City Councilman Kevin McKeown is proposing a freeze on all development in Downtown over 84 feet tall until a more comprehensive land use plan is developed for the area. That could mean at least three major hotels planned for Downtown would be put on the back burner. Supporters of those projects and others say development would help bring architectural diversity and much needed revenue to the city.
So, this week’s Q-Line question asked:
Are you in favor of a moratorium or is there a better way to proceed?
Here are your responses:
“Forget just Downtown. There should be an end to all building in Santa Monica. Who is trying to kid who? This city is a glut of people, a glut of traffic, a glut of dogs, a glut of bums, crazies, runaway teenagers, drug addicts, and most of all, a glut of overbuilding — all over. A more appropriate name for this area is Glut City.”
“I am definitely in favor of the moratorium until a more comprehensive plan can be developed for Downtown.”
“I would like to speak in support of putting a moratorium on all of Downtown and all development. It’s runaway, it’s out of control. The developers will say whatever they want to try and make it seem like we need it. We don’t need and we don’t have to have it. … I don’t want to see any of these projects done and I want to see us rehab the buildings we have. We shouldn’t need any more revenue at this point. It’s a badly run city. We’re overstaffed, top heavy and bottom heavy. We have a lot of creativity here. We don’t need to be spending fortunes on consultants at UCLA. It’s absurd. Half the planners should go. They’re in the pocket of the developers.”
“Thank you Kevin McKeown for your proposal to put tall buildings on hold. This city can’t handle more density. We are trapped in this city. We can hardly move around. Haven’t you noticed? We need to really look carefully at the kinds of development they want to jam into this city. They have changed the character of it so drastically. Please, let’s hold back on packing every bit of land with as much as possible.”
“A moratorium on height limits will not solve our problems. Density is the problem. All of these massive apartment complexes bringing so many people into this city. The few projects that are taller, such as the Gehry and the Miramar, will have open spaces, a museum, are stylish and will make Santa Monica better.”
“I am not in favor of a moratorium for three major hotels in Downtown. Our city is facing huge financial shortfalls coming up and these could really help in that regard. They should move forward. This is not a 1960s beach town.”
“Frankly, all I can say at this point is that it’s about time. There is nothing remotely anything to do with a beach community or a draw. I don’t know why tourists still want to come here, except for maybe reputation. It’s crowded, you can’t see mountains, you can’t see anything. It’s awful. Friends from out of town no longer want to come to Santa Monica. We live in the Palisades and try to avoid Santa Monica so we are not spending as much money. Everybody I talk to … hates this development.”
“Yes, we should put a freeze on all development Downtown, maybe even under 84 feet tall … . There is just too much going on in this city that are based on ideas that have not been clearly explored, no proper cost analysis, etc., etc.”
“I support the freeze on that kind of development. I also support a general freeze on Downtown construction until the City Council and Planning Commission solve the present gridlock on weekends and at night. They have not done that and the gridlock is really something to see. I also worry about the idea of more and more people for less and less water and I don’t think the Planning Commission has adequately addressed that.”
“Not only am I for a freeze on development Downtown that is over 84 feet, but based on the city meeting that over 300 attended, if put to a vote, an overwhelming majority of Santa Monicans also don’t want 20-plus story towers built. This is why it will never be put to a vote. The only people for this radical change to Santa Monica, turning our city into a high density, higher traffic environment, are developers and, sadly, the four council members that they own.”
“I am opposed to the suggested freeze. The proposed new hotels will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue … , generating increased sales taxes to help our schools and increased property taxes when the new buildings are complete. All this development will fund more homeless shelters, a few more Step Up on Second housing projects for the county’s mentally ill. Also the city needs money to tear down the B of A and Chase banks at Fourth and Arizona to build more Community Corp multi-family, low-income rental housing. We need more CCSM buildings to bring in voters from all over southern California to expand SMRR’s voter base and prevent the homeowners from gaining control of the City Council.”