Editor:

Since 1996 we have been homeowners in Sunset Park, a block from the proposed new development at Lincoln and Ocean Park. Kim has lived in Santa Monica since 1977, first as a renter, and then as a previous homeowner in Ocean Park.

We love the neighborhood and our neighbors. Kim has been an active member of Santa Monica’s CERT team as a way of demonstrating our commitment to the community’s wellbeing.

We understand the city is navigating intense pressures as it considers land use. As residents and voters, we work hard to avoid a NIMBY point of view so we can review development proposals considering the larger community’s long-term needs.

With that in mind, we attempted to log into the developer’s Zoom presentation on Tuesday January 11 to review the plans for Lincoln and Ocean Park. It was an immediate red flag that attendance was limited to 100 people. (We sent a follow up email re: access to the recording, but never got a response.)

The lack of transparency and the limits on constructive debate are woeful, given the city’s claim to be sensitive to community input.

Here are some specific concerns:

Administrative Approval process:

We understand the developer plans to apply for an Administrative Approval to avoid a public hearing. What’s being proposed should be aired in public to allow for community input re: land use considering the city’s larger planning issues, as well as to allow for discussions on the specifics of the proposed project.

Traffic and Pollution:

We share the concerns of the neighborhood regarding the effects of additional traffic and pollution on this part of the city. We support having an independent traffic impact study done. At some point if the city is over-developed, quality of life here will be permanently altered, with great consequence for the whole community.

Water:

If one assumes 100 gallons/day/per resident, that’s 36,500 gallons per year per person. With 500 units, assuming single occupancy— that’s 20 million gallons consumed per year— just in this proposed project.  We’d like to see the developer’s proposals for grey water systems, rainwater harvesting, and cooling tower water recovery so the city can demonstrate true leadership re: water use, vs. just speaking to it abstractly.

Michael Sieverts and Kim Baer, Santa Monica