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By Tim Harter

The Miramar project has long been of interest to me in my capacity as former deputy to Assemblyman Richard Bloom and as an engaged resident.

The proposed Miramar plan has been in the public arena for more than eight years. During that time, the project has been presented at numerous public forums, including a mandated community meeting, two EIR scoping meetings, float ups with the Planning Commission, City Council, ARB and Landmarks Commission, as well as presentations to the Downtown Santa Monica Inc.

Very early in the process, the project team reached out to all seven of the city’s recognized neighborhood associations to present the project and respond to questions and comments from the boards and members. All but one of the associations participated. Most of the associations invited the team back for updates. I attended two of the neighborhood association meetings. I believe that all the participants – residents and the development team alike – came away with a much better understanding of the proposed project and one another’s ideas.

Over the past two years, the project team has reached out to hundreds of community stakeholders, including supporters, skeptics, undecideds, and site-adjacent neighbors, offering one on one and small group meetings to familiarize them with the history of the site, review the evolution of the project, and respond to questions and input about the latest iteration. To date, more than 100 of these meetings have taken place.

To contend that inquiries went unanswered or concerns unaddressed for 8 years is just not accurate. The handful of community members that asserts this has a short memory.

We must now get down to the business of a Planning Commission hearing, discussion and recommendation, after which the project will move on for final consideration and, I hope, approval, by City Council.

Santa Monica has already benefited from the project in that it has stimulated an inclusive, transparent and unprecedented public engagement process. On Wednesday evening, the Miramar will deliver a plan to the Planning Commission that brings the community a beautiful new hotel and residential project, exceptional open space, more than 40 units of first-rate affordable housing, hundreds of new jobs and significant tax revenues for decades to come.

It is time to welcome the proposed Miramar into the community. I urge the Planning Commission vote affirmatively.