Sunday, October 19, 2008

Proposition T in Santa Monica is my Candidate for the Worst Urban Planning Idea of the Year.

I know you are thinking. This title demonstrates a wee bit of hyperbole, that it’s a tad exaggerated. Well let me explain my reasoning:

Last Spring, an earnest and eager young man approached me as I was walking out of my local Trader Joe’s, shopping bags in hand, and asked, “Would you like to fight traffic in Santa Monica? We’re gathering signatures to stop, ‘over-development’ by limiting commercial development in the future. It’s the Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT).” Well none of us wants to be overwrought, overweight, or overtaxed, but those are so difficult to control, so, while I didn’t sign the petition, I imagine the prospect of not being ‘overdeveloped,’ sounded pretty good to most of my neighbors, because a measure has shown up on the ballot in Santa Monica, this November under the innocuous sounding name, Proposition T.

My biggest problem with the measure, which caps commercial development (retail and office combined) in the city to 75,000 square feet per year (about half of the current average), is that it wont’ work. Read the rest of this blog as to why I think why that's true.

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