I read Michael Feinstein’s October 17, 2016 commentary “Initiative Reform and Measure LV Drafting Errors” and I noticed several errors in it. However I would like to concentrate on the question whether Measure LV would require a public vote before property owners could rebuild to their pre-existing building height and envelope in the case of an earthquake or other major natural disaster. The answer is very simple: Measure LV would NOT require a public vote. As Michael Feinstein pointed out existing state and local law generally allows property owners to rebuild to the building’s previous height and envelope even if previous height and massing exceed current standards. Measure LV would not change this. Measure LV does not require voter approval for the repair or reconstruction of any building after a natural or man-made disaster. The Santa Monica Zoning Code addresses the repair and reconstruction of structures after these types of losses in Section 9.27.040 “Restoration of a Damaged Nonconforming Structure.” Measure LV does nothing to revoke or alter this Zoning Code section. Once Measure LV is approved by the voters on November 8th, buildings that are taller than the Tier 1 base height of 32’-36’ will be considered as “Existing Nonconforming Structures”. Their repair or reconstruction would only require compliance with the provisions set forth in Section 9.27.040 which does not require voter approval.
The opponents of the LUVE Initiative, Measure LV, are attempting to confuse the voters of Santa Monica into voting against their own best interests. We must do what is best for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and future generations as well and vote YES on LUVE-MEASURE LV.
Dr. Daniel Galamba