SMCLC objects to development proposed for the Village Trailer Park

August 14, 2007
TO:  Planning Commission
        City Council

RE:  SMCLC NOTICE OF OBJECTIONS TO VTP DEVELOPMENT (PC Item 10-A, 8/15/07, Development Agreement 07-001, 2930 Colorado Avenue (The Village Trailer Park)

The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (“SMCLC”) has reviewed the staff report and strongly believes that this project should not be entitled to proceed during the LUCE update, let alone 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 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. 

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.

As proposed, this project’s size, scale and commercial components are inconsistent with its neighborhood surroundings as well as the General Plan and it would destroy a unique, irreplaceable type of housing in our city with potentially devastating impacts on the residents who live there.

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 revised General Plan.

Going forward, SMCLC 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 would be inconsistent with the new one.

SMCLC objects 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 objects 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 not allow it to be replaced by 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 further objects to this project because its proposed size, scale, and change in use make it subject to a development agreement. SMCLC believes 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 to by law, residents are now entitled to insist that all such agreements be placed on the ballot for a vote and a full discussion and disclosure of the public benefits and burdens.

The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City

Cc:   Eileen Fogarty
        City Clerk