Oct 21 - City Council Candidate Forum sponsored by SM Mirror and SM Chamber of Commerce
Oct 22 – SMMUSD and SMC Board of Trustees Candidate Forum sponsored by SM Mirror
- Tues, October 21, 6-9pm,
- Cross Campus, 929 Colorado Blvd, SM
and SM Chamber of Commerce
- Wed, October 22, 5:30 - 8PM
- MLK Auditorium, SM Main Library
- 601 Santa Monica Blvd, SM
Attention Wilmont Members
Wilmont is working to promote the interests of our residents, such as speaking on behalf of our neighborhood at City Council and Planning Commission meetings and creating new committees to keep you updated on the big issues facing our city. Please take a look at the committees list below and consider spending a few hours a month and taking a more active role in our city’s future.
-DEVELOPMENT-Big Projects like the Miramar, etc.
-TRANSPORTATION-Traffic, Parking, Big Blue Bus, etc.
-OUTREACH-Website, Events, Flyers, Membership, etc
-ELECTIONS-City Council, etc.
-ZONING-Downtown Plan, Zoning Ordinance Update, etc.
Ed Hunsaker, Alin Wall
-WILSHIRE BLVD PLANNING-“Activity Center”, Developments, etc.
-HOUSING-Renters Rights, Taxes, etc.
If you would like to sign up, contact us at:
or come to our next meeting on Oct 7.
Is big bluebus service
bad blue bus service
Complaints by several Wilmont members has focused the board's attention on the poor BBB service in our area. The primary crosstown service for Wilmont is the 41 line which goes from Montana down 20th to SM College and returns via 14th Street. But this service is, in effect, a one way trip to crosstown or to Expo on week nights because the bus stops running at 7:30pm. There's no service at all on weekends and most major holidays. The BBB doesn't have viable cross-town service for the Wilshire Montana Neighborhood.
Take the BBB survey and let them know we need our neighborhood to connect with the rest of the city and with the Expo Line. You can take the survey here.
APPROVES ALCOHOL LICENSES FOR THREE RESTAURANTS
- 1213 Wilshire Blvd (formerly Callahan’s Restaurant)
- 620 Santa Monica Blvd.
- 1705 Ocean Ave (Starbucks) link
Complaint filed against Mayor Pam O'Connor
for Accepting Illegal Campaign
A group of Santa Monica residents known as the "Transparency Project" (https://www.facebook.com/SMRevealed) is is alleging that Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor has been accepting illegal campaign contributions. A complaint detailing thirty-one (31) instances - accompanied by over 70 exhibits - has been filed. It alleges and enumerates Mayor O’Connor’s repeated violations of City Charter Amendment XXII, the Taxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000 (a.k.a. ‘the Oakes Initiative’) for illegally accepting campaign contributions from developers, after voting to approve their projects.
In the latest move, Santa Monica's City Attorney has referred the Transparency Project’s complaint to the Public Integrity Division of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie stated that because she “reports directly to the City Council" (of which the mayor - and subject of the complaint - is a member) “her office has a conflict of interest, as does the Santa Monica Police Department.”
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division describes its responsibility concerning public officials as follows: “Public officials are elected to positions of public trust. In the event of any breach of this trust the Public Integrity Division will investigate, and if appropriate, prosecute criminal misconduct by any elected public official.” Specifically, concerning election and campaign violations, the PID explains: “Because the integrity of the election process is crucial to a free and democratic society, the District Attorney’s Office must be vigilant in enforcing all laws that regulate the election process. In this regard, the Public Integrity Division is charged with investigating and prosecuting allegations of voter fraud, illegal voter registration practices, illegal campaign practices, illegal campaign contributions and falsification of candidacy papers." (See http://da.co.la.ca.us/pid.htm).
The Transparency Project alleges these serious allegations relate to serial batched, coordinated contributions that Ms. O’Connor accepted from owners, principals, or senior officers of three of the biggest developers in Santa Monica – Hines, Macerich, and Century West – after she voted to award each developer a substantial public benefit.
The Transparency Project describes itself as an all-volunteer group of Santa Monica residents concerned about openness and accountability in Santa Monica city government and politics. The Transparency Project formed in 2010 after a developer-funded PAC refused to timely disclose contributor information to Santa Monica voters. Project members track political contributions to city council candidates and officers, to ensure that representatives serve the public’s best interest.
The above is reported for information only. The Wilshire Montana Neighborhood
Coalition expresses no opinion on the validity of the allegations contained in the complaint.
The resident organization, Residocracy, made the following endorsements:
Phil Brock - 67.5%
Kevin McKeown - 61.2%
Sue Himmelrich - 52%
LC - YES
D - NO
H - NO
HH - NO
FS - YES
SMMUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION:
Oscar de la Torre
SM COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
Maria Loya, Dennis Frisch and Nancy Greenstein
CITY COUNCIL PICKS WORTHE GROUP TO DEVELOP BERGAMOT
Against staff's recommendation, SM City Council selected the Worthe Real Estate Group to work with the community to develop Bergamot. This choice was made after over 100 residents and gallery owners came to speak on the issue.
Back on the Table!
City Town Hall Meeting
Open Mike Night
Nov 19th - evening (time tbd)
Santa Monica Civic Center
Come tell Planning Commissioners what YOU think about the Activity Centers on Wilshire, development and whatever else is on your mind.
A member asked for the definition of 'Activity Center'. There is no definitive wording in city documents; the term is a combination of verbal (City Planning and Council) conversations and Santa Monica's Land Use Circulation Element (LUCE). The following is a good approximation of 'Activity Center' meaning in the Santa Monica context:
An "activity" center is a large development that would be active at night. According to the LUCE (City's General Plan), there are several proposed "Activity Centers' in the city. Each one is different. The two centers proposed for Wilshire are the highest and densest to date. The 14th St Activity Center could be larger than Santa Monica Place (mall across from Sears) and run from Euclid to 16th St on both sides of Wilshire. More than 70 feet high, the Wilmont Activity Center could include hundreds of apartments, a hotel, shopping plaza and very large subterranean parking lot - the biggest underground lot in Santa Monica. The entrances to this parking lot would be on residential streets, not on Wilshire. This "activity" center is one block from Lincoln Middle School, but more than 1/2 mile from the nearest Expo Station.
At a recent Planning Commission meeting developers’ consultants gave public testimony claiming that the development of Wilshire to maximum height and density would help solve our city's social and economic problems. Consultants specifically praised the 14th St Activity Center concept.
Maximum development of Wilshire is closely related to another new proposal on 18th and 19th streets - 1801 Wilshire.
The developers also praised Tier 3
buildings on Wilshire. Tier 3 would mean mixed-use buildings more than 60-feet tall. That's 2.6 times higher than most 2-story apartments in Wilmont. According to the new Zoning Update, up to 30% of the roof could be covered by an additional 10-14 feet of elevator shafts, storage rooms, etc. In practice, that equates to 70+ feet high buildings looming over adjacent Wilmont residential streets and homes.
A few weeks ago, city staff published a new list of "inconsistent" parcels. Staff wants to change the zoning of these parcels, primarily to increase their height and density. 1801 Wilshire is one of these parcels.
1801 Wilshire is a 2.1 acre property that runs from 18th St. to 19th St. The front of the property along Wilshire has offices leased to Emperor's College and hospitals. The back of the property is a big parking lot that is zoned “low density housing.” But city staff wants to change that zoning to allow 50-60+feet high buildings that could cover the whole surface parking lot with hundreds of new apartments. A 2-acre under-ground parking lot could be dug underneath. That parking lot would exit on 18th and 19th Streets. Picture our quiet neighborhood with hundreds of new cars zooming down 18th, 19th and 20th Streets, and California, Washington and Idaho Avenues.
We can't just fight the Wilshire Activity Centers or Tier 3 or 1801 Wilshire. These issues are all interconnected…..
Tier 3 (huge buildings) would create a tunnel effect and traffic jams along Wilshire. Tier 3 would push traffic and parking problems deeper into our
neighborhoods. The 14th St. Wilshire Activity Center would encourage the development of much higher, denser buildings on 12th, 11th ,and 10th streets. If the city changes the zoning for 1801 Wilshire, that huge property becomes a prime target for Tier 3. A massive project at 18th/19th would also push traffic down toward 17th, 16th and up toward 20th and 21st. These 3 proposals create a perfect storm in Wilmont. We have to fight all 3 together.
WHO HAS WEIGHED IN ON THESE ISSUES?
To date, Kevin McKeown is the only Council member who has stated that he's opposed to both Wilshire Activity Centers, Tier 3 on Wilshire and changing the zoning of 1801 Wilshire. Planning Commissioners (and City Council candidates) Richard McKinnon, Sue Himmelrich and Jennifer Kennedy are also opposed to all 3 concepts. But these three commissioners do not repre-sent a majority on the Commission. (There are seven Planning Commis-sioners). Right now, the Planning Commission and City Council are being lobbied HARD by developers. We could easily be out voted, no matter who gets elected to City Council. But Wilmont residents CAN over-power the voice of developers, if we clearly voice our concerns to City Hall.
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
#1 Send emails to City Hall. This is a virtual campaign!!
#2 Forward this message to others.
#3 Use social media to get the word out.
#4 Copy & post this notice by your mailbox or other places seen by your neighbors.
SEND YOUR EMAIL TO:
(Planning Commission clerk)
COPY YOUR EMAIL TO:
(City Council clerk)
Please do NOT forward this
email to the Planning
The Commission and Council want
to hear YOUR concerns, YOUR
priorities and YOUR ideas.
This is just a sample message.
Please create a NEW email.
Dear Planning Commission:
(example only – please use your own location, concerns and situation):
I live in an apartment on Euclid in Wilmont. This is a quiet, family neighborhood where people like to walk and bike. Please do not approve any aspect of the 14th St "Activity" Center, including the hotel and big underground parking lot. We should encourage smaller, resident-serving businesses on Wilshire, not corporate giants or hotels. Do not change the zoning of 1801 Wilshire. A 2-acre, mixed-use project with a vast underground parking lot would ruin this neighborhood. The back of 1801 should stay zoned low height and density like the rest of 18thand 19th. Tier 3 on Wilshire would also be a serious mistake. Wilshire shouldn’t be higher and denser than Bergamot, an Expo station. Wilshire can be a nice place to walk, bike, dine and shop without ruining life for residents who already live here. Thank you.
By working together, we can protect our neighborhood!
Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition
and the Residents Coalition