits on development in most residential and some commercial zones, but excluded “preferred projects,” including affordable housing.

According to an October 4, 2006 Surf Santa Monica story, “While…[the staff] said the measure is not technically a ‘down-zoning,’ City officials contend the move will give them more control over development…

Continue reading SROs Surge, City Reacts

Why We’re Here

Call us sentimental, or naïve, but we not only believe, we insist that residents should have the first, and last, word in Santa Monica.

Evidence accumulates that City Hall disagrees. Our elected and appointed officials make a great show of their interest in “community input” and their Herculean efforts at “community outreach,” but, after all the outreach and input are done, City Hall usually does what it wants to do, not what we want it to do.

Our so-called public servants have apparently become bosses, and have now begun, brazenly, to codify their disinterest in our views by eliminating the public from the review process on an ever-increasing number and kind of projects and policies.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right, and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

We agree. Here and now, it’s the Santa Monica Dispatch’s job to not only report what’s happening, but to record what people think about what’s happening.

As in previous incarnations, we will fully and faithfully cover Santa Monica and its immediate environs, and will not hesitate to say what we think, but now, more than ever, in order to cover the entire community, we need readers’ views, too.

The beauty of the blog is that it’s not static, but constantly evolving, changing, as readers respond directly to news stories, features and opinions – agreeing, disagreeing, amplifying, annotating.

The “of, for and by the people” principle may be dormant in City Hall, Sacramento and Washington, but it’s not only alive and well at the Dispatch, it’s the primary principle.

Peggy Clifford, editor
Clara Sturak, associate editor

Santa Monica: 21st Century Anytown, USA


photo credit

by Jake Samuel

I was driving up PCH this morning…..the tide being too low to surf Bay St. I was driving up to Will Rogers to trail run.

As I passed the Jonathan Club, I looked to my left and saw the turquoise wrought iron security gate in front of a generic condo building with the word “Sorrento” arched across the top. And then I thought, “Who even knows how beautiful and simple the Sorrento Beach Grill that stood for years on this site was and what would you rather have standing there today.”

Then I thought about the lighthouse at the jetty between Santa Monica Canyon and Temescal Canyon and how a pre-fab lifeguard headquarters took its place years ago.

Continue reading Santa Monica: 21st Century Anytown, USA

Questions Without Answers

Why has the Santa Monica Library chosen only one authentic work of literature for its Citywide Reads program in five years?

The 1973 “Save Our Piers Forever” Initiative that was sponsored and approved by voters stated that the Santa Monica Pier could not be demolished or altered without the approval of voters. Why is the City proposing significant alterations to he Pier Bridge without seeking voters’ approval?

Why is City Hall so determined to reduce public review of proposed projects?

On 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney ordered that America “use any means at our disposal to achieve our objectives.” What are Cheney’s objectives?

Did it occur to whoever designed DVD boxes that people would want to open them?

Do the allegedly “Real O.C. Housewives” who appear in the Bravo cable TV channel know how grotesque they are?

Why, as a leading architect has said, do the best architects “do their worst work for the City?”

Does anyone think that the City’s planned reconstruction of the California Incline will be anything but a disaster?