Robert Redford

Robert Redford

Native son Robert Redford, an accomplished filmmaker and environmentalist, bashes the city where he was born in an article featured in the April issue of Esquire magazine.

The Oscar winner told writer Scott Raab in an interview at his Santa Monica office — Wildwood Enterprises — that he visits the city by the sea only when he has to.

“I’m never here more than two, three days at a crack,” Redford says in the article. “I get itchy — traffic, freeways, out-of-control development. There was never a land-use plan. This was a beautiful city once, and it isn’t anymore.”

Redford, who was born in Santa Monica in 1936, isn’t alone. Other longtime residents have expressed their heartache over Santa Monica’s transformation from a once sleepy beach town into a bustling suburb of Los Angeles that attracts hundreds of thousands of people on a weekend and is home to some of the most successful media and entertainment companies.

City officials are struggling with how to accommodate growth while still preserving neighborhoods. Traffic congestion was listed as a significant concern of residents in a recent survey conducted by City Hall.

To read Redford’s comments, go to www.esquire.com/features/robert-redford