Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Letter Bergamot Art Center

 


Dear Editor:

Subject-Bergamot Art Center Community Meeting May 6th I attended the Bergamot Art Center meeting on May 6 and I have the following comments:

1. The existing Bergamot Arts Center is extremely fragile. It can only exist if it has on-site parking, easy access and lower rent rates. Without these three legs it will collapse.

2. The proposed hotel and commercial office space would eliminate at least one if not two of these legs. Therefore the proposed hotel and commercial office space with the traffic and congestion it would cause cannot co-exist with the existing Bergamot Arts Center. Also it’s planned that the proposed hotel and commercial office space would subsidize the existing Bergamot Arts Center and a bigger Santa Monica Arts Museum building. But having the proposed hotel and commercial office space would kill the existing Bergamot Arts Center. We can’t have both. We can have either the existing Bergamot Arts Center or the proposed hotel and commercial office space but not both. We have to decide which of the two is more important to us.

3. For me as a resident of Santa Monica the choice is simple. But we residents really haven’t been given a choice. At this May 6 meeting the City Planning Dept wanted us to choose which of the three contractors we preferred. This is like asking a condemned man which he prefers-being shot, hung or electrocuted.

4. I stated the above comments on the forms provided by the City Planning Dept at the meeting but we know this is an exercise in futility. The City Planning Dept goes through the motions, checks the boxes and then ignores the wishes of residents as happened with the Hines Project across the street. The whole City Planning Dept public review process is a façade and sham. They have no intention of doing what the residents want. Only what the pro-developer City Council majority wants them to do. The decision has already been made regarding the existing Bergamot Arts Center.

If you want to see what the end result will be go look at the Quonset Hut at Broadway and 9th St. That will be your new Bergamot Arts Center with all the traffic and congestion that the proposed hotel and commercial office space will create in an area already suffering from traffic congestion and gridlock.

Sincerely,

Dr Daniel Galamba

 

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