Editor:

The divide over the proposed Bergamot Transit Village/Hines development is not one between whether the site will be developed or not. The site will be developed. The issues are how big, how soon, and at how much of a burden to the enjoyment, health and safety of Santa Monica residents.

Hines will build whatever it is allowed to build and make a handsome profit regardless of any reduction in size that may be imposed, or it will sell the property and let somebody else try.

It is quite obvious that Santa Monica can’t handle the traffic it already has. We can’t yet quantify what the magical, mystical train will bring in terms of relief. We do know that even with traffic mitigation programs and hopefully much improved public transit options, the project as proposed will add thousands of daily car trips to an area already in gridlock. Not everyone who works at this site is going to live there nor are those who don’t all going to live along the Expo line. We do know that every additional car trip will hurt.

There is a difference between an appropriately sized and planned multi-use development at a transit hub and the proposed behemoth Hines development attempting to be justified by its proximity to a transit station and alleged community benefits, which will be far outweighed by the community detriments it will continue to impose long after the project has been built and sold.

Scale it down and slow it down, please, council members

 

Maryanne LaGuardia

Santa Monica