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Kudos on Kramer Coverage

November 03, 1985

I wish to congratulate The Times for its excellent coverage of the Santa Monica City Council's rejection on Oct. 22 of Robert Kramer's design for a five-story Honda dealership on the corner of 18th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard (Times, Oct. 24.)

Our organization of neighborhood residents, Santa Monicans for Reasonable Growth, has consistently argued at all stages of this ill-conceived and oversized project proposal that the massive structure had none of the qualities of "neighborhood friendliness" (in council member (Dennis) Zane's words) envisioned by the city's Land Use Element, which was amended last year to allow auto dealerships to be built to a greater height than any other structure on Santa Monica Boulevard.

For the record, Mr. Kramer's lament that the Planning Commission should not be the agency responsible for reviewing whatever proposal Kramer comes up with next because it "couldn't make a decision before" is misleading and self-serving. The Planning Commission, in fact, voted 7 to 0 to reject the same plan the City Council rejected--on the same grounds.

The commission ruled that the project did nothing to minimize its perceived mass, provide for an appropriate transition to the adjacent residential neighborhood, or meet any other Land Use Element policies except the single policy favoring auto dealerships. The commission told Kramer to redesign his project to conform with the Land Use Element.

Mr. Kramer, however, resubmitted virtually the exact same plan at a subsequent meeting when there were only four commissioners present, knowing full well the commission would reject the project and allow him to "take it to the City Council" by way of appeal. On Aug. 19, the Commission rejected the proposal in a 2-2 vote, with three members absent.

The City Council gave the same message to Mr. Kramer--redesign the project to meet the concerns of the neighbors and to achieve conformity with all of the policies of the Land Use and Circulation Elements. We commend the council for its firm message to all developers in Santa Monica--to build here you must follow the "neighborhood friendly" policies within the Land Use Element.

JOHN W. BELSHER

Santa Monicans

for Reasonable Growth

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