Email to SMCLC subscribers 2/2/2010

Magical thinking: The belief that because you want something to happen, it will happen.

Last Wednesday, the developers of the PaperMate site at 26th and Olympic presented their giant project to the Planning Commission. It would be three times the square-footage of what current zoning allows, up to 81 feet, or seven stories tall, (current zoning allows for three stories) and three-quarters the square-footage of the Water Garden across the street!

And magically it would cause less traffic than building to current zoning. How? Because the developers want it to! (You know the drill, van pools, reduced parking, encouraging car pools -- we’ve heard it all before.)

Sadly, several Planning Commissioners joined the developers in their magical thinking, embracing the idea that more building means less traffic.

But several did not. Several voiced major concerns about this second Water Garden, choosing instead to embrace reality and the wishes of Santa Monica residents by asking that the proposal be downsized.

And that happened because of you.

The Planning Commission heard from over 100 residents concerned about this development.

Your emails, testimony, and SMCLC’s presentation were very effective in putting the City and developer on notice: like the first massive Santa Monica Place development proposal, this huge project must be scaled back. Way back.

Residents do not want another Water Garden built across the street from the current Water Garden in this already gridlocked area of the city.

And so the Planning Commission didn’t approve the developer’s proposal. In fact, no vote was taken at all.

What’s next?

Soon the developer will bring their project to City Council. We believe that if there’s enough community opposition the Council will scale back this project. But only if there’s enough opposition.

We will let you know when this will be heard at Council. Then it’s up to all of us who care about this city to speak out.

You came through last Wednesday. This will be a long fight against a powerful developer with lots of friends in city government. When the time comes, we’ll need every one of you to email Council members or come to the hearing.

What you can do?

Spread the word. Tell your Santa Monica friends and neighbors about this issue. Have them go to our website at: to learn more and to leave contact information so we can include them when action is needed.

Volunteer some time. We could use occasional office help, which can be done from your home. Go to our website at: to let us know if we can call on you.

Make a donation. We’re an all-volunteer group; no one makes a salary. The more resources we have, the more residents we can reach through mailings and flyers. And the more residents we reach, the more opposition grows. We’re up against a very wealthy developer with very deep pockets. Please help by making a donation at:
The battle has just begun. We had a very effective first round. Let’s keep the momentum going!

Thanks for your support.

Victor, Diana, Susan, Sherrill and Jeff

Email to SMCLC subscribers 1/22/2010

Massive Development Proposed in Heart of Santa Monica!

On the abandoned PaperMate factory site, in the heart of Santa Monica, (26th and Olympic) an out-of-town developer wants to build a project MORE THAN TRIPLE the size of what current zoning allows.

Will the City let him? Believe it or not, it very well might.

A mammoth new development is in the works for the corner of Olympic and 26th Street. Current zoning allows for a 300,000 square-foot project. But the developer wants to build 969,000 square feet -- almost twice the size of the Santa Monica Place mall.

The project would be three-quarters the size of the Water Garden, which is right across the street. The Water Garden is now acknowledged by city planners as a planning disaster, tying up traffic mornings and evenings for miles around it.

Now this out-of-town developer wants to increase the gridlock with a massive new project that could bring 15,000 additional car trips per day to this already impenetrable area.

When the owners of Santa Monica Place proposed a huge, new development on that site, Santa Monica residents like you came together to say "no." Residents knew that the larger the project, the more traffic it would bring. Today, thanks to you, SM Place is being redesigned with no increase in square footage.

We won that fight and we can win this one. It's all up to us – the people who live here and care about this city.

Send a message to out-of-town developers who think our zoning laws shouldn't apply to them. Come to the Planning Commission meeting about this issue, Wednesday January 27, 7:00PM at Santa Monica City Hall in Council Chambers.

The name of this project is Bergamot Transit Village Center. Let the City and developer know how "the villagers" who actually live here feel about their proposal.

Email your thoughts to the Planning Commission as well Or CLICK HERE to go to our website and leave a message for the Planning Commission. We will submit it for you. We will keep you updated on this project, as well as others throughout our city.

There's currently almost 5,000,000 square feet of new development planned for Santa Monica! (Not including hospital or SM College growth!) That's almost the equivalent of ten new Santa Monica Place malls being squeezed into our town. We can scale that back, IF we get involved.

We're the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City, and we don't intend to let out-of-town developers decide the future of this beach town we love. Join us, and we can win this fight!