The Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau held its fourth annual Travel and Tourism Summit last week during which they released figures that showed tourists and the hotels they stay in pumped $1.5 billion into the local economy in 2012. Of that, $48.4 million went directly into City Hall’s General Fund, which supports basic city services.
This week, Q-Line asked:
A handful of hotels are being planned for Downtown, but some residents are working to put a stop to them because they see any form of development a danger to their quality of life. Where do you stand? Should we allow more hotels to be built in the city by the sea?
Here are your responses:
“I was born in Santa Monica when Santa Monica Hospital was a two-story brick building. I think the destruction of Santa Monica is just horrible. I’ve lived here and there all over the world, but I always come back to Santa Monica and every time I come back it’s worse. If I can walk anywhere, I walk. I dread driving; all the hotels — we don’t need any more hotels, it’s disgusting. It isn’t a quaint little city anymore.”
“Absolutely not. We should not allow more hotels to be built in the city by the sea. Particularly, in such close proximity to one another. For example, the two hotels slated to build on the corner of Fifth and Colorado — it’s ridiculous. The traffic, it’s unbelievable, and all the pollution from the construction. There are tenants, homeowners and people who live downwind from these proposed constructions. That would be a disaster.”
“The Q-Line question is worded like a push-poll. It contains a false premise that residents are opposed to ‘any form of development.’ What residents made loud and clear at the recent public forum is that we’re opposed to the massive overdevelopment being planned for Downtown, including 20-story hotels on Ocean being topped with $5 million condos. Traffic and congestion are already horrendous. These plans would make them exponentially worse.”
“I don’t know where this city is going to fit in ‘a handful of hotels’ in Downtown. Unless they plan to start building on the beach. Talk about density, of course when the tourists stop coming because of worsening conditions all over Santa Monica they can always turn them into low-cost housing or bum flops. Density is the name of the game in Santa Monica. Have you noticed St. Monica Church’s first phase of planned several years expansion? The corner of California and Lincoln is grotesque; four big chunky concrete buildings wall to wall. What is the rest going to bring? Right in keeping with Santa Monica’s master plan though, destruction of this city.”
“Absolutely not. Do not allow any more hotels to be built in Santa Monica. There’s enough traffic and the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau released figures which showed the local hotels pumped in over $1.5 billion dollars into the local economy. That’s enough.”
“When are you people going to learn that unnecessary, big hotels with overrated architects are huge tax [generators]. City Hall loves nothing more than spending other people’s money, meaning taxpayers. Let’s overdevelop Downtown and then gouge the tourists. Who cares about them if they get ripped off? Hopefully more will just come. What tourist could miss a chance to see the piece of pure crap and spend the average cost per night of $297 doing it? You people don’t understand City Hall. They are all public slugs, they don’t care about you, they certainly don’t care about the Downtown. They, most of all, don’t care about Santa Monica. What they do care about at any cost is their overinflated egos, their European livability dogma, the power to disrupt lives. City Hall will do anything to maintain power and spending money. More hotels Downtown is just like blowing their nose and Santa Monica is the Kleenex.”
“I think we should not build any more hotels, and any commercial development should be low density, because the traffic is almost at a standstill in Downtown. At weekends it’s almost impassable. The use of water, electricity and traffic is just beyond the level of anything sustainable.”
“What’s the use of complaining about our town being sold out to big developers and tourism when the same bunch of crooks and commies from Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights get elected for the last 35 years? Because of rent control, a few thousand greedy apartment tenants will vote these jerks back in. No matter how terrible the noise, traffic, crime and other problems are from overdevelopment and tourism. These greedy tenants, in order to save a few bucks on rent, have been willing to sell out the soul of our once quiet, sweet, sleepy town.”
“We do not own Santa Monica, we are stewards of an amazing natural and cultural resource, with its beach and cliffs, its urban forest, and perfect climate. As its stewards, we should work to maximize the number of people, from around the world who can enjoy this place, if we can do it without further damaging the environment. The additional tourism and overnight stays made possible by increasing the number of hotel rooms in the city support that mission.”
“I vote no. Why have the LUCE if it is easy to gain an exception to it and also really magnificent exceptions. Tall buildings are not appropriate for Santa Monica. This is not New York City, Paris, or Dubai. Just because hotels make money is no reason to have them imposed on the community. No one I know can afford to stay in most of them. If we are going to build more hotels, how about ones that my friends or family can afford? Los Angeles is supposed to have the worst traffic in the nation. Honestly, I think it is nothing by comparison to Santa Monica; awful traffic in very little space. (Only some roads are truly bike friendly and the roads may be, but the drivers are not!) We are overdeveloped as it is. Do we really want monuments to the phenomenon?”