Crisis? What crisis? The city has done a remarkable job for decades keeping rents low and fighting the good fight against economic common sense. Santa Monica surely leads Los Angeles County and thus a good portion of the free world in low-cost apartments for deserving people to live in.

It’s an amazing achievement, and one that is guaranteed to continue, within the existing code. Every multi-family builder must build and donate low-income housing units. Or pay a big honkin’ fee to the city’s housing program. That’s worth repeating, and remembering, when our city leaders ask for more money, or give developers bigger buildings. No matter what happens moving forward, Santa Monica will continue to be a leader in creating deed-restricted affordable housing. That’s great, right?

But then one reads that we still have a crisis, or we need more money, a new tax, more, more, more five-story apartment buildings because the problem is “infinite!” Exactly. This is a nice political issue, along with global warming and handgun violence and a dozen other things on such a wide scale.

So we’ve spent at least $15 million a year, year-after-year, along with all the development agreements and larger buildings and increased traffic, and this is still a crisis? To me, the bathrooms at Clover Park are a crisis, of filth and stench, when it’s my toddler’s time. The fact that a wide swath of midtown traffic now resembles a Costco parking lot ought to be a crisis for city traffic engineers. It’s a crisis for all of us that we don’t have enough water, yet our city leaders allow code busting new buildings that surely will use more water than the old parcel’s 2013 baseline, minus 20 percent.

Just to name a few.

Mark Shepherd

Santa Monica

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