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



Competing initiative seeks to keep voters silent and ensure business as usual for any redevelopment scheme.

Upset with the idea of voters being consulted before any decisions to close and redevelop the 227 acre Santa Monica Airport can be taken, the City Council has disclosed their long-­awaited response to the Voters Decide Charter Amendment by seeking to deny Santa Monica the right to vote and keep business-­as-­usual politics going on this crucial decision.

“15,700 voters signed the Voters Decide petition to place the measure on the ballot;” said John Jerabek, of Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions. “Now we have seen the answer from the political insiders at City Hall: Drop dead. No vote. They want business-­as-­usual as they seek to redevelop 227 acres of the most valuable real estate in California.” Jerabek concluded.

The City has struggled to respond to the Voters Decide Charter Amendment from the beginning. Early versions of their “competing” initiative contained voting provisions, although these provisions could be easily evaded. However, their latest attempt to respond to the Voters Decide Charter Amendment specifically rejects any input from voters on the issue. The City initiative draft just released states clearly that the “City Council shall have the full authority” to take any actions, including closure of the airport “without voter approval.”

“What the City ignores in forwarding this phony initiative is that voters want a say. Redevelopment of 227 acres of low-­density land would be the most dramatic land use event in Santa Monica history. It shouldn’t be left solely to the same politicians, lobbyists and activists that dominate the land use process,” said John Jerabek.

Jerabek noted that the low-­density land use at Santa Monica Airport protects the community from higher-­intensity development that adds to Santa Monica’s well-­known traffic problem. Just as importantly, airspace restrictions around Santa Monica Airport restrict the development of high-­rise buildings within many miles of the field in all directions.

The Voters Decide Charter Amendment, to which the City hoped to respond, has two main requirements:

1. Voter approval will be required for any City plan to change the use of low-­density airport land for non-­aviation purposes.

2. Unless voters approve such a change, the City shall continue to keep airport land in low-­density aviation use.

About Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions:

The Santa Monica Voters Decide Initiative is being led by Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions. The committee believes the City and airport opponents have not been forthcoming with voters and taxpayers about redevelopment and land-­use plans for the valuable airport property. The committee is supported by local pilots, businesses and residents and receives major funding from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.


Reader Comments

blueskies writes:

How much is Mr Jerabek being paid by AOPA? Seriously...This whole initiative is a JOKE! Open and Honest Development Decisions??!!...They should have called it the SANTA MONICANS AGAINST DROWNING FUZZY PUPPIES!!! That is as accurate a description! THE AOPA initiative has NOTHING to do with development. READ IT! It has only to do with maintaining the airport operations as they are IN PERPETUITY!!! The city will find out about this sham and there will be a huge backlash against AOPA. Watch.

padist writes:

What is the Voters Decide Charter Amendment? There was a deceptively worded initiative petition submitted by three Santa Monica residents called Voter Approval Requited Before City Can Redevelop Airport Land that was being circulated by paid signature gatherers. Is that what this opinion piece is referring to?

Elisa writes:

Santa Monica Voters to AOPA, NBAA, FAA, and Private-Jets: DROP DEAD. Your measure says nothing about reducing development, pollution, noise, congestion, and safety risks. Instead it's sole purpose is to keep the air-traffic growing, leaded aviation fuel pumping, and the toxic air pollution pouring. Your measure supports the power elite at the expense of the voting public. Drop dead.

Donald writes:

The Wash, DC aviation lobby group AOPA paid $150,000 dollars to non-resident signature gatherers at up to $20 per signature to get their petition on the ballot. If passed, it will prevent the city from making ANY changes that AOPA does not like without possible MULTIPLE elections. Don’t be fooled AOPA is about protecting the pilot's special interests, that don’t even live here - not you. That is the real reason why the city is writing a competing ballot - to protect resident's control of SMO

Andrew writes:

We should be allowed to vote on who should pay for closing the airport. Seems like a small group of residents who live near the ends of the runway are the ones who will benefit. The rest of us will not, so why should we pay? Most people visiting our parks and beaches are from outside of santa monica. Why should we close the airport to give them a park or more development? My understanding from the RAND report is the airport covers its costs with landing fees and generating revenue to the city.


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