ARB (All Ready to Build?)

Santa Monica City’s Architectural Review Board (ARB), established in 1974, acts “to preserve existing areas of natural beauty, cultural importance and assure that buildings, structures, signs or other developments are in good taste, good design, harmonious with surrounding developments, and in general contribute to the preservation of Santa Monica’s reputation as a place of beauty, … Continue reading ARB (All Ready to Build?)

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Simply Too Many People? (Part 2)

Before deciding an optimum population for our city, which is the second most densest California coastal city, we should take in a larger context. Most people would agree that space ship earth has too many people today and the aspirations of those billions for a humane life can only be met (and barely) if we … Continue reading Simply Too Many People? (Part 2)

Simply Too Many People? (Part 1)

In this two part article SM.a.r.t. (Santa Monica architects for a responsible tomorrow) takes on the thorny issue of the optimum Santa Monica population. When we look ahead at the population of Santa Monica, there are conflicting views of how many people should live, work and visit here. Some people believe we have already crossed … Continue reading Simply Too Many People? (Part 1)

Santa Monica…A City Searching for Itself at Sea

If our city were a ship, it might be described as “floundering and adrift.” At times it seems that Santa Monica knows neither where it’s going nor, if it did, how to get there. It is difficult to make policy without a clear vision or a well-defined course of action. For example, do we see … Continue reading Santa Monica…A City Searching for Itself at Sea

Santa Monica: A Friendly City for All, Especially the Most Vulnerable

Many residents in this city are forced to deal with a daily reality: the difficult interaction with the city’s man-made environment because of poor planning, inconsiderate design and weak communications. Examples range from parking structure signs on Fourth Street blocking the view of on-coming traffic, to well-known problems with the bus benches – a problem … Continue reading Santa Monica: A Friendly City for All, Especially the Most Vulnerable

SMart and Final

Santa Monica is at a crossroads. Will speculators or residents determine our city’s future? Since developers tend to think short term, focusing on profitability, it is important that residents, with their emphasis on the city’s livability, also weigh in to balance the discussion. At present, it appears that our City leaders have chosen to put … Continue reading SMart and Final

“Failing To Plan is Planning To Fail.” Coach John Wooden, UCLA

In a candid address about Santa Monica’s traffic at Downtown Santa Monica Inc.’s annual meeting last Thursday, City Manager Rick Cole quoted President Franklin Roosevelt. Cole noted that Roosevelt mentioned Common Sense (one of my favorite phrases) and the courage to just try something. If the attempt fails, admit it and try something else. Roosevelt’s … Continue reading “Failing To Plan is Planning To Fail.” Coach John Wooden, UCLA

City for Sale…Tons of Charm, Needs Planning

Development is occurring at a feverish pace in our City. The Character of our neighborhoods is under siege from outside interests. Developers are circumventing current zoning requirements using “backroom deals” with the City’s staff to provide minimal community benefits in exchange for larger projects. The result is excessive profit for the developers, and massive headaches … Continue reading City for Sale…Tons of Charm, Needs Planning