To say that development in Santa Monica is a hot topic would be the understatement of the year. No issue in recent memory has elicited such emotion, such division within the community. The acrimonious debates are reminiscent of the fights over whether or not to build luxury hotels along the oceanfront, or enact a living wage law, or tear down the Santa Monica Pier.
Development in Downtown has been particularly heated. At a recent City Council meeting in which the future of Downtown was discussed, scores of people showed up, some saying that the quality of life was threatened, that Downtown would be overrun with traffic and dense developments that would shut out the sun and block ocean breezes. Others said that without change, Santa Monica would shrivel and die, losing out to other areas in the region that welcomed new development.
In the end, the City Council voted in favor of a more modest proposal than what was being floated by city planners, approving the study of buildings that were at most 84 feet tall instead of 130 or 300, with varying densities depending on their locations and uses.
Some were shocked, others were angry. Some feel that residents were too focused on height and didn’t pay attention to the council’s decision to allow for greater densities.
In this episode of Viewpoints, wetake a closer look at what has been approved so far, specifically the heights and densities. What is the ideal height for future buildings? How massive should they be? See what our panelists have to say.

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Viewpoints is a show that expresses the opinions of our guests. Opinions expressed are those of the talent and do not necessarily reflect those of the Santa Monica Daily Press, or the Daily Press Editorial staff. Guest commentary, feedback and ideas for future shows are encouraged, as are letters to the editor.

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