See the Lie and Say No
Re: “The Development Game: Santa Monica Rules,” Opinion, March 8
As a 36-year Santa Monica resident who lives half a block from the 59,000-square-foot residential and retail complex that developer CIM Group has planned for the corner of Ashland Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard, I read Tim Tunks’ article with great interest. In it, Tunks thoroughly describes an appeal paid for by local residents, which the city now says will be heard and decided in the middle of April. He also mentions that Santa Monica’s director of planning and community development was formerly a vice president of CIM for 10 years, which made me look into CIM’s track record for other L.A.-area projects.
In a June 28, 2017, article titled “Brand-new Sunset Strip apartments to become deluxe extended-stay hotel,” Roger Vincent of the Los Angeles Times reports that although CIM had initially announced it would build a mixed-use complex, the “just-completed apartment complex in West Hollywood has been sold to a Pennsylvania developer that plans to convert the property into a luxury extended-stay hotel.” CIM co-founder Shaul Kuba was quoted as saying: “The goal was always to sell. Our business plan has been completed.”
Back in September 2009, former LA Weekly reporter Patrick McDonald titled his piece “CIM Group: Hollywood’s Richest Slumlord.” David Zahniser’s September 2015 Los Angeles Times piece “Landlord orders Hollywood tower tenants to vacate” was another that caught my eye.
CIM’s renderings for their project at Ashland and Lincoln show absolutely no traffic on Lincoln Boulevard, a total fiction. The few affordable units among the 47 apartments don’t solve the long-term housing affordability problem.
The neighbors who are appealing the project see the lie and say no.
Let’s Park Campers Near LAX
It is illegal to lodge and sleep in a motor vehicle per Los Angeles Municipal Code 85.02, but that law sunsets in July to allow campers and RVs to park overnight in certain designated industrial or commercial zones.
However, some fan of Dr. Frankenstein working at L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office created an illegitimate map that unlawfully designates certain residential streets for permissible overnight vehicle camping. Meanwhile, the L.A. Department of Transportation and LAPD have refused to enforce our laws. Accordingly, more than 30 RVs or campers illegally park on Venice Boulevard near McLaughlin Avenue and Sawtelle Boulevard each and every night. And still no enforcement.
L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin continues to tell residents he will address this problem, and yet the city takes no action. After all, campers would probably just move to another residential area. Why can’t Bonin arrange for the vacant parking lots at LAX to become temporarily available as safe harbor for the homeless who live in vehicles?