The Council Plays for Change
As Sung by SMRR
In 1981, the first elected SMRR City Council majority’s first major act was to put a moratorium (something courts don’t allow now) on commercial development until new Land Use Plans could be adopted. In the present day, we have disincentives for replacing multi-unit rentals with bigger dwellings in our neighborhoods, and we encourage multi-family housing above the first floor in height-controlled commercial zones.
For years we have required inclusion of low-income housing in multi-family developments, with priorities for Santa Monica residents. We are about to enact a program to subsidize hundreds of very low-income seniors who are having trouble making ends meet. We’ve helped nonprofit organizations produce and manage over 2000 units of low-income housing, again with priorities for SM residents and workers.
We’ve protected tenants from harassment by scoundrels who try to force their rent-controlled renters to leave. The City Attorney enforces this law in a fair, but strict manner. The City Charter protects all tenants from evictions, except for good cause.
We’ve taken effective action to dissuade owners or residents from setting up shared vacation-housing businesses in housing units, unless the resident stays in the unit. We are in the process of trying to stop owners from renting for less than a year as short term corporate rentals.
We were one of the first cities to recycle and change our vehicle fleet to operate without gasoline. A few months ago we joined a group of local governments to allow residents to get their electricity from the sun and the wind.
It hasn’t been easy, and we’ve made mistakes, but both SMRR and our City Council have ushered in lasting and beneficial change.