The City Council last week agreed to allow the redevelopment of Village Trailer Park, much to the dismay of tenants who have been fighting the park’s closure for years.


This week, Q-Line asked:


Do you think the council made the right move and why?


Here are your responses:


“Get rid of the community benefit system. It benefits other people more than the community. Also, recall Gleam Davis, Bob Holbrook, Terry O’Day, and Mayor Pam O’Connor.”


“The city absolutely made the worst possible decision it could in approving this development. If you look at the letter from Ron Goldman in the Santa Monica Daily Press, he states that this tradeoff process gives all the benefit to the developer to the tune of a $25 million profit in increased land value alone. And it just makes it, you know, expensive and a lot of traffic congestion and high-density living for the people of Santa Monica, which screws them.”


“No, it definitely did not. Cost of modern construction produces buildings that are more expensive, not more affordable, to live in. There are only 109 home sites on the Village Trailer Park property for a reason. More would have made life there too crowded. Trying to now cram so much more onto that tiny acreage is just nonsensical thinking. This last of the old trailer parks is now a unique part of Santa Monica’s history. It is also a needed and functioning business. Destroying it so one can make a profit and so all others can suffer is as illogical as it is sad. How much people like living in a community depends, in part, on how that community looks and feels. Over time the desirability of a town becomes what people then consider its valued ‘history.’ Destroying historic icons is a most serious action to be considering. Oh, and don’t forget: These homeowners entered into sustaining legal contracts to live in the homes they own on that land.”


“Government isn’t working. It seems so undemocratic that a developer representing his/her interest can override the compelling interests of hundreds of citizens, residents and others who opposed the overdevelopment of the Village Trailer Park and the loss of affordable homes. In reading dozens of stories in the press, I could not find a single compelling reason why long-time tenants of the park should lose their humble homes and have their park replaced by overpriced tiny apartments. There is something wrong with a system that prevents the interests of so many to be supplanted by the interest of one. Clearly our City Council can’t be trusted to negotiate in-good-faith development agreements on behalf of the residents and other stakeholders of the city. It strikes me that this system of review needs to be changed so that the process reflects the needs and wishes of the entire community. It’s hard to turn down the funds of developers who have the opportunity to make millions of dollars when development restrictions can be changed by a simple majority vote of an elected council. Perhaps a citizens’ supreme court should be established to protect citizen interest as the adjudication body for land development issues.”

“The city once again made the wrong decision. I saw the first rendering of this development and it was so much smaller. The city stepped in over the years, increased the size and the ugly look of the project. Living one street over, I can now kiss the sun good-bye and the landmark of the neighborhood. Four to three vote to go for it. Really? No common sense. No heart.”


“No, they did not make the right decision. This is yet another in a long line of ways the City Council and the Planning Commission have sold out the people of Santa Monica in their need to support the developers. The developers have only to ask for things such as waivers for height restrictions, less parking, etc., and the City Council just rolls over and gives them what they want. Perhaps we’re reaching a tipping point, though. I read and hear so much against the council. Let’s vote them out!”


“The place is a dump. But if they do replace it, there will be more people living there, more traffic. Better to just raze everything and put in trees. But then the bums would trash the place. It’s a no-win situation.”


“No, I don’t think the council made the right decision. This trailer park is an important part of the history of Santa Monica. It provided some of the last wildlife habitat left (hawks nest there), and many of the residents wanted to stay. The new proposed development will add to the vastly increased cementing and density with only small open space and landscaping that is going on all over our once-pleasant environment.”


“Absolutely, yes. How else would they be able to finance all of their social services without selling out to developers? Rent Control is no longer at the top of the Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights agenda.”


“Of course not, but with most of our corrupt City Council and Santa Monicans for Developers’ Rights what else would you expect? Even one of the two new ones, while claiming to be different, ran on the developers’ slate.”


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