Open letter to our Planning Commission and City Council:

The citizens of Santa Monica have been having growing concerns about the alarming amount of development that you seem determined to foist upon us, even as we plead with you to help ease the growing gridlock on our streets.

Our traffic problems will only worsen with the myriad projects currently in the pipeline. So a question that is likely to be everyone’s concern is this: Do you have a number in mind whereby you will finally deem this city maxed out regarding our daytime population?

This is not a rhetorical question, and it deserves an answer. According to Santa Monica’s City Hall, the number of people in Santa Monica during the day is 250,000. That is a quarter of a million people squeezed in to a city that is only 8.3 square miles.

To get a better perspective of how cavalier you seem to be in packing us in like sardines, consider the following cities with a population similar to ours during the day. Laredo, Texas; Madison, Wisconsin; Norfolk, Virginia; and Irvine, California all have just under 250,000 people, yet their area ranges from 54 to 171 square miles.

This town can easily handle its permanent population of 92,000, but what is your tipping point for stopping the seemingly unstoppable influx of more and more people during the daytime?

Surely you must have a number in mind. Surely you have thought this through to its logical conclusion. Surely you don’t want to strangle the lives of those who entrusted you to lead our City.

We have a right to know and everyone with a vested interest in our town should ask you. I’ll go first: What. Is. Your. Magic. Number?

Jill Chapin
Santa Monica

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