An unfortunate vote last week by the Santa Monica City Council will keep major boulevards in the desirable coastal city from being redeveloped, underscoring the anti-housing policies in coastal California that is driving up rents and home prices.
Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards in Santa Monica are major transit thoroughfares but feature many low-rise, single story buildings. Back in 2010, the city developed a plan to encourage multi-story housing in corridors like these. But with last week’s vote, which will affect an ordinance to be voted on in a few weeks, those kind of projects will be almost impossible to build under the city’s approval process.
Why does this matter? Because coastal cities like Santa Monica in California have not been doing their fair share to build housing, leading to hugely expensive housing costs and exacerbating inequality for those who can’t afford to live on the coast.
Not to mention that Santa Monica is about to open the multi-billion dollar Expo light rail line, subsidized by the region’s taxpayers, which requires more residents and workers around the station areas to be cost-effective.
Coupled with the city’s rejection of a major office and housing complex by a future Expo Line station, and my former home is sadly becoming a NIMBY poster child.