Below is an email we sent this morning to the City Council in support of an action to potentially overturn the new housing mandate imposed on Santa Monica by the state.

As you will see from the link in our email, we requested relief over a year ago and made the case for Santa Monica to oppose a mandate to build over 8800 new housing units in eight years. The City didn’t listen then but we’re hopeful that with new Council members it will listen now.

Here’s our email and link to our previous letter. If you want to weigh in please reference item 13-C, use council@smgov.net and councilmtgitems@smgov.net and do it before 2:00 pm tomorrow so your email is part of the public record. Thank you.

September 27, 2021

TO:      City Council

FROM: Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (“SMCLC”)

RE:      Support 9.28.21 Council Agenda Item 13-C to urge WSCCOG to join lawsuit challenging RHNA housing mandates for our region

Over a year and a half ago SMCLC, along with 8 neighborhood and other activist organizations, wrote to you to lodge our serious objections to the RHNA housing allocations then being proposed by SCAG. Our letter laid out the City’s excellent prior track record on housing, its prior successful appeal of a “disproportionally high” RHNA allocation for the last housing cycle, and urged you to take all necessary steps to appeal the current and unfair RHNA allocation in a timely manner.  


Unfortunately, the Council did not do so and Santa Monica has been saddled with building an unrealistic 8874 new housing units over 8 years with no possibility of compliance in a city that is already on overload for traffic and infrastructure capacity. In addition, the City faces the prospect of onerous penalties for non-compliance.

Given this, agenda item 13-C is a welcome step towards rectifying the RHNA mandated numbers by joining with other cities to challenge the flawed process and the unsupported methodology used and starting over.

It’s hard to believe that anyone who has seriously looked at this issue or read the staff reports about it has not come to the conclusion that the RHNA numbers are unfair, unrealistic, and unlikely to yield the goal of significantly more affordable housing.

This issue has roiled our community. We thank Councilmembers Brock and Himmelrich for bringing this item up and we urge the full Council to restore public trust by supporting it to enable the Westside Cities Council of Governments (WSCCOG) to join the pending lawsuit filed by the Orange County Council of Governments challenging the RHNA housing allocations for our region.