In response to your story entitled “Council delays Hines development vote,” Jan. 30, the major “community benefit” this community needs is traffic relief. With its 7,000 car trips a day, without counting additional vehicles from 48 other pending developments, the¬†Hines project will gridlock 28 intersections in Santa Monica. When the light rail kicks in, that will add to the havoc by creating jams at street-level track crossings.
Groups rarely on the same side of an issue stand together in opposing this monstrous development: Santa Monicans for Renters‚Äô Rights, Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, all the neighborhood councils and the more than 500 individuals who signed a Residocracy petition. Even the Los Angeles Department of Transportation weighed in, saying the proposal will create unmanageable overload on the nearby freeways.
Yet we have seen this story over and over again when the council votes against public opinion and the city‚Äôs best interest. Our council members … cave to all developer demands. The ethically-challenged Pam O‚ÄôConnor, who had Hines pay off her $4,300 campaign debt for 2006 a year after the developer bought the property, will vote for this plan on Feb. 4. As will Terry O‚ÄôDay and Gleam Davis, who never met a project they dislike. We can only hope that the four other Council members don‚Äôt let Santa Monica commit suicide by authorizing the mother of all traffic tie-ups every day for the foreseeable future.
Harriet P. Epstein