FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: October 9, 2014
Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Calls for Development Halt
Cites Environmental Concerns and Water Shortage
(Santa Monica) - Santa Monica Planning Commissioner and City Council candidate Richard McKinnon has called for an immediate end to large-scale development in Santa Monica based on Development Agreements, saying they are no longer viable in Santa Monica because of an ongoing lack of water.
The halt is part of McKinnon’s environmental policy – Deep Green – which he released today.
“This is the worst drought in 50 years, headed towards the worst on record,” McKinnon stated. “The drought is already forcing a 20 percent reduction in water for residents. Santa Monica cannot keep building larger, denser buildings and cramming in overdevelopment when water is nonexistent. We are ignoring reality.”
“The 35 proposed DA agreements of developers, with dozens more to come, would create a line of huge luxury hotels on Ocean Avenue, hundreds-of-thousands of square feet of new office space, and thousands of new units,” McKinnon continued. “This, in a city that is already stretched to water capacity.
“Santa Monica’s 35-year-long overdevelopment has created water scarcity, endless traffic jams and an unsustainable future. This cannot continue.”
The other features of Richard McKinnon’s Deep Green Policy include:
- Making Santa Monica carbon-neutral by 2030, including all modes of transportation and industry.
- Creating a City utility to supply 100 percent renewable energy within five years.
- Insisting that all new buildings be LEED Platinum.
- Toughening new rules for Average Vehicle Ridership to force commercial and retail interests to cut daily car usage and trips.
- Establishing rules for new development to safeguard scarce water resources.
“There has been an ongoing 30-year cutback of residential water to allow huge, new commercial development and thousands of new apartments. This must stop. Climate change must be recognized and dealt with,” McKinnon concluded. “Santa Monica is about to lose its skyline to luxury hotels and receive almost nothing in return. Our regionally-important and famous beachfront will be unrecognizable. To continue to build on is folly."
Richard McKinnon is a renter, small business owner, and former Parks & Recreation Commissioner. Richard currently serves on the Santa Monica Planning Commission, where he works to improve the quality of life in our city. A committed environmentalist and the former Chair of “Bike It!” Day. He has been a leader in several non-profit organizations within the Santa Monica school system. McKinnon and his family immigrated to the United States from Australia 14 years ago, and they are proud to call Santa Monica home.