Normally I am a big fan of the opinions of Bill Bauer. However, on the Miramar development I find him to be a fanatic on the wrong side of the issue (“Real facts about Miramar renovation,” My Write, July 15).
The Miramar is not a hotel development. It is a luxury condo development. Under the current proposal the number of hotel rooms would be reduced by roughly 10 percent. It is a lot less than certain that the Miramar is going to generate big income for the city. City Hall only gets a small portion of the additional property taxes. The amount of additional hotel room tax, given that there would be fewer hotel rooms, could be modest.
Most importantly, the additional residents who will be moving into the new condos are going to require a pro-rata increase in additional public safety and public welfare services. To date there has not been a comprehensive study comparing reasonable expectation of additional tax revenue with the costs of City Hall providing services for all of those new residents. Such a study should also factor in the loss of tax revenue from the Huntley Hotel that would be caused by taking away its ocean views.
The proposed development is double the size of what is allowed by our zoning code. There are many of us that believe in equal protection under the law, and take issue with our city adopting a George Orwell “Animal Farm” government where some people are more equal than others. Clearly the Huntley Hotel was a big mistake done at a time when residents were not paying attention to development. But the fact that the city made a bad mistake a long time ago is no justification to repeat that mistake today.
The Miramar development is the antithesis of being environmentally friendly. The Miramar is proposing tearing down a huge 10-story building and throwing an incredible amount of material into the trash. The Miramar development’s demolition will create giant amounts of dust, which will fill our air with all kinds of toxins. The Miramar development will massively increase the future use of electricity, gas and water on the property. The Miramar development is the highest of all possible water usage, at a time when the city is experiencing a big water shortage. Most importantly, the Miramar development would be using double its fair share of natural resources.
And finally, as a matter of fairness, there should be consideration of all the residents who invested their life savings into buying a home with an ocean view, having their primary asset plummet in value because their ocean view is taken away. It is one thing for those who were not paying attention to their neighbor’s right under the zoning code. It is a completely different matter when the problem is caused by City Hall giving a single property owner triple the height, and double the density, that is allowed by the zoning code.