Santa Monica Coalition For A Livable City Rallies Residents To Oppose Hines Project

Tuesday, 14 Jan 2014, 9:21:00 AM

Brenton Garen

A rendering of Hines’ proposed project for the former Paper Mate site at 1681 26th Street.
Courtesy Of The City Of Santa Monica
A rendering of Hines’ proposed project for the former Paper Mate site at 1681 26th Street.

The Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City is rallying its members to speak up at the Jan. 28 Santa Monica City Council meeting to oppose the Hines project at 26th and Olympic (former Papermate site), which is expected to be voted on by council members.

The meeting will begin at 7 pm inside Council Chambers, located on the second floor at 1685 Main Street, Santa Monica.

In an email to its members, SMCLC said the Hines project was one of the largest development projects in Santa Monica's history in what it calls one of the most troubled traffic areas of the city.

"All of us need to come to this hearing to raise our voices and support SMCLC and community and neighborhood leaders calling for a reduced-size project - below the current 766,000 square feet of office, retail and residential," SMCLC said. "This development is way too big for this site, will have horrible traffic impacts, and lacks the community benefits and open space and other requirements specified by the Bergamot Area Plan and the City's Land Use and Circulation Element known as 'LUCE.'"

The group said many of its members had worked "mightily for several years to get Hines to downsize its project appropriately and design something we could support."

"Hines apparently believes that it has the four council votes needed to proceed with its current project regardless of the ongoing public outcry against it," the group said. "You and your neighbors may well hold the key to whether the Council will listen to residents and turn the proposed project down, or plow ahead with a project we will all regret in the years to come. We believe if this project is rejected, something better designed with fewer traffic impacts, that truly reflects Santa Monica, will be the result."

The email stated the urgency of resident participation at this Council meeting.

"If you attend no other Council meeting this year, this is the one you should come to," the email said. "Olympic Boulevard is one of the only functioning east-west streets to the Westside. If this project is allowed to add an estimated 6900 new daily vehicle trips based on the EIR that was prepared, Olympic Boulevard and the I-10 freeway access throughout the area will functionally collapse. No amount of 'community benefits' can compensate for this serious loss of mobility, which is why LUCE recognizes that not all sites in the City are appropriate for maximum development."

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