I'm not anti-growth, but what's coming?
New state laws initiated January 1st are going to allow building up to 20 stories in Santa Monica and add 67,000 residents. Land use lawyers for developers have already begun pulling and resubmitting housing project plans to the City in order to take advantage of the huge increases in size allowed by the new law. What’s the vision for Santa Monica? Is it Miami Beach? Residents, read this excellent article that spells out what’s coming: (https://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/letters/Letters-2024/01_16_2024_OPINION_Supercharged_Densification_With_No_EIR.html)
I'm not anti-growth. There's terrific development going on (here, a modest 4 story building on 6th and Wilshire that is under construction and beautifully designed). It fits in fine with the neighborhood. It doesn't block the sun. It won't dump too many residents in its 60 apartments. It is proportional to our city. It replaced an ugly building and is additive to the overall vibe of Santa Monica. And then there's plans for out-of-control high rises that will completely destroy the fabric our city. Already, there are ugly 8-story "stack and pack" buildings being wedged into Lincoln Blvd, forever changing the first street people get on after they exit the freeway. Now imagine if they were 20 stories high and scattered around the city.
We are in the process of destroying what makes Santa Monica special. People don't come here to be surrounded by high-rises. They come for the light, and the air, and the sea. They come to escape the densification that Santa Monica seems hellbent on solidifying in concrete.
Time for everybody to start paying attention to what's coming. Time for the council to look at all the development already in the pipeline and pause to assess where we are already going to be in 5 years and then decide what kind of city we all want to live in.