Santa Monica’s Measure LV – the ballot measure to require voter approval of any project taller than two stories, as well as of any zoning or specific plan updates – presents Santa Monica residents with an important decision regarding what kind of city to become. Numerous groups have aligned against Measure LV, noting the negative impacts it would have. Santa Monica Next aptly pointed out that restricting development will not improve commuting times. The Los Angeles Times explained that restricting construction of housing will exasperate Santa Monica’s (and Los Angeles County’s) housing crisis. And the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters noted that the Measure would hamper efforts to improve sustainability and curb regional sprawl.
Bike The Vote L.A. agrees with each of these assessments of the negative impacts of Measure LV. Santa Monica has a crisis of housing affordability, an imbalance between jobs and housing, and an inherited history of car-centric planning. These issues are prime factors that drive congestion within the City limits and on Los Angeles County’s Westside. There are many helpful examples from Southern California and around the country of cities that have implemented a host of planning and policy initiatives in recent years to begin to address congestion – improving transit, biking, and walking as mobility options; providing more housing near jobs; unbundling parking from residences; and implementing congestion pricing – rather than limiting housing supply. Measure LV, in contrast, offers no solutions to relieve traffic.
As a group focused on improving the safety and quality of mobility options as well as the overall livability of cities and neighborhoods, we recognize the need for smart and sustainable development to address issues of housing affordability, equity, and mobility. Measure LV would only make automobile traffic worse and drive up housing prices, while leading to longer and less bikeable commutes for many people in Santa Monica and around the region. Bike The Vote L.A. urges a “NO” vote on Measure LV.