Appalled by naysayers

Editor:

I was appalled by the letter of May 23, 2014 regarding a possible car dealership from the ‘Gang of Four’ and their public shamming of the Karie Group. As a Sunset Park resident, I received a respectful letter from Ron Davis, President of Santa Monica Ford exploring the idea of a neighborhood serving dealership with cafe on the street to replace the current blight at 2700 Lincoln Blvd. I for one would like to hear this idea out. Instead we get this self-appointed group of naysayers trying to repress and squelch public discourse before it has begun. They claim to ‘represent’ the neighborhood, but they only represent like minded people and certainly not anyone who’s opinions differ from their own. This self appointed group do not represent businesses, the creative sector or the burgeoning tech sector, which makes up a large part of Santa Monica. Let public meeting occur and let people express their ideas before they are shut down and out.

M. Schroeder

Santa Monica

 

Subaru dealership moving

Editor,

I am writing in response to the letter that appeared in the Santa Monica Daily Press over the weekend about my proposal to relocate my Subaru of Santa Monica dealership from Santa Monica Boulevard to Lincoln Boulevard.

My family and I have owned and operated car dealerships in Santa Monica for 14 years.  I currently own and operate the Subaru dealership as well as Lincoln and Ford dealerships.

My Subaru dealership is located at 1229 Santa Monica Boulevard on leased property, and the lease expires in the next couple of years without any options to extend.  As a result, I must find a new home for my Subaru dealership.

I have tried to find a replacement site on Santa Monica Boulevard and unfortunately none is available.

I know the community expectations for car dealerships in Santa Monica are high.  I am prepared to make a significant investment to build a new neighbor-sensitive and pedestrian-friendly dealership.  After an extensive search, I have found a site at 2700 Lincoln Boulevard (between Raymond and Hill) that I believe will work for Subaru and will be a significant improvement over the existing conditions (including the older, open-bay auto repair facilities and surface parking/storage of repair vehicles).  My proposed dealership will be a new fully-enclosed state-of-the-art building featuring showroom display windows and a café along the street to enhance the pedestrian environment.  And it will be a LEED Gold, sustainable, “green” building.

The City’s current Zoning Ordinance allows new automobile dealerships to seek discretionary permits to locate on Lincoln Boulevard in the C4 Zone, where 2700 Lincoln Boulevard is located.  However, City Staff has told me that the LUCE may limit the area for new automobile dealerships to portions of Santa Monica Boulevard and Lincoln Boulevard north of the freeway.  Given the circumstances, I am hopeful that the City and community will keep an open mind about allowing my existing Subaru dealership to relocate to 2700 Lincoln Boulevard.

Subaru is a progressive brand that fits with Santa Monica. Subaru has been at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing and sales practices, and a model of corporate responsibility. Subaru has pioneered zero-waste manufacturing facilities, and employs 5,000 American workers at its Indiana plant.

In Santa Monica, our Subaru dealership contributes about $400,000 of sales tax to the City’s general fund annually, employs about 30 people, and our service department serves hundreds of Santa Monica residents.  I hope to keep my Subaru dealership in Santa Monica, if possible.

We have been conducting early outreach meetings with members of the community.  My family and I sincerely care about Santa Monica and are committed to helping make Santa Monica a great community and contributing to the quality of living of its residents.  I look forward to continuing the dialogue with community members and the City.  Your readers should feel free to get in touch with me at (310) 451-1588 or via email, Subaru2700Lincoln@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Ron Davis

Subaru of Santa Monica

 

Tongva Park is great

Editor:

On Memorial Day I and my wife ventured out to the new Tongva Park for the first time and we were very impressed. It is not a large park, 7 acres, but it is wonderfully put together and is so interesting and relaxing. The children’s park play area is a joy to behold. Santa Monica now has a wonderful gem to explore.

Incidentally, we also loved the new large parking garage on Second Street opposite the Hostelling International. The first 90 minutes are free and it’s just a short walk from there to the Tongva Park.

Santa Monica of late, gets knocked for many things but they certainly have two winners here.

Colin Langridge

Santa Monica

 

Tongva Park is a dud

Editor:

I find it curious to hear of suggestion that we need another park in Santa Monica (replacing the airport) when the last park created here seems to need some major fixes.  Am I missing something or is Tongva Park a complete dud? A walled-in, over-paved and largely unused piece of ill-conceived design that, from Ocean Avenue, is about as welcoming as a fortress.

Just asking.

M.G. Burke

Santa Monica

 

Poor lesson for students

Editor:

Congratulations to the Santa Monica High School Baseball Team, it WAS a great season. To Head Coach Kurt Schwengel you should put on your big boy pants and wear the loss.

Santa Monica High School Baseball will now be known as the team that resorted to a bush-league move to advance in the CIF playoffs. That after a 7-2 loss to Peninsula.

What message is Coach Schwengel sending to his players? Or more importantly to the opposing team’s players who earned the victory on the diamond?

This story will be picked up nationally if it hasn’t already. What an embarrassment to the SM Baseball team, students and city of Santa Monica.

Having played and coached baseball for more than 30 years, wiffle ball batting practice from a player’s knees did not give Peninsula a competitive advantage. While it was a violation, it should have been overlooked and perhaps pointed out to peninsula’s coach rather than using it as a path to victory.

Shame on you Coach Schwengel

Richard Crasnick

Ocean Park

Bad development

Andrew Adam’ column on “Politics shouldn’t override need,” I agree with a couple of his statements:

“The whole process shows some serious flaws in our city government.”

“Development is not necessarily bad.”

There are serious flaws in our city government. For over ten years it has been approving development after development with little regard for the overall affect on traffic and quality of life for the residents and voters. It has been in bed with the developers, their lawyers, architects, accountants, etc. It has used real estate development to bankroll excessive salaries and pensions for many in city government. (note the series of articles in the Daily Press this past year on the number of employees earning over $200,000 a year). Part of the present and future budget problems are caused by excess salaries, pensions and medical benefits.  With the city obtaining $80,000 a year per room of hotel space; it is no wonder we see so many projected hotel developments. The city, by its allowing multiple major developments, is trying to earn its way out of the budgetary mess it has created, rather than look at its excess costs.

“Development is not necessarily bad”; but there is good development and bad development.

Putting a mega-development of 760,000 sq. ft. where there was 200,000 sq. ft.; bad development. Is the city really planning, when it looks at future developments in the Water Garden/Bergamot area one at a time rather than their overall impact on all resources?

Remember the city is not the tourists, not the bureaucracy, not the commercial developers. It is the residents.

Mr. Adams seems to think that 7,000 more car trips a day is no problem, yet he, himself, points out that even now you cannot go West in the morning or East from 2:30 to 8 without being in a traffic jam. I, for one, do think it is a problem.

Our soon-to-come light rail would have only transported less than 5 percent of the workers in this proposed mega-complex. Is that progress; I do not think so. The planners have not come up with parking for residents near the station, so there might be less traffic on the 10 freeway.

This “well reasoned and negotiated project” is not that. It is a perfect example of City Politics overriding the citizenry. “Well reasoned and negotiated”; not according to the almost 14,000 voters who signed the petition to rescind the Hines/City development agreement.

Mr. Adams calls this “making noise”. We petition gatherers and Residocracy call it democracy in action. We call it voters trumping money.

Bob Wolff

Santa Monica

 

Democracy over Residocracy

Editor:

I have nothing to do with the Santa Monica Airport. I have never flown a plane, and the only times I have been to the Santa Monica Airport is to have dinner at the DC3 restaurant, register for classes at the Santa Monica College airport campus, or take the shortcut drive from Walgrove/ 23rd Street to Centinela/ Bundy. This letter is not intended to take a particular stand on the airport, rather it is a statement about Residocracy, the organization.

I was very disappointed to read the recent e-mail that Residocracy sent to it’s members. The e-mail stated that Residocracy is opposed to the petition drive to place an initiative on the ballot which will require the vote of our citizenry regarding any attempt by the City Council to change the status of the Santa Monica Airport. As a member of Residocracy, I joined because I was under the impression that the movement stood for all residents of our city. Residents who feel it necessary to voice any, yes any objection to what the City Council is doing. For you to send this most recent e-mail to all Residocracy members, is a display of pure political pressure, and an absolute contradiction to the values this organization held high from its inception. Residocracy spoke of it’s so-called E-Petition, which was to allow any resident to voice any issue, and allow the public to have the ultimate power to change the way the City Council was conducting business, no matter what the issue. In sending this e-mail to members of Residocracy, it is a flagrant renouncement of the original Residocracy purpose. To add insult to injury, for you to ask Residocracy members to rescind their signature on this initiative, is a move only the zealots of SMRR or the current City Council would pull. This action is not what Residocracy was supposed to be all about. It is a violation of the original Residocracy doctrine of political neutrality. From its outset in February, Residocracy would serve the purpose of giving the people the opportunity to decide important civic issues, either pro or con, and Residocracy (the organization),  would allow those voices to be heard. Now, Residocracy, the organization,is injecting it’s voice into the fray. By doing this, Residocracy is proving to be no different than SMRR or the current Santa Monica City Council.

So much for Democracy, it has been lost at Residocracy.

Charles Follette

Santa Monica

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