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

Single Family Residences are Inefficient, and Should be Banned

More retail/residential structures should be built to make the entire city look like a modern strip mall.


October 20, 2016

Good: Multiunit high density structures. Capsule Hotel in Tokyo

Mr. Zinner:

Your recent article about new development being good for the earth was terrific! I agree: Single family residences are inefficient and should be banned.

More retail/residential structures should be built to make the entire city look like a modern strip mall. If four stories is good, eight stories is twice as good. Let's build to the sky! They should all be painted white in order to reflect the heat.

Your premise that people live where they work is also brilliant! Somebody needs to tell everyone who crowds our streets and freeways daily commuting to and from work in other cities. Take the rent control board for example: four out of the five members live in Santa Monica and work in Los Angeles. Caroline Torosis, when she is elected, will make it five out of five. She lives in Santa Monica and works in Los Angeles. You need to tell them to move to Los Angeles.

More than that, we need a new law: if your place of work is not in Santa Monica and you're not retired, you can't live in Santa Monica! That will free up a lot of space for people to live in Santa Monica who work in Santa Monica but don't currently live in Santa Monica. That will reduce traffic and pollution - let's do it!

And I am so thrilled to use greywater to irrigate my garden, I will ignore the increased traffic and people, as well as the decline in the average citizen's quality of life. Santa Monica was such an awful place when it was less dense. Who needs charm and a serene semi-rural environment with trees and gardens contributing to our thirst for water when we can have strip malls and urbanity. I love McDonalds - they all look the same.

I think the way to go is in the direction of capsule hotels which the Japanese perfected a long time ago. In Tokyo, they have improved the earth in the name of efficiency by paving over every square inch of it. Keeps it dry! Why should each Santa Monica family have a kitchen? Communal kitchens would be more efficient! And a bed for each resident? Wasteful. The average person sleeps 8 hours a day - we'll share beds because it would be more efficient to have three eight hour shifts in all our offices. Why should a bed go unused 16 hours a day? We can reduce the number of bedrooms by two thirds - that would be efficient!

Bad: single-family homes. Waste of space

Now, Paris is a high density city. But they have a lot of open space, a public metro, and a river. London is a similar story, and therein lies the solution. There are many beautiful villages in the world that practice density - surrounded by agricultural areas and forests many times their size. When Santa Monica has a river, a metro, and lots of open space, and is surrounded by farmland and forests many times its size, then we should implement some of your ideas. But not until then.

You don't really believe what you write, do you? You just want as much development as possible because that's how you earn your living. Come on. Your article left out one thing: a list of your clients and a financial statement showing the sources of your income.

I'm So Impressed

By Bill Johnson, ACTION member and retired attorney

This is in response to a column in the SM Daily Press


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3rdclass writes:

John Zinner, LEED Fellow Founding Principal John Zinner, ZC’s principal and a LEED AP since 2002, founded the firm in 1990. He brings clients a broad sustainability and environmental perspective as well as experience in policy development, project and program planning, and project management. John has developed and managed groundbreaking sustainable development and environmental mitigation programs for Playa Vista, Whole Foods, Boeing Corporation, the Cities of of Rancho Cucamonga and Long Beach, in addition to international cities, among others. His leadership has been recognized through numerous awards, he has lectured nationwide before professional, university and public audiences, and he has been interviewed on Good Morning America.


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