SMCLC Report on Phenomenal Resident Turnout To Oppose Downtown Plan

May 8, 2013

Dear Supporter of SMCLC,

We asked you to turn out and you did.  Overwhelmingly.

Monday evening, 350 of us attended the city's Downtown Specific Plan forum, where resident after resident told city officials to stop the hyper-development planned for our downtown.

This remarkable, watershed event lasted five hours.  The message was clear:  Residents overwhelmingly reject the insider planning process and city staff's "vision" of development sites untethered to zoning.

These "anything goes" sites, euphemistically labeled "opportunity sites," and the 20-plus-story buildings that are proposed for them, were condemned by residents.  Surveys conducted by neighborhood associations also showed opposition to these sites, overdevelopment, and increased traffic congestion, and were read at the forum on behalf of the many hundreds of residents unable to attend.

One of the most amazing moments in the evening came from a city consultant’s report on how to maximize development opportunities downtown, including upscale retail and hotels for tourists.  The role of residents was described thusly:  "As local shoppers… (residents’) presence provides a sense of authenticity that becomes a draw for outside visitors looking to experience the Santa Monica lifestyle."

We're seen as props; authentic locals inhabiting the streets of our "pretend" cool beach town.

We said that to win this fight you have to be IN the fight and you responded!  And now we're going to take the next steps and we need your help.

1. Forward this link right away to at least 3 people you know explaining why you are part of our effort and ask them to sign up on our website for information updates on development issues so we can reach other residents who are concerned about runaway development in our city.  Go to:

2. Let us know if you are willing to host a coffee for some of your neighbors so they can meet SMCLC leaders and discuss how we're going to fight to protect the character and human scale of our city and put residents’ needs ahead of developers’ interests.

3. Write a check now or contribute online to our SMCLC-PAC at  We need to start raising money now to elect a City Council in 2014 that will not sell out our city to projects that cause crushing traffic and other problems that diminish our quality of life. Right now, there are council members willing to give developers whatever they want.  We need to change that.

As we watched people scrambling to add additional rows of chairs for the standing room only crowd, we realized this was a seminal moment in Santa Monica's history.  In huge numbers residents told city officials that we've had enough.  We are not props in our own city.  We are stakeholders.  And we will not be ignored.

Thank you for being part of this historic change. Now let's spread the word.

Diana, Victor, Sherrill, and Jeff