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Monthly Poll Finds Most Oppose Homeless Housing Downtown
By Jorge Casuso
March 30, 2022 -- A monthly poll of "civically engaged" Santa Monica residents found the vast majority opposed a Downtown housing project for the homeless and stricter mask mandates if COVID rates rise.
The Santa Monica Pulse poll of about 170 respondents -- which was taken via phone text between March 23 and 28 -- also found a mixed response to the Miramar redevelopment project, which was approved by the Coastal Commission this month.
Asked if a proposed housing development for homeless individuals at the site of Parking Structure 3 Downtown is the "best use for the area," 81 percent said no, 14 percent said yes, while 5 percent were not sure.
When those who said no were asked what they would rather see replace the structure, most said they wanted it to remain a parking garage, according to the Center for Union Facts, which oversees the poll.
One respondent said, “Keep it as parking! We need to house the homeless away from the downtown businesses!”
The question was posed shortly after the City received $2 million in federal funding for the proposed development on City owned land ("Proposed Downtown Housing Development for the Homeless Gets $2 Million," March 15, 2022).
In January, the City Council voted to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with EAH, Inc. to build and manage the housing development, which will provide supportive services "to ensure housing retention and good-neighbor actions," City officials said.
The poll also asked respondents to weigh in on the redevelopment of the century old Fairmont Miramar Hotel, which was unanimously approved by the Coastal Commission this month ("Coastal Commission Gives Miramar Redevelopment Enthusiastic Approval," March 11, 2022).
The new hotel will include "larger guest rooms and the addition of 60 luxury condos, a new affordable housing complex on 2nd Street, and three levels of underground parking, along with street-level improvements like a public green space," according to the polling question.
Asked if they support of oppose the development, 47 percent said they opposed it, 32 percent supported it and 23 percent weren't sure.
At the Coastal Commission meeting March 10, the overwhelming majority of the public testimony, both at the virtual live meeting and in written comments, supported the project.
Residents were also asked if LA County should "reinstate more stringent indoor mask mandates due to rising COVID cases."
Seventy-five percent of respondents said no, 15 percent said yes and 10 percent said they were not sure.
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 SaMoPulse@gmail.com. To view the poll results click here
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