On Monday, in anticipation of Tuesday's meeting, Bill Fordes of Sunset Park sent Santa Monica Patch the following letter to the editor:
I note for the record that the July 26th city council agenda includes a development agreement for a four-story, 190,000 square-foot office building with over 600 parking spaces in the Pico neighborhood of Santa Monica. This will probably result in an additional 2,500 . And this is only one of many large development projects planned for that area. They, taken together, will affect residents not only in the Pico neighborhood but also residents in Mid-City and Sunset Park.
Is the council serious? Another development project—unnecessary and unwanted, unreasonable and ill-conceived—for the already struggling Pico Neighborhood? Overcrowding, traffic, environmental and humanistic concerns all shout out against this project. Safety and health notions dictate against it, and yet in all likelihood, as with nearly every development project that comes across [the council's] tables, they will hem and haw, make a sham of debate in a show hearing and then rubber-stamp the monster.
Are they truly intent upon creating a stranglehold of big business and big developers on the so-called democratic process in the city of Santa Monica? Are they so beholden to these developers and big-business interest for their positions on the council that almost nothing will deter them from approving yet another foolish and shortsighted development that will inevitably lead to the further decline in the quality of life in Santa Monica?
Have they—any of them—attempted to traverse the city at or near a rush hour that is quickly coming to encompass all the daylight hours? Have any of them dodged ever-increasing vehicular traffic on their bikes in the so-called bike lanes? Do any of them have to deal with the many deleterious effects of overcrowding derived from overdevelopment, or are they so removed from real life that they have no notion of what they do, in the end? Do they, at last, have no shame?
I have urged the council to disapprove the project. I urge you to write and do the same.
If you're interested in the above letter, check out this related piece, also published Monday: