BAD MATH = BAD PLAN

To: City Council

From: The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (“SMCLC”)

RE: Item 7-A: VTP Development Agreement Must Be Rejected Until the AHPP Affordable Housing Requirements for this Site Are Properly Calculated at 25%

In addition to the serious objections SMCLC previously raised to the Council’s approval of the Development Agreement for the Luzzatto Village Trailer Park project, SMCLC joins in the legal objections raised by Attorney Sue Himmelrich at the City Council hearing on November 13th and as supplemented by the written comments she submitted to you thereafter (contained below).

Specifically, SMCLC believes that in order for the City to be in compliance with the City’s Affordable Housing Production Program (“AHPP”), it must
1) reject the Development Agreement as written for its failure to correctly calculate the affordable housing required for this site, which is zoned RMH and was considered a multi-family district when the AHPP was adopted; and
2) direct staff to recalculate the affordable housing replacement requirements for the site so that 25% of the units are affordable under the law.

For a city that prides itself on the production of affordable housing, and SMRR elected council members who have run repeatedly on the issue of protecting and creating affordable housing in Santa Monica, this should not even require discussion. The Council should also inquire of staff whether it conducted any independent review as to whether this site historically was a multi-family housing district at the time the AHPP was adopted and subsequent to the adoption; or whether staff relied upon and simply incorporated the developer’s affordable housing calculations into the staff report without any such determination.

Thank you,

Diana Gordon for SMCLC

S. HIMMELRICH SUBMISSION TO CITY COUNCIL AFTER COUNCIL HEARING:

On 11/14/12 12:47 PM, “Sue Himmelrich” wrote:

I send you this email both in my capacity as a 20-year resident of Santa Monica and as an attorney with Western Center on Law and Poverty.

We would like to amplify our comments last night (Nov. 11) and emphasize
once again that the Village Trailer Park development agreement, if approved
in its current form, is a violation of the City’s Affordable Housing Production Program (AHPP). The following analysis assumes that everything in staff’s report at pages 13-14 otherwise is correct and that the law is as stated in the attached Planning Department chart published on the City’s website. We specifically note that despite staff’s statement to the contrary, RMH, as VTP is zoned, clearly is a “multi-family zone.”

The proposed project consists of 216 condominiums and 161 apartments. 16 apartments are slated to be affordable, leaving a balance of (161-16) = 145 apartments.

Staff says that the donation of land and parking spaces satisfies affordable housing requirement for 136 condominiums,* leaving a balance of 80 condominiums.

Staff then calculates that 80 condominiums plus 145 apartments is 225 units and that at a 10% affordable unit requirement, that equates to an affordable housing requirement of 23 units.

The Affordable Housing law says that for condominiums, there is a 25% affordable unit requirement. That means the 80 remaining condominiums require 20 units by themselves, not 8 as in the Staff calculation. And, even if 10% is the right figure for the apartments, the 161 apartments require another 16.1 affordable units, making the total requirement 36 affordable units. Even under staff analysis, only 23 are being provided. So, the proposal does not meet the requirements of the affordable housing statute even if everything in the Staff report was correct.

Not only is the math incorrect, we believe that Staff’s analysis violates the policy behind the Santa Monica Affordable housing statute, to treat the donated land and parking spaces as satisfying the affordable housing obligation. This is because the land being donated cannot be developed into affordable housing until the life estate of certain existing tenants expires, which could be in the very distant future. There also is nothing to assure an affordable housing development legally can or practically will occur even then. To add insult to injury, the landlord continues to profit from the 30 donated parking spaces until the undetermined date when any affordable housing can be built. A theoretical affordable housing project in the distant future cannot properly satisfy the requirements of the Santa Monica Affordable housing statute, and is not the equivalent of either cash or building affordable housing units as part of the developer’s own project.

*This calculation is actually incorrect because the fee payment option for condominiums effective 11/10/ 2012 is $33.30. This means that the actual number of square feet that is eliminated by the “cash” payment of $3.9 million is, using staff’s numbers, $3.9 million divided by $33.30 per square foot or 117,117 square feet, or 76% of Building B, which equals 129 condos rather than 136.

Sue L. Himmelrich
Special Counsel
WESTERN CENTER ON LAW & POVERTY
3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 208
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2826
Direct:
(213) 235-2622Fax: (213) 487-0242
Email:
shimmelrich@wclp.org
Website:
http://www.wclp.org

CITY AT POINT OF ENOUGH

CITY AT POINT OF ENOUGH

To the City Council:

I am writing to request that the Santa Monica City Council vote to reject the proposed project at 3402 Pico Blvd.

The City of Santa Monica has reached the point of enough. We have enough housing, we have enough stores, we have enough schools, and we have enough people. Our population is diverse. We have residents of all ethnicities, incomes, ages and sexual preference. This is what makes our city great. There is nobody who is not represented in Santa Monica.

We do not have enough roads or parking spaces. As a resident, I no longer attempt errands downtown after 11 a.m. because I know that I will not be able to park. I also know that the 8 minute trip back to Sunset Park could take thirty minutes during high traffic periods. We do not need more residents. We do not need more reasons for non-residents to travel to our city.

The proposed building at 3402 Pico Blvd. will have a negative impact on Santa Monica. As council members, it is your duty to serve those of us who already reside in this city. It is not your job to move in new constituents.

It is a huge mistake to create housing based upon the assumption that people will use public transportation. The increased public transportation options created by the Expo Line etc. are not arguments for greater density. Public Transportation should ease the strains on our city, not increase them. As public transportation makes it easier to travel across the city of Los Angeles (and into its adjacent cities), it no longer becomes necessary to provide housing within those cities.

The upside to public transportation is that people who need to work or shop in Santa Monica do not need to live here.

Santa Monica is a small town. We should keep it a small town and not bring in projects which will destroy the character of our charming beachside community and turn it into a sprawling urban metropolis.

Sincerely,

Jackie Stansbury
SM, CA 90405

TO THE COUNCIL: SCALE IT DOWN

Dear City Council Members,

To think that you could approve the behemoth East Village Project as currently proposed is heartbreaking to me. I beseech you to do all that you can to approve a scaled-down version. To do otherwise is grievously cynical.

This is forever. The proposal as it stands, reminds me of Robert Moses’ projects in the 1960’s. History does not look well upon him.

Please help to maintain the livability of Santa Monica and its character. Please vote for a smaller version of this project.

Thank you,
Tanna Moontaro
Santa Monica

PICO TRAFFIC ALREADY INTOLERABLE

Dear City Council members,

Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to tonight’s meeting but as a resident of Santa Monica for 20 years, 10 years in the Pico Neighborhood and 10 years in Sunset Park, I strongly agree with the letter from the Friends of Sunset Park and urge you to reject the proposal for the Development Agreement for a new mixed-use project at 3402 Pico Boulevard.

The traffic at rush hour on Pico is currently intolerable. Last Tuesday it took me 45 minutes to go less than a mile on Pico. And now there are 5 major projects in the works for Pico Blvd between 20th and Centinela that will add to the traffic? Where are the Developer Agreements for four story projects on Montana?

I also am flabbergasted to recently have learned about these “Developer Agreements” as a way to get around the current zoning ordinances. I grew up in New Jersey and to me these are above the table bribes! The proposed “Community Benefits” for all of these Pico Blvd projects are minimal and do not benefit the people in the neighborhoods surrounding the projects.

Please vote against this project and all the “Developer Agreements” proposed for Pico Blvd. These large multistoried projects do not follow the LUCE principal of “maintaining the character of Santa Monica while enhancing the lifestyle of all who live here.”

Thank you.

Karen Melick

TO THE CITY COUNCIL

Dear Santa Monica City Council for the Moment, viz. Richard Bloom, Robert Holbrook, Pam O’Connor, and Terry O’Day, plus Jing Yeo, David Martin, Marsha Moutrie, and Alan Seltzer:

I have a few last things to say to you. These are about our futures together.

My husband and I and a neighbor have already filed three practice suits about smallish issues against you and the land speculator Luzzatto (“LS”) and assorted co-conspirators. These we did not expect to win, since we know the law of injunction, that irreparable harm must be threatened. As long as we always could win in front of the City—however futile it might seem—irreparable harm was difficult to show. We tried to get the courts to see that wasting time is irreparable harm. Filling out paper after paper showing how what you are doing is ILLEGAL—why do we have to have irreparable harm any worse than wasting time talking about knowing, wilful lawbreakers to stop it? If the tables were turned, and one of your police saw us jaywalking—not trying to steal someone’s home—we would be stopped from doing it, or at least fined heavily. A friend of mine was even arrested for jaywalking because he did not have ID.

However, that is about the past, not what you need to know to consider our futures together. Every one of the judges commented already on how good our case for an injunction if you actually went ahead with this was, even when we had inchoate cases to consider. Every single judge who denied us an injunction said s/he was sure we would have one if things kept on the way they were going. Every single judge also said our damages were already substantial, even if s/he did not think we had irreparable harm yet. One judge’s word for our damages was “historical.”

This means we will be collecting from your heirs, to say nothing of you personally, all your and their lives. Historical damages require bankruptcy to avoid—or being a corporation or an LLC, as the LS is. From him we will get relatively little more than the Park, his LLC’s and its corporation partner’s only substantial asset. From each of you, however, named personally for doing knowing illegal things like adopting an ordinance when the City Charter requires the Rent Control Board first grant the LS a removal permit, or publishing four EIRs and refusing to disclose to the public that there is high liquefaction danger on the land you propose to allow to be excavated to 60 feet down and then have literally tons of buildings on—the damages for such unlawful actions are against the PEOPLE personally who do the unlawful acts. No City Attorney giving you the made-up advice you asked for to fool uninformed members of the public will save you then.

So think about the relationship you want your grandchildren to have with ours. We expect it to be creditor-debtor and our grandchildren to be very rich from it, if you adopt this ordinance tonight.

It’s up to you. Choose what is legal, or pay.

Brenda Barnes