Santa Monica Lookout Opinion
|The Buck Stops with the Council|
March 2, 2022
It is an outrage that the project at Lincoln and Ocean Park Boulevards will be administratively approved without any City public hearings and without possible appeal to the Planning Commission and the City Council ("Gelson's Proposed Project is a Done Deal," February 23, 2022).
This project at 900,000 square feet is larger than the Hines Project would have been if it wasn't ultimately rejected after signatures from the voters of Santa Monica were gathered for a referendum.
This Administrative Approval under the Interim Zoning Ordinance disenfranchises both Santa Monica residents and visitors who have a vested interest in these projects. This is the ultimate voter fraud.
I understand that the City Council recently voted to require that projects exceeding 1 acre be subject to Development Review. This also is not adequate because most projects will be less than 1 acre and these projects also seriously affect both residents and visitors.
When I built my two-story house in Santa Monica on a lot 35 feet by 50 feet I was required to use the standard City processes with possible appeal to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
There is no reason why other people should not be required to use standard City processes for their projects also with possible appeal to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
The City Council was voted in to represent the people of Santa Monica and not to abrogate their responsibilities to administrative staff who were never elected by the voters of Santa Monica.
Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that said, "The buck stops here." The buck stops with the City Council and should not be passed on to administrative staff.
I therefore suggest that the Interim Zoning Ordinance be amended to NOT allow Administrative Approval and for all projects regardless of size to use standard City processes with possible appeal to the Planning Commission and the City Council.
Dr Daniel Galamba
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