Treesavers, City to Talk

The Treesavers, an ever-enlarging residents’ group that has blocked the City’s plans to remove 54 ficus trees from Second and Fourth Streets in downtown Santa Monica for nearly six months has finally been granted an audience with City officials.

Since it organized, the group has marched, sat in, rallied, addressed the City Council, gone to court and won a restraining order, blocking The trees’ removal.

Treesavers have also repeatedly asked Coty Council members to explain their support for the tree removal, as well as asking City officials to meet with them to discuss possible compromises. But in both cases, they have been rebuffed.

Until now.

Today, City Manager Lamont Ewell’s office told Treesavers’ spokesman Jerry Rubin that Ewell and Mayor Herb Katz would meet with a few Treesavers’ Representatives on Monday, April 21 .

In the meantime, Rubin urged residents to continue e-mailing, petitioning and gathering more support.

Several weeks ago, Treesavers offered to withdraw its restraining order, if the City would agree not to remove the trees. The City did not respond.

Letter to the Community

The City of Santa Monica, specifically the City Manager’s Office, spent thousands and thousands of taxpayer dollars to mail to virtually every resident and business their one-sided spin on the Second and Fourth Streets Pedestrian and Streetscape Improvement Project, mostly the Ficus tree removal aspect of the plan. The problem is by not joining with Treesavers months ago to reach a business and environmentally friendly win-win solution the City is sending out many misrepresentations, half- truths and misleading information now that the overwhelming majority of residents and visitors don’t want. The people, who the City should be listening to have so far been for the most part ignored and disrespected. There is still hope for a win-win solution, regardless of what the Court rules. Check out the Treesavers blogsite for the information you may not be getting. Visit: treesavers.blogspot.com and thank you for your help and support.

Jerry Rubin, Treesavers
310-399-1000
2035 Fourth Street, Santa Monica

Another LUCE Workshop Wed.

The City has scheduled another community workshop on the revision of the land use and circulation elements of the General Plan.

To be held in the Lincoln Middle School cafeteria, 1501 California Avenue, on Wednesday, April 2, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., the workshop will focus on “integrating the plan” and “explore housing, economic issues, and integrating the LUCE with otherCcity policies.”

Chamber Board Vs. SMCLC Measure

According to a story in the Santa Monica Daily Press, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously Friday to oppose a proposed ballot initiative that would limit commercial development to 75,000 square feet annually.

The measure, the “Residents Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT),” was written by and is backed by Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC), and has been endorsed by the neighborhood groups.

The Daily Press quoted Chamber Chair Tom Larmore as saying “The Chamber board took this action based upon its belief that RIFT will not reduce traffic congestion but, instead, risks exacerbating the problem while, at the same time, reducing the city’s ability to attract funding for greatly needed mass transit, RIFT, through its extremely confining development restrictions, would impair the city’s ability to generate workforce housing, negatively affect its strong financial position to the detriment of residents, and hamper needed development, such as that relating to health care.”

Diana Gordon, SMCLC’s spokesperson, issued the following statement Monday.

“Chamber businesses, large and small, have repeatedly cited parking and traffic congestion as major problems which need to be redressed.

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