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Little Support for Major Developments, Keeping Masks On, Poll Finds

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

February 25, 2022 -- Santa Monicans are ready to support shedding face masks for those who are vaccinated, according to a monthly poll of some 170 "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents taken over the past week.

The brief Santa Monica Pulse survey also found little support for a major housing development on Lincoln Boulevard and found few thought replacing a Downtown parking structure with affordable housing would reduce crime and homelessness.

Conducted between February 18 and 22, the poll gauges hot-button issues making local news headlines each month.

The latest poll comes as California lifted its mask mandate for vaccinated people in most indoor settings, while Los Angeles County -- whose lead Santa Monica follows -- will left the mandate Friday, although it is unclear how long that will last.

Of those polled, 83 percent believe the County should adopt the State's "less stringent mask policy," while 14 percent said LA County should continue to require everyone to be masked indoors. Three percent were not sure.

Asked if they were in favor of a proposed 894,385-square-foot housing development on the site of the Gelson’s lot at Lincoln and Ocean Park boulevards, two-thirds were against the project, while 23 percent were in favor and 11 percent were not sure.

The project -- comprised of ten five-story buildings on a 4.7-acre site -- was the topic of a developer-sponsored meeting that drew more than 500 Zoom participants, with most opposing the project.

The public's take on what would be the largest housing development in Santa Monica in nearly 60 years is irrelevant.

Under State law, City officials have no say in the project, outside of recommending design changes, and opponents cannot place the measure on the ballot ("News Analysis -- Gelson's Proposed Project Is a Done Deal Under State Law," February 23, 2022).

"If it meets the code, the City doesn't have a right to deny it," Planning Director David Martin told the Lookout this week, adding that the proposed project meets code.

The brief poll sent via text also asked if "closing Parking Structure 3 and replacing it with affordable housing will help reduce crime and homelessness in downtown Santa Monica?"

Seventy-eight percent said no, eight percent said yes and 14 percent weren't sure.

The question was posed after a Court of Appeals issued a stay halting the demolition of the structure while it decides whether to take up the case filed by a group of Downtown property owners ("Appeals Court Further Delays Parking Structure Demolition," February 9, 2022).

As with previous polls, the latest Santa Monica Pulse poll was sent to nearly 1,000 residents who "previously opted in to receive more information on education efforts surrounding crime and safety in their city." It had a 17 percent response rate.

Those who wish to be included in the next poll, should email their name and cell phone number to To view the poll results click here

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