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The Pacific Wheel Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier on April 16, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.
In early February, Santa Monica City Council, voted 4-3, approving the building of a 765,000 square-foot mixed-use development – the Bergamot Transit Village.
It would replace the Papermate factory at Olympic and 26th. The development, headed by Hines, an international real estate firm, would consist of restaurants, housing, retail shops, and office space. Opponents fear an onslaught of traffic, and a deterioration of Santa Monica character.
Two Santa Monica groups oppose the action. Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City is suing the project, saying the City staff did not “properly study reasonable project alternatives” as part of a state-mandated environmental impact report (EIR).
Residocracy.org, a group consisting of Santa Monica residents, collected over 13,000 signatures (over twice the amount needed) for a referendum. Tonight, the City Council will vote. Councilmembers have the choice to either stop the development, or put it to vote for citizens to weigh-in on the ballot.
Juan Matute, Associate Director at the Institute for Transportation Studies at UCLA
Sue Himmelrich, Planning Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica