Readers React: Building housing instead of a park at Santa Monica Airport would be a huge waste
To the editor: Steven Sharp’s op-ed article about building housing on the soon-to-close Santa Monica Airport instead of the park that was approved by voters is incredibly shortsighted.
Future generations will marvel at the decision of the Santa Monica citizenry to develop open space to be used by all Angelenos instead of building housing that will benefit only a few.
For a guy who co-founded Urbanize.LA, you would think Sharp might advocate redeveloping the low-density office park immediately adjacent to the airport to include housing. This housing could help fund development of the park that would be used by those residents.
If Sharp’s vision for Santa Monica Airport becomes reality, it would just be one more missed opportunity in Los Angeles County to develop much needed park space for residents.
Christopher Huber, Santa Monica
To the editor: Sharp is mostly right. Redeveloping the Santa Monica Airport site is a wonderful opportunity to create a community that will not only reduce traffic, but also provide a park, recreation areas, maybe some shopping, galleries, restaurants and more.
During World War II, my mother lived across the street from the airport in housing that was built for the Rosie the Riveters who worked at what was then the Douglas aircraft factory. They walked to work and did their shopping in the neighborhood.
Transforming the airport now is a great way to help wage the war against climate change and provide much-needed housing. We’ve been here before, and this is what we need to do now.
Michael Rose, Los Angeles
To the editor: Sharp’s suggestion for more housing at the Santa Monica Airport site after 2028 is ludicrous. As someone who has lived near the airport for more than 20 years, I can tell you that the idea to replace the airport with housing in lieu of a park is delusional.
Sharp suggests that there is less need for a new large park than there is for more housing because of the presence of nearby public parks. But perhaps he has never crawled down the residential streets of the area, where countless commuters Waze through my neighborhood to avoid traffic on the 405 Freeway and other major thoroughfares. They barrel down these narrow streets where kids still ride their bikes (not “scooters”), play hopscotch, kick around balls and more.
What is happening in my ocean enclave is heartbreaking. We need more parks and fewer vertical compounds. This feeling is not motivated by NIMBYism, just a desire to live.
R.M. Zonni, Santa Monica
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