Last night’s City Council meeting began with sort of a tribute to Mayor Richard Bloom and Council member Bobby Shriver, both of whom were ending their Council runs. Each of them was presented with a large gift-wrapped box, which they chose not to open. All of their fellow Council members – except Kevin Mckeown – complimented them vaguely for their service. And that was that.
As it turned out, the semi-tribute was the high point of the meeting.The first important item on the agenda was the second reading and adoption of an ordinance approving Mark Luzzatto’s controversial plans to replace the graceful, idyllic, vintage Village Trailer Park with a mega-mixed use project, and, in the process, evict the Trailer Park residents. McKeown
had questions, but no one on the Council or staff wanted to address them, much less answer them. The vote was Bloom, Terry O’Day, Bob Holbrook and Pam O’Connor, Yes, McKeown and Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis and McKeown, No, and Shriver, Abstain – as he was absent during the first reading.
EXPLAIN THE RUSH TO APPROVE AND THE TRUTH WILL OUT
By David Latham, Trailer Park Resident
Regrettably, those striving to justify their votes tonight—City Council, Agenda Item 7A—seemed to have actually convinced themselves that the false assertions made were instead true. But for having adequate time and exposure, such claims could have been seen for what they are.
“More than generous” aid provided residents? Again, but for time and proper attention, details and simple calculations could have shown just how self-serving and ludicrous such statements were.
Nothing close to comparable replacement housing for homes in this now all-but-lost facility has yet been found. After two decades of massive development in this City, no even reasonably-equal such housing now exists; much less anything close to what this chosen lifestyle offered before it had been so pillaged [45 trailers removed by ownership (40% of all in the park), none brought in nor allowed brought in, and yet such claims as “must close the park, it’s not profitable” keep being made].
As well, nothing close to fair compensation for the willful taking of these owned homes has yet to be offered.
Discussion about just how this horrendous wrenching of lives and destruction of an established Santa Monica community might be reasonably remedied has yet to be had. Nor has any sound reason yet been given to justify destruction of this historic, deemed landmark-worthy City asset and its neighborhood.
Too, repeatedly it is asserted that law allows the “closing of the park”. It does not. Law does allow a property owner to cease “doing park business” on the owned land. Two very different statements.
Resident homeownership- and residency- rights don’t magically disappear just because a landowner decides not to run a park business on the property he owns.
No democratic vote has yet been taken to justify change of zoning on this property. Present law requires it continue to be used by someone running a mobile home park business on it. [Most interesting that the original claim of wanting to get out of the park management business so fluidly and quietly changed to wanting to build a massive money-making development on land not even zoned for that usage.]
Seeking simply to remove residents so a government-chosen development agenda could be achieved seems to have blinded these who are sworn to serve the interests of residents of the City. Apparently so blinded them that they cannot even recognize what just treatment of these residents might look like.
Sadly in this one-sided matter, truth, facts, ethics, and logic seem to have little relevance.
Once again, it appears that the interests of the few holding power may be honored over the rights and needs of the more defenseless many.
Hom—cc, item 7A—11-27-12