MAJORITY OF RESIDENTS OPPOSE MORE DEVELOPMENT

As the City of Santa Monica prepares to hold a
scoping meeting on the Downtown Specific Plan
Environmental Impact Report tonight at which
residents’ comments on the plan will be soli-
cited, a new poll has been released that finds
that most residents believe there is too much
development in Santa Monica now,

According to the poll, in addition to believ-
ing that Santa Monica is suffering from too
much development now, a majority of residents
strongly oppose increasing the current build-
ing height and density limits and solidly re-
ject the Fairmont Miramar’s expansion plans,
which include a 320-foot faux Art Deco tower,
and 120 “luxury” condominiums.
.
Citing significant concerns including traffic
congestion and inadequate parking, by a wide
margin, voters want to limit development in
the City. Fifty-two percent of voters favor
less development while only 15 percent favor
more, according to the telephone survey of 404
likely voters in Santa Monica taken between
September 10th and September 15th by polling
firm Lake Research Partners.

In addition, when voters were asked whether
they favor or oppose changing height and den-
sity requirements to allow more high-rise and
higher density buildings in Santa Monica, 69
percent opposed changing the requirements,
with only 26 percent favoring increasing the
height and density requirements. Similarly,
when asked their opinion about the Fairmont
Miramar expansion, 57 percent of voters op-
posed the plans,

These results are consistent with the mess-
ages being sent by City residents to offi-
cials over the last year. In May, over 300
residents turned out to a City-led meeting
on the Downtown Specific Plan to discuss
height and density in downtown Santa Monica
— and well over three-quarters of the people
who spoke were against increased development
in general and, specifically, three proposed
skyscrapers on Ocean Avenue. Hundreds of emails
from Santa Monica residents have been sent
to the Santa Monica City Council and the Plan-
ning Commission opposing these massive projects.
Hundreds of residents have attended and testi-
fied at public hearings, and over 1,500 people
have signed petitions opposing the expansion
of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

The Miramar’s plan would create the tallest
building in the City, and significantly ex-
ceed the City’s zoning standards for height
and density. The developers are requesting
building heights that are ten times above the
base height limit in the LUCE (Land Use and
Circulation Elements), and the project is in-
consistent with the LUCE’s stated intention
that the Miramar site provide a transition
from the City’s Downtown Core to adjacent
residential neighborhoods.

Currently, a significant quantity of new devel-
opment has been proposed for downtown Santa
Monica. Residents have publicly raised strong
concerns about this development, including that
the Fairmont Miramar expansion will create
more traffic congestion, strain parking capa-
city,block light and air, and diminish the
community’s character.

Poll questions:

1 In general, do you favor more development in
Santa Monica, less development in Santa Monica
or is the amount of development in Santa Monica
happening in Santa Monica about right?

2 Do you favor or oppose changing height and
density requirements to allow more high rise
and higher density buildings in Santa Monica?

3 As you may know, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel
at Ocean Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard has pro-
posed a redevelopment of the current property
that would turn the current hotel into a mixed
-use hotel and condominium residence, 320 feet
high with 21 stories, with up to 120 market-rate
condominiums and between 12 and 40 affordable
housing units, 280 hotel guest rooms, under-
ground parking, food and beverage facilities,
retail space, spa, meeting and event facilities,
and open space areas on site. From what you’ve
heard, would you favor or oppose this redevel-
opment?

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6:30, in the Civic
Auditorium.

SANTA MONICA’S FUTURE IS IN OUR HANDS

From: North of Montana Association (smnoma.org)

Dear NOMA members and friends,

The intensive development planned for downtown
Santa Monica is likely to impact the whole city.
But just what kinds of impacts will the planned
tall, dense projects have on traffic circula-
tion, parking, water use, air quality, green
space and safety?

To assure that the Environmental Impact Report
(EIR) for downtown Santa Monica addresses all
potential impacts of concern to you, please
join residents from throughout the city at
the “scoping” meeting Thursday, Oct. 3, at
the Civic Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. The
purpose of the meeting is to take public input
on issues to be studied in the EIR.

Your input is critical. Attached below for
your convenience is a list of talking points
developed by NOMA’s Land Use Committee. Please
feel free to use this list to brainstorm ideas
and put them in your own words.

Free parking is available in the Civic Center
parking lot. If you need a ride let us know and
we will form carpools. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 3, 2013,6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Civic Center – East Wing, 1855 Main Street

PLEASE NOTE: NOMA’S REGULARLY SCHEDULED OCTOBER
3 MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED TO PERMIT ALL MEM-
BERS TO COME TO THE CIVIC CENTER MEETING INSTEAD.
Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be
held on Thursday, November 7.

TALKING POINTS

1. Before any projects are advanced through the
planning process, it is essential that the city
complete an EIR study of at least two scenarios
for its downtown, using as its baseline the
current state of the downtown:

Scenario one: Building out everything to
the maximum extent permitted under current zoning.

Scenario two: Adding to scenario one the
proposed modifications for the eight so-called
“opportunity sites.”

2. Please measure potential environmental impacts
in at least the following areas:

1. Traffic
2. Increased water usage, and adverse
impact on city’s ability to meet water goals
3. Increased electricity usage and poten-
tial reduction in stability of the power grid
4. Air quality
5. Noise
6. Congestion
7. Parking
8. Effects on the underlying geology of
the downtown, particularly as regards potential
seismic activity.
9. Access by first responders in a timely
fashion — potential slowing of response time
10. Visual impact — light on the streets
and sidewalks
11. New costs to the city vs. expected
new revenues
12. Changes in the character of our com-
munity
13. Added population
14. New car trips daily, broken out by
time of day
15. Increase in public school students
16. Increase in use of the parks
17. Increase in demand for use of public
facilities, including ballfields, meeting venues
and other public spaces
18. Increase in daily volume of sewage
and cost of hauling/treating it
19. Increase in daily trash and recycling
(in tons), and cost of hauling/processing it
20. Increase in demand for hospital and
ambulance services, and cost of providing it
21. Increase in demand for fire fighters
and equipment
22. Increase in demand for police officers
and equipment.
23. Increase in demand for teachers, class-
room space and administrative support
24. Increase in demand for public transpor-
tation.
25. Potential adverse impact of additional
traffic on Santa Monica intersections, by name.
26. Potential adverse impact of additional
traffic on through-trips by commuters who reside
in nearby communities
27. Potential adverse impact of additional
Santa Monica traffic congestion on adjacent and
nearby communities (West Los Angeles, Brentwood,
Pacific Palisades, Culver City, Venice, etc.)

3. Is it legal under the California Environmental
Quality Act for the city to be advancing develop-
ment projects prior to the completion of the re-
quired environmental impact report? This seems
pertinent in light of recent statements by members
of the Rent Control Board that the RCB was forced
under threat of lawsuit to approve the withdrawal
of rental units at Village Trailer Park, suggest-
ing that advancing a project creates some legal
rights for the developers before final approval
is given.

4. There have been discussions about requiring
deed restrictions on affordable units so that only
people who work in Santa Monica can live in the
units. Are such deed restrictions legal? Are they
enforceable?

5. How can we accurately assess the impact of
new residents and car trips on the city when we
have no realistic way to assure that scarce in
-town housing units are occupied by people who
work in Santa Monica?

6. How can we accurately assess the impact of
new businesses on car trips and traffic in Santa
Monica when we have no legal way to ensure that
such businesses will hire local residents? Or
could we include such a requirement in the Devel-
opment Agreement (DA)?

7. More than $1.5 million in political donations
have been made by developers in recent City elec-
tions. We know that developers who made these con-
tributions stand to reap profits of hundreds of
millions of dollars if the City Council approves
additional height and density over current limits
for their buildings, and they are seeking to gain
advantage in this political process. It is cus-
tomary in Santa Monica for council members not to
recuse themselves from matters before council
in which their campaign donors stand to benefit
financially. Will each member of the City Council
make public, on a current basis, the amount and
source of all contributions and loans they have
accepted from developers, people associated with
developers, and developer-funded PACs, over the
past five years? Residents don’t want density
and height downtown, but developers have more
money than residents. We need to study the in-
fluence of developer donations on our City Coun-
cil.Please include that in the EIR.

8. Questions continue to be raised about the po-
tential effectiveness of Traffic Demand Manage-
ment (TDM) efforts to reduce congestion in our
city.
a. What enforcement mechanisms will be put
in place to require the developers to fulfill the
terms of traffic demand agreements that they make
with the city? How will the city ensure that TDMs
will be implemented by subsequent owners in the
event that properties are sold?
b. Given that we are seeking to apply TDM mea-
sures to new developments in the city, should the
practices not also be applied to existing large-
scale employers, both private and public, such as
the City of Santa Monica? In view of the fact that
the City government is the largest employer within
the city, what effective mechanisms will be put in
place to to ensure that the city requires its emp-
loyees to use van pools, car pools and other methods
of transit as a way of decreasing traffic conges-
tion?

9. The city has already stated that it is unlikely
to be able to achieve its goals for reduced water
usage by the year 2020, given the existing level of
development in the city. Please provide an estimate
for the expected water shortfall by the year 2030
under each of the following three scenarios:
1) With the downtown at its present state;
2) With the downtown built out to to 84 feet,
and
3) With the downtown fully built out plus with
the eight opportunity sites fully built out?

10. Assuming that the Development Agreement propo-
sals currently submitted to the city within the
first three years of the LUCE are all implemented,
the population of the city as projected by the LUCE
for the year 2030 will be achieved within the next
decade. Does then the city have a revised popula-
tion estimate for the year 2030, broken out in the
following ways:
1) With the downtown at its present state;
2) With the downtown built out to to 84 feet,
and
3) With the downtown fully built out plus with
the eight opportunity sites fully built out?
The EIR cannot be completed without access to such
population data.

NORTH OF MONTANA ASSOCIATION (smnoma.org)

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS SHUT DOWN

Last night at midnight, thanks to House Repub-
licans, the Federal government shut down. Many
services will no longer be available and many
government employees will be laid off. Others
will continue to work, but will not be paid
until the shut down ends.

And so the world’s richest and most powerful
nation has been brought to its knees by reac-
tionary Republicans who claim to be the only
true patriots, but detest democracy – like the
very rich patrons who subsidize their increas-
ingly foul plays.

Just as the shutdown began, Obama Care took
effect. It had been the Republicans’ principal
target, and they had failed to kill it and so
they shut down the entire government.

Several hours after the shutdown took effect,
furloughing 800,000 government employees,the
Senate adjourned until Tuesday morning, but
the House was still in session, debating the
shutdown it had just triggered and its next
move.

We suggest a mass resignation,for these people
are obviously not fit to serve.