As a slow-growth Councilmember caught up in Santa Monica’s development wars, I’m careful to respect divergent opinions. Everyone has one, as is their right. However, the Daily Press’s Bill Bauer doesn’t have the right to his own set of facts.
In his April 4 column, Bill claimed the Council twice approved a 148-foot building for 4th and Arizona. That’s just not true. On first float up, the Council advised that the proposed building was too big, and asked for options. When the project returned undiminished, the Council cut the office component in half and demanded at least a 20 percent reduction in overall building volume. That knocks off about two floors, and is the maximum the developer can propose on next visit (with no guarantee the Council will say yes to anything). We also required the developer to offer several smaller options, all the way down to a ground level park.
When that downtown project returns, it comes back to our new 2014 slow-growth Council majority. Bill also spoke of the Village Trailer Park and Hines Project disasters as if the whole Council supported them. In fact, Mayor Vazquez and Mayor Pro Tem Winterer, who are up for re-election this year, joined me in strongly opposing both projects.
Santa Monica Councilmember