Anyone who’s lived in Santa Monica for any length of time knows that City Hall likes nothing so much as taking us by surprise.
Among its recent surprises are “The Strategic Framework” for the revision of the land use and circulation elements of the General Plan (LUCE), which, if implemented, will fracture the townscape, the mega-“Village” it proposes building in the Civic Center, its apparent acceptance of the absolutely wrong location for the Expo Light Rail maintenance yard, and the Big Blue Bus Store.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, the “professional planners,” as they call themselves, from five City departments will introduce preliminary plans for tying the proposed Light Rail station at Fourth and Colorado to the Santa Monica Pier to Palisades Park, to the glitzy new Bloomingdale’s that is replacing the drab old Macy’s (the professional planners’ adjectives) to the Civic Center to Santa Monica High School to the freeway to make the biggest, nastiest knot in Southern California history.
In the process, the once elegant and serene Civic Center will be reduced to a traffic circle, and much of the freeway, west of Fourth Street will be covered by “decks.”
There are numerous examples of bad planning around town, but this inter-departmental job is monstrous.
Read the staff report (go to www.santa-monica.org/ and click on City Hall, City Council Information, Agendas, 2009, March 24, item 8A ). Go to the meeting. Watch the meeting on CityTV (channel 16, 5:45 p.m.)
Email the Council members. Now!
If we don’t step on this monstrously bad plan quickly , the Council majority will approve it, just as it has approved so many other bad plans.