A rendering of the proposed main plaza for the Bergamot Transit Village. (Rendering courtesy Hines Corp./Gensler)

Planning commissioners say they would like the Bergamot Transit Village to have better design features, asking the developer to revisit their plans.


So, this week’s Q-Line question asked:


Do you think developers should revisit their design or do you think the Planning Commission is asking for too much?


Here are your responses:


A rendering of the proposed main plaza for the Bergamot Transit Village. (Rendering courtesy Hines Corp./Gensler)

“The Bergamot Transit Village plans should be revisited by the Planning Commission. Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) exists to use our tax money to develop low-income housing projects, bringing in SMRR voters from outside the city. Yet we lack parkland. The high density low-income housing required by the SMRR-controlled City Council should be built off site north of Wilshire Boulevard to desegregate the elementary schools on Montana Avenue. Then the land the low-income housing building would have occupied can be used for parkland at Bergamot, which is sorely needed.”


“Is it really worth selling our city out for false and inflated benefits promised by developers? Are we going to be victims of our own success, or just victims? The Bergamot design is boxy and too massive for the area it’s being proposed and will cause further problems for existing neighborhoods. The LUCE needs to be re-drawn. Are our city leaders sending a message that residents are insignificant? Santa Monica resident since 1948.”


“It would be difficult to beat the incompetence of the City Council, but the Planning Commission is right up there with them. Their Michigan Avenue MANGO, or whatever dumb name, goes with another asinine bicycle-centric idea that they love. The Bergamot ‘sinkhole’ Village is another bad idea that further crowds us with people, buildings and things we don’t need or want. The commission’s attitude is the city is already ruined, so I want my cut from developers. They think you are too stupid to understand new-age civic engineering. They ride bicycles so they are intellectually and morally superior to you. Scale down the project by 80 percent. Let’s have a city we can live in.”


Another airport park?


Since this week’s Q-Line question didn’t solicit that many responses, here are some from a Q-Line question the Daily Press posed earlier this month regarding turning the Santa Monica Airport into a park. This questioned garnered an overwhelming number of responses, and we were unable to print them all at the time. So, here they are for your enjoyment.


“Vote for keeping the airport as is. Who would trust the city to repurpose airport acres for ‘parks’ after the travesty of overdevelopment Downtown and all over? Liars in the pockets of developers. Liars. I hate the gridlock all over town. How much worse can Ocean Park congestion get? I’m not a pilot. Just a homeowner adjacent to airport.”


“I think the airport should stay an airport. I don’t for a minute think that the City Council would really turn it all into a park. Rather, what they would do is bring in the developers, and we would end up with a few acres of new park and 200 acres of more development. Residents who are concerned with traffic and congestion should realize that the airport is the best realistic low-density use of that land.”


“Yes, I would! It doesn’t make any sense to fly planes that use leaded fuel over our schools, homes and beautiful city. If leaded fuel was outlawed for use in the automobile, it shouldn’t] be contaminating our air, water, food and future this way. A park would better reflect the initial vision and foundation this amazing city was built on. It is time to get back to the earth that Mother Nature always intended we live on.”


“I am a longtime resident of this area. The airplanes have eroded the quality of the lives of folks living in the shadow of the Santa Monica Airport with air and noise pollution. Constructing a park in place of the airport is a good solution to ridding the community of this threat to our health and peace of mind.”


“As a pilot, I find it extremely disturbing the thought of turning a beloved and historical airport into a park. Santa Monica is the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County, with a heritage dating back to the days of many famous Barnstormers and Wing Walkers. Santa Monica Airport has been in existence since 1919, when pilots flying early World War I biplanes used the site as an informal grass landing strip. Today, SMO is one of the country’s best municipal airports, handling between 400 and 500 operations per day. Please do not allow this travesty to occur. This vocal minority against the airport should not be able to mislead the majority of Santa Monica citizens into thinking the airport should be closed and developed for other uses. Every year, more and more general aviation airports are closing. General aviation plays a pivotal role in commerce and brings in business to the local community. It is getting harder for people who want to get into aviation to find local airports to start their venture into the aviation field. As it is, the pilot training facilities that existed at Santa Monica for years have now been forced to close their doors due to the unfair fees imposed upon them. I can’t stress enough to please do everything in your power to help keep this historic airport open.”


“The only people who would benefit are those in Sunset Park and Mar Vista who bought their homes cheap since they’re located next to the airport. No way would I want the city to invest in a park where they will benefit with huge home price increases. I wouldn’t be surprised if certain neighborhood groups were behind this movement only to enrich themselves. If we want affordable housing in Santa Monica, this is certainly not the way to do it.”


“Ahh, what a beautiful Friday it is in Sunset Park. The sun is shining and the blue sky over my neighborhood’s roof tops is alive with the thunder, exhaust trails and stench of corporate jets and twin- and single-engine fun flight toys. The few are enjoying their recreation and convenience at the expense of the many. The overhead flying has gotten lower and more frequent over the past few years, and I have, on good authority, that the fly boys are punishing Sunset Park for their recalcitrance. The rudeness and lack of civility and social skills (not to mention veracity) of the aviation community makes wanting them gone so easy, even after the first 15 years of living in Sunset Park, I never once complained about their activities. Funny huh? Pride cometh before the fall. Our tax dollars subsidize their recreation and convenience. Santa Monica will still be Santa Monica without the airport. … Like the creation of New York City’s Central Park, only with great vision and fortitude will leadership make the right decision to change the landscape of the airport to provide value to all the residents for generations to come. This is a historic moment for Santa Monica. Never again will a large parcel of property be available for city ownership and controlled development. Let our leadership know that its residents, voters and tax payers want park and recreational facilities that will provide more value, both financial and aesthetic, to Santa Monica then a celebrity and fly boy’s playground. (Really Gov. Arnold, you needed to fly in and out of SMO every day! C’mon man!)”


“Let’s start focusing on real issues and not parks until we’ve taken care of crime against our residents and the homeless in our city and the issues created by them. How many of us have been victims of crime or been yelled at or threatened by homeless? Unfortunately I have many times. So until we take care of the basics, including safety, which we all deserve, I don’t want to hear any far fetched, unrealistic ideas of turning an airport into a park. This initiative sounds like it was started by someone trying to divert the public’s focus from the real problems which our city is not solving.”


“Santa Monica airport needs to remain an airport. It is vital to the community. I personally experienced how vital an airport is just a few weeks ago when my vacation home in Northern California was threatened by the Rim Fire. Our county airport at Pine Mt. Lake served as a launching area for all the aircraft that fought to save our community and Yosemite. The airport was a launching area for hundreds of hours of fire fighting air operations. Without the airport we would have lost our home. The Santa Monica Mountains we all love and use to hike, etc., are always threatened during fire season so it is so vital to keep the airport open.”


“The idea that Santa Monica can afford to build a park is silly. Santa Monica can barely maintain the parks it has. More likely we’ll get another Century City with the thousands and thousands of car trips daily. Having an airport will be a lot less aggravating on the neighborhoods than the extraordinary amount of traffic a Century City development with engender. They had to make Santa Monica Boulevard into a six-lane road from the 405 to handle the traffic. Will Centinela become a six-lane road? Leave the airport alone.”


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