SMCLC and Neighborhood Groups object to development proposed for the Village Trailer Park
November 26, 2007
TO: Santa Monica City Council
RE: NOTICE OF OBJECTIONS TO VTP DEVELOPMENT (CC Item 8-A, 11/27/07, Development Agreement 07-001, 2930 Colorado Avenue (The Village Trailer Park)
The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) and all of the undersigned neighborhood groups have reviewed the staff report and strongly believe that this project should not be entitled to proceed during the LUCE update, let alone be approved, for the following reasons:
This Village Trailer Park proposed project illustrates why residents in this community have banded together to urge the city to adopt a planning moratorium while the General Plan is being revised.
This project is a prime example of a project that should be placed "on hold" until the city and residents conclude their discussions about what housing we want to protect, where we need additional housing and for what unmet needs.
This is why SMCLC and all of the neighborhood groups have met with the city and recently appeared before the Planning Commission to urge the City Council to impose a building moratorium on various areas of the city experiencing the greatest development pressures.
As proposed, this project‚s required zoning change, as well as its size, scale and commercial components are inconsistent with its neighborhood surroundings as well as the existing General Plan. Further, it would destroy a unique,irreplaceable type of housing in our city with potentially devastating impacts on the residents who live there.
No developer proposing a project of this magnitude in the midst of our LUCE update should receive a „float up‰ or any type of preliminary application approval from the Council at this point in time.
It is unreasonable and burdensome to make Santa Monica residents come before the Planning Commission or the City Council every few weeks until 2009 when our new General Plan may finally be adopted, in order to object to every proposed development project in the pipeline that would not pass muster under the old or the revised General Plan.
Going forward, SMCLC and the neighborhood groups will file written notices like this one with the city for inclusion in the public record as to each such project that it believes is inconsistent with the old General Plan and that likewise would be inconsistent with the new one.
SMCLC and the neighborhood groups object to discussion and/or approval of this project on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the 1984 General Plan, that it would likely not be approved under the General Plan revisions of the housing, land-use or circulation elements, and that approving this project in this interim period would constitute unplanned, piecemeal development by the city of Santa Monica in violation of local and state law.
SMCLC and the neighborhood groups object to this project because it is inconsistent with the goals and principles that residents have articulated during the LUCE process as to the critical need to protect our existing housing stock like this, and avoid replacing it with high-density projects that do not meet existing housing needs, worsen the work/housing imbalance, and create additional traffic and circulation problems in an already highly congested area. This project is at odds with those goals and destroys the very housing residents have endeavored to retain.
SMCLC and the neighborhood groups further object to this project because its proposed size, scale, and change in use make it subject to a development agreement. We believe that all such large-scale projects requiring development agreements now or in the future which exceed our zoning laws should be submitted to residents for a vote. Our city has failed residents too many times in approving development agreements over the past 25 years without sufficient or substantial public benefits that would justify the greater height, density and uses allowed. Equally egregious, our city has not monitored these large-scale projects for compliance with traffic, circulation, parking or other required environmental mitigations.
Because the city has failed to enforce development agreements as required by law, residents are justified in insisting that all such agreements be placed on the ballot for a vote, thereby engendering full discussion and disclosure of all of the public benefits and burdens.
The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC)
Friends of Sunset Park Board of Directors (FOSP)
North of Montana Association Board of Directors (NOMA)
Ocean Park Association Board of Directors (OPA)
Pico Neighborhood Association Board of Directors (PNA)
Village Trailer Park Neighborhood Homeowners Association (VTPNHA)
Cc: Lamont Ewell, City Manager
Eileen Fogarty, Planning Director
Maria Stewart, City Clerk
RESULTING COUNCIL ACTION
Council directed staff to pursue the Development Agreement negotiation and review process with the applicant to determine if an appropriate project could be identified for the site. Authorization was given for the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding that tolls the pending notice of closure that would have been effective January 31, 2008. Council discussed various issues to consider during the negotiations, including such things as size of affordable units, possibility of a multi-parcel plan, scale of project, location of affordable housing, compatibility of neighborhood, LUCE considerations, Planning Commission recommendations, Sustainable City Plan goals, and relationship to open space.