First I need to apologize to everyone. I have re-constituted our email list and some of you may have already asked to unsubscribe. I hope I got most of those removed and hopefully I have added members who were inextricably dropped.
Second, street sweeping begins again tomorrow, Monday August 3, 2020. Street sweeping will only be occurring on the first week of the month for now.
Third, you may have noticed many restaurants building dining areas in the street parking spaces. This started on Main Street but is now occurring throughout the city. It is an attempt to allow some of these businesses to survive these trying times and it is also allowing some people to earn money again. The Montana Avenue Merchants Association has put together a survey to gather input. If you would like to participate here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/66T6YZS
Fourth, the city has moved forward with their plans to continue development at 4th/5th & Arizona. The plans may change a bit but the end result will be the same. At least one city councilmember had the sense to vote no on something that has already been pointed out as being illegal. Thank Sue Himmelrich the next time you see her. I have included a notice sent out by the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City at the bottom that provides more details.
Tomorrow I will send out a notice concerning the housing bills up in Sacramento.
SMMCN Board President & Govt Affairs Officer
July 31, 2020
Dear Supporter of SMCLC,
This past Tuesday night the City Council voted 6-1 (Himmelrich the sole dissenter) to plow ahead with negotiations for a massive commercial hotel/office project on City-owned land at 4th and Arizona. Its action was irresponsible, illegal and contrary to the wishes of most Santa Monicans. It demonstrated anew the abiding power developers (and those special interests who benefit from their projects) hold with our City government.
SMCLC will now take legal action to enforce the important state law that requires our city to prioritize public land for open space and affordable housing over an ultra-luxury commercial project like this one. This is particularly important here, with a massive, out-of-scale project that essentially privatizes OUR public land, and will add 5,000 daily car trips, crippling our already congested downtown.
Here’s the good news: For over a month, the City weighed SMCLC’s legal letter explaining multiple reasons it would be illegal for the City to continue negotiations without complying with the law. At the Council hearing, several Councilmembers openly recognized the substantial legal risk the Council was now taking:
Himmelrich: “I think it’s illegal. I think that it poses great risk to the city.”
Winterer: “I’m concerned about the legal risk."
McCowan: “I am really conflicted about the potential legal issues. I’m conflicted as someone who remembers projects that didn’t go the way we as a community were promised.”
It’s very unfortunate that the City, instead of following the law, turned to an expedient solution – push on and agree to the developer’s offer to indemnify the City and pay the legal costs due once SMCLC wins.
Take away: Our legal position is very strong. The City is acting illegally. It abdicated its responsibility to follow the state law. Now it’s up to residents to do what the City should have done - the right thing - and vindicate the legally required process for our public land.
Please forward this email to your friends and neighbors to sign up for updates and join in our efforts.
Victor, Diana, Sherrill, and Jeff
Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City | http://smclc.net
Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City | 1112 Montana Ave. #174, Santa Monica, CA 90403
John C. Smith
Santa Monica, News, Traffic, Development, Politics