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We are long-time residents of our beloved Santa Monica. The Miramar Hotel has been part of our community life. We are deeply disturbed because over the last 10 years as the developer has made changes, we’ve consistently asked they be neighborhood and City friendly. These are not.

The current proposal rewards the elite and super-wealthy newcomers. The request to build 60+ luxury condominiums necessitates an additional fortress-like, eight-story high rise building on California Avenue, the neighborhood street —and a private parking entrance for only the condominium owners.

The commercial and high rise features belong on Wilshire Blvd., the commercial terminus. Instead, the design endangers the dense neighborhood of families on California Avenue and nearby residential streets. The plan has brutally thrust this fortress-like high rise on California Avenue, together with a parking entrance and exit for three shifts of employees.

It has attached this fortress to a land-marked building, lessening its individuality.

The proposed California Building will block sunlight, air and views for yet another assault on the neighbors’ enjoyment of their lives.

The plan should have placed the open space on the corner of California and Ocean Avenues, which relates and integrates with the neighborhood and is the first glimpse of Santa Monica as one comes up the California Incline. Such open space would relate to Palisades Park and the ship mast structure.

Locals do not walk from Second Street to Ocean Avenue along Wilshire Blvd. Instead we walk in the neighborhood where we live on California Avenue. At any time you’ll see mothers pushing baby strollers, young people on bikes and e-Scooters, seniors out for the daily walk, and friends and families walking to the Promenade, Palisades Park, the California Incline, and the beach.

Adding an entrance and exit on California Avenue—where it already takes waiting for two traffic light cycles to get through the California and Ocean Avenue intersection during busy times—will seriously endanger local pedestrians and bike riders and certainly cause more emissions due to more traffic.

The traffic circulation plan should be redesigned to minimize congestion on California Ave.

Further, no rooftop dining and drinking and partying should be allowed.

Finally, the City has a DA (Development Agreement) and should negotiate for a minimum of 42 affordable housing units and other community benefits. This does not have to be tied to permitting 60+ condominiums. If they removed the condominiums, they would not need the high rise building on California Avenue nor the private parking entrance on Ocean Avenue, which could be used for employees instead. Moreover, those condominiums, if not occupied by the absentee owners, could be rented out as hotel suites—contrary to what other City residents can do.

We support an improved Miramar Hotel with better traffic circulation, more community benefits, and no massing high rise construction on California Avenue.

Go back to the drawing board and create something much better for the neighborhood and the City.

Eleanor Blumenberg, Santa Monica resident since 1981

Kay Ward, Santa Monica resident since 1979

Brenda Weisman, Santa Monica resident since 2001