Large Hines development, known as Bergamot Transit Village, does not follow established City and State rules regulating how projects in Santa Monica are supposed to be approved.
December 15, 2010
After spending tens of thousands of dollars in a widely discredited and dishonest campaign to elect pro-developer city councilmembers, (http://www.smclc.net/electionemail2010/electionmail9.html) the Hines Company is now trying to push through a 1,000,000 square foot project in the most traffic congested area of our city.
The former Papermate site at 26th and Olympic is currently zoned for 300,000 square feet of development. In the recent election, Hines, the owner of this site, made significant campaign contributions to four Santa Monica Councilmembers, who will now be deciding the fate of this mammoth project.
Will these Councilmembers favor the developer over Santa Monica residents and force residents to endure more traffic pouring into an area of our city that is already impenetrable every morning, afternoon, and evening?
SMCLC believes that in trying to push this project through, Hines and the councilmembers they funded, have overreached.
This proposed development does not follow established City and State rules regulating how projects in Santa Monica are supposed to be approved.
SMCLC filed objections today to the preparation of an environmental impact report ("EIR") by Hines for the Papermate site. The California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, prohibits a project from being broken into smaller pieces and studied in isolation from the rest of the project to minimize the environmental impacts. Here, the entire "project" under CEQA includes 140 acres of prime industrial land for which the City has not yet prepared a Master Plan. Last week the City was awarded a significant federal grant to prepare such a Master Plan for the area that includes the Hines project. Until such a Plan is completed, there can be no meaningful review or public comment about the suitability of the Hines project.
Santa Monica City Councilmembers may want to approve whatever a developer wants, but there are rules they must follow. We will be there to ensure that they do and, most importantly, that Santa Monica residents are heard loud and clear about massive developments that impact our quality of life.
Thanks for your support,