Dear Jing Yeo:
There are three projects to be considered together. With the Village
Trailer Park Project revising its plan, Roberts’ DEIR and Jack Walter being sent back to the drawing board, it seems best to wait and consider all the
projects as they work together to benefit the community.
One question the City needs to decide is “What is the value of a piece of property?” I hear that the City Yards are on land valued at $225 million, but what does that mean? Certainly it is not worth that much with the City Yards sitting on it. The City of Los Angeles has just discovered that the value ofits downtown area has increased by introducing a park to the area. Sometimes space can create more value than a building, even a building collecting rent. That is because value is increased by use.
So far, the area of the Roberts Project, along with the two contiguous projects, is loaded with buildings, rentals, retail outlets, and office space, a road to carry more traffic, and walkways for better access to these facilities. I see nothing that increases the value of this land in accordance with how it might be valued were it of greater use to the community. For a town that has neglected one of the Key Elements of a City -– Open Space -– we are quick to let developers have their way with what, in a historic sense, belongs to us.
Like the story of the goose that laid the golden egg, the value of the goose exists in its use -– laying eggs. When we allow developers to follow their own bent rather than provide what is best for others, we offer them a valuable goose to divide up as they choose. When we do that, our goose is cooked.
Let’s preserve our city’s value by allowing this large piece of land so close to the Expo coming into our town to be the first step of a journey many might take through our town to enjoy what is authentic about Santa Monica — to see what Santa Monica has to offer. If we put off this project until we have worked out our design for an area plan, figured out appropriate updates on our zoning code, and then offer developers an opportunity to help us realize the value of the property they have been invited to help develop, everyone should be better off.
Otherwise, we are making a honking mistake,
1528 Yale Street #4
Santa Monica, CA 90404