Con: "Santa Monica must continue to be a horizontal City focused on the beach and ocean. Lining Ocean Avenue with enormous new towers is wrong. Each requested hotel DA is well beyond zoning. Each is well beyond what we should have on Ocean. The proposed hotel and condo DA's are 300, 260 and 200 feet. Build high and you steal the air, the light, the sun from the City and coast. You change the environment and you rob everyone of equal access and enjoyment. It mustn't happen. An open, low level Coast is a huge national, regional and community asset."
Pro: "Santa Monica is a City where real estate values and soaring rent is forcing middle class residents out of the City. Soon there will be the wealthy, and renters protected by rent control, and no income levels or stratas of society between. Affordable housing is needed for a diverse city where teachers, fire fighters, and police; families; and many average income residents can continue to live easily. Affordable housing gives long term residents on low incomes a chance to live near their work. Purchasing existing units and deed restricting add to City housing stock without fresh construction."
Con: "84 feet is a very useful height limit. It restrains the height, and FAR, of buildings. This gives the City breathing space, a human scale, and some livability. Yet it has, in the right places in the City (generally the southern end), allowed buildable space, without dominating the City skyline or changing the fundamentals of the City (ie the cinema on top of the Santa Monica Place)."
Con: "The proposed 148 foot building is out of scale. Like a Christmas tree, with too many ornaments, the City has asked too much of the developer. This building as proposed can’t be built. If built, as proposed, its size and bulk will overwhelm 4th and 5th streets. Its relationship with the sidewalks is unacceptable. Many of the building elements create huge chunks of building ten stories above the sidewalk. Finally, it will push the City skyline upwards. On City owned land a higher standard must be expected."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Where parking is placed and what we charge is the key. Park once and walk in downtown Santa Monica is a powerful device to control traffic and cars. It works well and has created a walking City. Too much cheap parking everywhere creates traffic by inducing marginal traffic to drive. Reduced residential neighborhood parking doesn't work unless good public transport is in place. The train stations need some parking for Metro to work as the Southern California culture adjusts to a public transport focus. Otherwise city streets will be clogged by circling drivers. Where and why we put parking, matters."
Con: "Office space is a part of old generation thinking that buildings produce needed City tax revenue. Yet the 3 million square feet of office space built over twenty years distorted the City and created a now permanent jobs housing imbalance that produces the daily traffic gridlock. More office space will simply worsen the situation. So many other uses create City that is focused on residents and resident needs and create walkable streets of human scale and needs."
Con: "Town Hall has clearly given up on tackling traffic. Their slogan of no new net trips became no new net trips at PM. Neither is likely in a city that hasn't yet instituted a Transport Demand Management organization despite multiple DA's demanding them. The Big Blue Bus doesn't connect with the proposed train properly nor serve neighborhood residents to get them using buses. We haven't pushed commercial or retail interests hard enough to cut back employee driving. We haven't incentivized parent to cut back their trips to school. We are clearly just watching the gridlock."
Pro: "5 years ago almost no one rode to work. The introduction of bike lanes and bike infrastructure has led to almost five percent of commuters riding a bike. When we get to ten percent of bike commuting, traffic overall will change for the better and flow more freely. Bikes appeal to a certain population and their usage free the roads for other demographics to use cars. Bikes connect easily with other public transport as part of a long term cultural shift. The key is making riding bikes safe and easy. And to get all round more respect for road rules."
Con: "The Airport has been costing the City money for years. It still sells lead gas. The planes spew particulate pollution. The social cost of the noise is huge. And the airport is too small creating real and lasting safety issues. Jet traffic has increased substantially. This Airport need to be closed. It makes no sense on economically, socially, environmentally or for safety reasons."
Pro: "The City should make aviation leases month to month. Restrict the sale of lead gas and any aviation fuel. Make aviation leases market rate. Generally begin the process of legitimately starving the airport until aircraft stop flying because of the cost."
Con: "Santa Monica often prizes the process over the outcome. It takes too long to get permission or denial here for many ordinary permits. Every business has stories of multiple City hall departments not working together to get a good outcome. Predictability is hard to achieve it needs to be the goal."
Pro: "The medical and health needs and concerns of ordinary residents dictate highly regulated and a limited number of clinics in a few limited locations adjacent to the hospitals that supply appropriate predictable dosages of medical marijuana. It's a limited step that satisfies the need of a range of clinical chronic conditions."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "Crime is at a fifty year low because of the quality and strength of the safety forces in Santa Monica. The arrival of the train poses traffic issues on North South arterials. The train may force readjustment of police strength for crowd control. When a City changes as Santa Monica is and will (after the train) constant discussion of need is required. Equally, Fire responsiveness given changing traffic patterns is a real issue. There is an ongoing need for the Council to be guided by advances in safety theory and the need on the ground."
Con: "Homelessness remains an issue both for the community and for the homeless. Too many people are homeless in Santa Monica. Moving homeless off the street directly into accommodation and then clustering social and health services around them for intensive care is working in a variety of settings. It is our next step here. Homelessness is an amalgam of issues including mental health, despair, depression, poverty. Our job as a community is to break the cycle and massively intervene on behalf of the homeless. That will, in turn, lead to the acceptable social outcome favored by the community of less homeless on the street."
Not Clearly Pro or Con: "The objective of a City Council is the most efficient delivery of service possible. When City residents expect a wide variety of very different social and infrastructure services then many employees are required. But every business in America considers yearly how to work more effectively. Holding numbers down as we increase service would be a good start. That requires ingenuity and rethinking how we deliver service and what we do."
This election is critical to the future of Santa Monica. Our needs are clear.
Put Residents First
Solve Gridlock and Traffic Problems
Turn the City Deep Green
The central issue this year is who you trust to lead the City forward. Richard McKinnon has the vision, leadership, and conviction to move our unique City in the right direction. That’s why the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City endorsed him.
As a Planning Commissioner, former Parks and Recreation Commissioner, PTA Council parent, and schools supporter for a decade and a half, along with being a small-business owner, Richard McKinnon knows our community intimately—from the grass roots up. He know it’s complex. Diverse. Demanding.
Today, resident concerns are rightly skyhigh—and growing. Our quality of life is based on our sense of community, beach, and environment. Yet traffic threatens everyone. Development overshadows our daily plans. And still, there’s no sensible strategy from City Hall to solve big questions of how we can live our lives more easily or ease the daily toll we face.
It’s time. For change. For leadership. For solutions.
On November 4th, vote for Richard McKinnon for City Council.