NEW BAD NEWS

Yes, Santa Monica keeps reinventing itself, aren’t we something? But usually, for most of the last decade, not in good ways.

Now comes the prospect of a youth hostel popping up right next door to you. Yes, you. No matter where in SM you live.

But it couldn’t happen on one of those older, desirable, historic streets north of Montana, right? $3M+ homes. A cul-de-sac, no less. Now, suddenly, a hotel/hostel? Can’t happen here!

It can, it has, and this looks like only the beginning.

According to George Preonas, in his home on Adelaide Place for 45 years, the family who lived next door to him for a long time sold it in March and by May it was being rented out through Airbnb. Advertising 36 beds per night at $49 per bed. (With only three bathrooms.) Even though their business license application, he said, claims a capacity of 15 (and isn’t that bad enough?).

Why in the world would anyone in our City government approve such an application? And how do you even get a license to operate a business on a residential street?

 

THIS HOUSE IS SPECIAL

It’s beautiful, it’s unique. A landmarked historic building designed by innovative architect Robert Stacey-Judd in the mid-1920s. The Zuni House was at the forefront of the Pueblo Revival architectural style that Stacey-Judd is credited with launching here.

As someone who grew up in New Mexico where the Zuni Pueblo is, I can especially appreciate it. (The Zuni were already around the Southwest for about 4,000 years when a Berber Moroccan explorer named Esteban, traveling with Cabeza de Vaca, “discovered” them in 1536. He was the first non-native to visit a pueblo. Reports are they killed him.) I have Zuni pottery in my collection (though Acoma is probably my favorite).  If anyone wants to buy that historic home and put me and my family in, I promise I will caretake it for the treasure it is.

 

Do you think the overnight travelers who are there because it’s a heckuva nice pad for $49 a night in a great part of Santa Monica will treat it with that respect?

 

I SAT IN

Sunday on an informal neighbors meeting at Preonas’ home, at the invitation of Arts Commissioner Phil Brock. Preonas had contacted a lot of City officials about the situation, and Council members Ted Winterer and Kevin McKeown got back to him the same day, but he said he invited Brock because he felt he had a reputation for sticking up for residents.

After the meeting I observed one of the problems the neighbors complained about, a very large number of cigarette butts on the sidewalk and gutter in front of the now-Airbnb, and beer cans and other litter, that you don’t see anywhere else on the well-maintained street of longtime homeowners. But there is a long list of reasons you don’t want a hotel in your residential neighborhood.

 

YOU CAN’T DO THAT! — OOPS

Our City staff wrote, and our City Council passed, a home-sharing ordinance in 2015 that was supposed to prevent such homes from being converted to vacation rentals. Residents are permitted to host guests in their home for 30 days or less while living on-site throughout the guests’ stay. But it does not set a limit on the number of guests allowed. Well, that was a major oversight, wasn’t it? Maybe we need a larger, higher paid City staff to get that and 1,000 other things right.

The “resident” manager at the Zuni House, Ryusei “Ryan” Shimizu, also lists three other places he’s renting out through Airbnb, one more in SM, two in LA. How many premises can you reside in at once?

“I have seen the quality of life in Santa Monica deteriorate little by little,” Preonas said, and he blamed our love affairs with tourism and developers.

 

BERNIE SANDERS

Came to town again Friday, returning to Samohi and filling the Amphitheater with enthusiastic supporters who came to hear him say what he always says. But that’s the point. He has stood for the same principles and fought for those issues for decades.

I was a very strong Bernie supporter last election (but of course I voted for Hillary over Trump). I’d been drifting this time toward Kamala Harris because I felt she had the right combination of toughness and prosecutorial smarts to take down the Racist Bully-in-Chief and get elected.

Bernie’s great ideas were considered by some too radical just three years ago, he’ll never get elected, they said (despite polls showing he would have beaten Trump). But now most of the Dem nominee hopefuls have adopted them. So, why would you go with the imitators, the bandwagon jumpers, when you have the original?

For me, it’s a moral decision. Sen. Sanders has stood for a wide platform of the most humane ideas for a truly great America ALL HIS LIFE.

I’m sick and tired of the lesser of two evils, of “The One Who Can Win.” Bernie can win, he has energized an army of young people who don’t have so much interest in voting except for voting for him. Everything he stands for is what I believe in; why should I back anyone else?

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at  therealmrmusic@gmail.com

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2 Comments

  1. Bernie is a complete moron…. He wants to give everyone everything and has absolutely no clue how he’s going to pay for it…

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