Slow-Growth Heads Are Spinning

June 1, 2022

Dear Editor,

Regarding Kevin McKeown’s letter of May 31st ("LETTERS -- Brock's Counter-Initiative Could Give Big Real Estate Investors Free Rein," May 31, 2022).

Slow-growth heads were spinning alright, after seeing the Mayors initial transfer tax proposal, which will turbo-charge the construction of massive affordable housing buildings throughout the city -- housing which the vast majority of Santa Monica’s residents are not eligible for.

The Mayor’s transfer tax makes no difference at all to the pressure from developers to build market rate housing. The City and State formulas are fixed by the state and cannot be reduced without serious work by genuine slow-growth advocates.

How much affordable housing we build is completely irrelevant to how much market rate housing is built. (The Mayor's associates' fingerprints are all over the LUCE rezoning that primed the pump of this flood of market rate units.)

The Mayor and her associates on the council have repeatedly crushed attempts to slow growth (Remember their frantic, vitriolic efforts to stop Measure LV?). Saying that the Mayor’s petition is, in some bizarre way, anti growth is so far from the truth as to be bordering on a lie.

It is likely that the state’s mandates will be reworked after November, and that lawsuits by other cities (which Santa Monica should have enjoined, but chickened out of) will be successful.

State intervention is a bogeyman that is being evoked to get us to do the State's dirty work and destroy our city for them. Oh, don’t anger the State! They might be upset! Utter nonsense. The State has already declared nuclear war on Santa Monica. It cannot get any worse.

Kevin has avoided the many other appalling consequences of the Mayor’s petition:

The creation of an 11-member board to dispense the monies (no danger or cronyism or political leverage there!).

The collapse of general purpose property tax revenues due to delayed property sales impacting property tax repricing, and the fact that affordable buildings don’t pay property taxes etc., etc.

Many of those who have signed did so for the 'school's' element, rather than housing -- it was the meager schools element that was highlighted by many of the signature gatherers, which is a continuation of the disingenuous way the petition has been structured and sold by the sponsors.

Reading Kevin's tortured attempts to defend the Mayor's petition by labeling its opponents pro-growth is to witness Swift-Boating at it's most blatant.

Peter Borresen
Santa Monica


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