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LETTERS -- Miramar Redevelopment Needs to Be Stopped in Court

October 1, 2020

Dear Editor,

How unfortunate it is that Santa Monica Councilmembers only respond to the voice of residents when they are threatened or actually sued.

Remember the HINES project they were forced to abandon because of city-wide opposition? Now they are being sued for violating state law in approving the Plaza ("Slow-Growth Group Sues City to Halt Plaza Negotiations," September 25, 2020).

Is the Miramar the next lawsuit on the horizon? ("Council Approves Miramar Hotel," September 30, 2020)

Of course, Councilmembers don't use their own funds to pay for lawyers. It's us, the taxpayers that are stuck with the bills for their reckless support of more and denser development of our already overbuilt city.

The Miramar redevelopment is the wrong project in the wrong place. Its sprawl is more appropriate for a 200-acre plot in the middle of a forest, not on an urban corner.

Further, while the developer will shovel in hundreds of millions of dollars from his 60 luxury condos, the city will gain a scant few miscellaneous perks.

The entire development process was tainted and a court should refuse to let the project proceed.

Who has Councilmember Gleam Davis been talking to over the past eight years in support of her husband's boss' project? ("Councilmember Seeks Opinion on Potential Conflict in Miramar Vote," September 22, 2020)

At Tuesday's vote she chose to recuse herself just before being asked for the record of whom she has contacted about the Miramar. Also, it is inconceivable that the other Councilmembers did not know of her personal link to the Dell organization. They, too, bear responsibility.

Not only should Davis have recused herself. In good conscience, she should have resigned from the Council. As a lawyer, she knows the saying "fruit from the poisoned tree." That applies to the Miramar project.

Harriet P. Epstein
Santa Monica


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