Civic Center: Plan and Its Consequences

As a neighborhood member of the Civic Center Specific Plan Advisory Committee who called for a public safety and crime analysis of the Civic Center area--to no avail--at every single juncture of the public process, I find it ironic, to say the least, that RAND Corp. and its supporters are using public safety as their cornerstone argument to garner support for this mega-development plan.

In fact (and quite incredibly) not one new police officer was deemed necessary when the City Council unanimously approved the 2.1-million-square-feet of development with 350 residential units and with no calculation of the amount of visitors the new Civic Center would generate.

In fact, the council was satisfied with the Police Department's claim that there would be no negative impacts on police service, even though the amount of new residents alone would require more police and even though no study of the impacts this project would have on non-emergency police response time was ever undertaken.

Since no negative impacts were declared, using the "don't ask, don't tell" method of public planning, no crime impact fees were built into this plan to mitigate the potential increases in crime associated with enormous development of a popular area. It's like Third Street Promenade deja vu all over again.

In fact, if we were truly concerned with public safety we wouldn't spread our police force so thin and we wouldn't mega-develop to get a safer, more livable area.

We can, without mega-development, however, remove the blighted, boarded-up buildings owned by RAND and Maguire Thomas on the east side of Ocean Avenue because they are a public safety nuisance--through the city's nuisance abatement process.

We can add a road and preserve the alley in the current City Center without mega-development in order to improve police response time to emergencies.

We can remodel and expand the police headquarters without mega-development, also.

In fact, we can vote no on Proposition D & E . . . (and) send the message that we see through the politics of public safety.

STEPHANIE BARBANELL

Santa Monica

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