Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Articles written by Peter Altschuler

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  • Gaming Santa Monica Housing

    Peter Altschuler|Oct 21, 2022

    It is clear by now to many Santa Monica residents (though, apparently, not to the Council or City government) that developers are gaming the system. They are asserting that the City has lost its zoning authority and are proposing buildings that are vastly out of scale and outside the spirit of the State's affordable housing mandate. These projects provide only ±20% affordable units in structures as high as fifteen stories in one case. That is not the intent of the State's laws for new housing...

  • Santa Monica City Planning Grants Too Many Variances to Developers. Gelson's Shopping Center is an example.

    Peter Altschuler, Santa Monica Resident|Sep 26, 2022

    The Santa Monica City Planning Department has never from all appearances, met a variance it didn't like. Every one of those exceptions over the years, including those for the Lincoln Center project on the current Gelson's site, has benefitted developers and penalized residents. That was true with the Hines project, the Plaza, and others reaching back to the 1980s. It's enough to make one want to follow the money and look for Cayman bank accounts. Lincoln Center is merely the latest egregious...

  • State Law Has Foisted the Lincoln Center Project On An Unwilling Santa Monica

    Peter Altschuler, Special to the Observer|Feb 1, 2022

    The State's housing legislation is inherently unconstitutional. It offers little or no opportunity for community input and allows business interests to prevail over the needs and desires of residents. As it stands, Santa Monica's proposed "Lincoln Center" project on the current Gelson's site at Ocean Park and Lincoln Boulevards gives the developer's interests precedence over any neighborhood concerns. The company's filing for consideration under California's SB 330 legislation is completely unwa...