“Things ain’t what they used to be and probably never was,” Will Rogers
It has been very interesting to hear the debates about the city’s future and most recently the Bergamot area.
We’ve heard from Santa Monica’s past:
• Wants everything to accommodate the automobile with lots of free parking; generally hostile toward bikes and doesn’t really care about public transportation.
• Wants rent-controlled, low-income housing, but no development and no new housing; no regards to trying to match housing type to the types of jobs.
• Wants parks, libraries and other amenities without regards to cost and wants someone else to pay for all of it (like property owners).
And we’ve heard from the future:
• Doesn’t really care about cars and more interested in biking and public transportation.
• Not really concerned about regulating housing, but just wants a chance to live here; more housing for families is good housing. (How about instead of focusing on low-income, we focus on senior housing which really will serve our existing residents as they age instead of bringing new non-residents into the city.)
• Understands that if we want new services, we need development to pay for it and can’t continue to tax ourselves; the city has great assets so let’s use them to generate income. (Fourth Street/Arizona Avenue, and Bergamot Station should be huge cash earners for the city.)
• Realizes there is trade-off between open space and building heights and believes some good things come with density.
I really hope moving forward the City Council works toward addressing the future and not the past. While some remember the past fondly, there were a lot of problems which I don’t think we want to go back to. (Third and Main streets were pretty unsavory and we’ve always had traffic.)
Unfortunately we can’t control Southern California and we are surrounded by it.