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

Secret Agenda of the Anti-Measure LV People, is to Develop the Airport

A political strategy aimed at garnering support of a small but very vocal minority of residents who are actually close to the airport and who believe that the land will ever actually be only a park


October 17, 2016

Santa Monica airport from the air, is an island of undeveloped land in a sea of dense development.

Dear SMO Observer,

While I am not a resident of Santa Monica itself, I have worked at the airport for over Three years now and in that time I have been keeping careful track of the ongoing battle for control of the airport.

Recently Measure LV appeared on the radar screen in Santa Monica and I started examining the Measure itself, who its supporters are and a plethora of other important public information.

What I have discovered leaves me a bit confused and honestly, alarmed. I have noted that many of the Anti LV activist seem to also be Anti Airport activists who stand to make a tidy profit via property value increases if the airport were to close.

It is therefore interesting that these same people would not want the increased protections against development that Measure LV provides. They complain about wanting "local control" but they don't want the voters to decide development permit issues? That simply makes not sense unless, these same people are confident that the City Council will make the development decisions they want.

This pattern tells me that what these Anti Airport folks genuinely are after is an overnight increase in their property values and further to be able to then sell or rent that property to developers without the encumbrance of having to convince voters that such development is a good idea.

LV contains language limiting height of structures to no more than 32ft as well as other restrictions. It requires Voter approval for development permits to be issued on a project by project basis. These are the protections that would help insure that a Park is indeed what the land is turned into at the airport. Without LV, the City Council is free to make deals as it sees fit without any check and balance system in place to insure what they intend to do is what the voters of the City actually want.

I like the idea of a park as much as the next guy, but I think if one stands back and objectively reads the signs and writing on the wall, they will see that a park where the airport is now, is nothing more than a pipe dream, a political strategy aimed at garnering support of a small but very vocal minority of residents who are actually close to the airport and who believe that the land will ever actually be only a park. These folks are looking at the situation through a lens of wishful thinking and delusion/denial.

Councilman O'Day the other day attempted to have a Pro LV rally removed from one of Santa Monica's parks but his attempt failed due to the fact that a people's right to assemble peaceably trumps the City's desire to gag supporters of measures that reduce the City Council's power to do as they please.

Even Rick Cole, the Santa Monica City Manager calls LV "too restrictive". How is giving Voters and residents the final authority to decide individual construction permits, being too restrictive? Its giving Santa Monica their all important "Local Control".

The answer to this question is a simple one; The City Council has deals with developers for the land that is now KSMO. Assuming for a second that the City actually succeeds in closing the airport, LV would gut the City Council's power to approve development in so far as it would remove their exclusive power and replace it with pure and simple Voter Approval requirements.

Its going to be a lot harder to sell that 30 story apartment complex to the voters which is why the City Council members are so pointedly against LV. Right now they don't need Voter Approval and they just don't want their deals deep sixed by having to obtain Voter Approval for virtually all development decision going forward.

Its time for Santa Monica residents, if they truly want "local control" to leash the City Council and force them to go through the Voter Approval process without any loopholes such as those in LC.

If they fail to leash in the Council, do not be surprised when development of high rises and other non park development projects start up city wide.

Chris Thrasher


Reader Comments

DevTrollsLie writes:

Big Developers have the best trolls. They're terrific! They know just how to make it sound like they really care about the community and want a grand park built on multi billion dollar land. They want to win bigly. They're all saying Make SMO great again! They have the best, loudest and most prolific liars.

Donald writes:

Week after week this same writer (who a pilot from Valley Village) keeps getting inpublished in this paper. He forgets that the ALREADY approved Measure LC says NO NEW DEVELOPMENT OF THAT LAND SHALL BE ALLOWED or that it require a VOTE for any new development other then -parks, public open spaces in public recreational facilities- regardless of what happens with LV Santa Monica residents would NEVER allow this land to be developed - but since the writer is only interested in flying at the airport - don't expect him to tell the truth. Feel free to vote for LV or not.

Dave writes:

It's highly ironic that Chris Thrasher complains about a vocal minority when he epitomizes the very idea of a vocal minority. As of late he has been saturating local publications with his pro airport letters to the editor.

VeniceCitizen writes:

There are thousands of anti-airport activists spread throughout Santa Monica, West LA, Mar Vista, Marina Del Rey, and Venice. All of whom are adversely affected by operations at SMO.

Thrasher writes:

I know several: McKewon, Vazquez, Winterer, O' I need to go on? Residents need to be very concerned that THESE anti LV and anti airport people are actively working to prevent themselves from having to obtain voter approval for development. Development has been at the foundation of arguments surrounding closure of KSMO for years. Now these above names who have the power in SM are doing all they can to insure that they retain sole discretion to approve virtually any and all development projects going forward. Why? Simple. Its a much easier sale to the developers salivating over the limited spaces for vertical development in SM, if the City Council doesn't need to also sell each and every project to the citizenry of this town. The residents have touted their desire for Local Control for years. Now is your chance to set in stone, true Local Control. Do not get snowed by these guys named above. They are not going to do what you think they will. LC won't stop them.

AlanL writes:

I am an anti- airport activist. I support LV as most Anti-airport activists do. I say yes on LV. Most of us say yes on LV. I do not know one anti-airport activist who would stand by and allow the airport to be developed as anything other than a park. LV will help in that regard. Time to protect neighbors and close SMO. Time for neighbors to unite against $1,000,000 of developer money like we did to pass LC. YES ON LV.


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