By Jorge Casuso
October 23 – Calling it a regional call for support
rather that an attack on Santa Monica City Hall, LA Council member
Bill Rosendahl is throwing his weight behind Prop T.
Rosendahl said the measure – which would cap most commercial
development in the city at 75,000 square feet a year for the next
15 years – would buy time for the City to implement the
transportation and housing “components” needed to
“The issue for us is coordination of our cities in all
development issues,” said Rosendahl, who represents the
11th District, which surrounds Santa Monica. “We cannot
continue to grow our commercial component without a transportation
and housing component.
“This coordinated effort is the way to go,” Rosendahl
said. “We need to stop development, take a deep breath and
and (figure out) how do we work together as a region. I don’t
want to create an issue of us against Santa Monica.”
Rosendahl said he was disturbed by the amount of money developers
poured into the anti-T campaign, which raised $428,880 by October
1, most of it from out-of-town developers who want to build large
projects in the city. (“Major
Developers Bankroll Prop T Opposition,” October 9, 2008)
Fighting ballot initiatives “with money coming from all
over the country is not a positive development,” Rosendahl
said. “The money is coming in to kill this. This is of concern
“It makes you cringe,” Rosendahl said. “If
I lived in Santa Monica I’d be supportive. This is an assault
on our way of life by these developers.”
Rosendahl, who is expected to formally announce his support of
Prop T at a news conference Friday morning – said he was
urged by council members Kevin McKeown and Bobby Shriver.
McKeown and Shriver, who Rosendahl called “courageous,”
are the only members of the seven-member council who back the
Rosendahl said he was also heartened that the City’s neighborhood
groups all support Prop T, which is also known as the Residents’
Initiative to Fight Traffic (RIFT).
“I support the neighborhood groups in my city, and I support
the neighborhood groups in Santa Monica,” Rosendahl said.
Although he had not taken a position, Rosendahl in an interview
in July indicated his frustration with the traffic generated by
“I’m outraged by the commercialization and gridlock
in Santa Monica and the 11th District,” he said. “We
have 200,000 cars going through every block in my district to
get to work in Santa Monica.”
A resident of Mar Vista, Rosendahl added, “They raise revenue
for their little town at the expense of gridlock on the Westside.
My people are fed up with development.”
|RIFT supporters demonstrate outside
On Wednesday night, some 50 supporters of the measure held a
demonstration outside the Main Public Library Downtown to protest
what they say is massive amounts of developer money from as far
away as New York, Dallas and Chicago.
“Do you think these developers care about our quality of
life? No, they care about profits and residents are telling them
to get their money out of our elections,” Diana Gordon,
co-chair of Yes on Prop T told the crowd.
"They can’t win on the facts or the truth so they
need truckloads of out-of-town developer cash to drown us with
lies,” Gordon said.“Without Prop T, residents face
more and more overdevelopment and the traffic that it brings.
The City Council has failed to set limits on development, despite
Opponents of the measure contend that capping commercial development
will do nothing to reduce traffic but will, in fact, eat into
future City revenues that would go into funding schools and public
safety, a contention supporters dismiss.
Opponents of the measure point to a wide-ranging coalition that
includes five of the seven City Council members, school and college
board members, two local education groups and State Senator Sheila
Kuehl. Also opposing the measure are unions representing police,
firefighters, teachers and municipal employees that fear the City
could lose future revenues from developer fees.