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Santa Monica Project Draws Protests

July 26, 1987

More than 100 Santa Monica residents confronted developers during a meeting last week on the impact of a proposed 2 million square feet of office development on Colorado Boulevard.

Critics claim the projects, Colorado Place Phase III and Water Gardens, would cause traffic gridlocks in their neighborhoods.

Southmark Pacific Corp. is building Colorado Place, and Jerome Snyder of Santa Monica is developing Water Gardens. The projects are bounded by 20th and 26th streets and Colorado and Olympic boulevards.

A traffic consultant has recommended widening streets, building new turn lanes and eliminating parking in some areas to reduce increased congestion. He also suggested that freeway ramps be added at 20th Street to ease the traffic burden on the Cloverfield Boulevard ramps.

Residents remained unconvinced. "You can't solve the (traffic) problem now. How are you going to solve it later?" one asked.

"We are frightened about it," said Vivian Linder of the Pico Neighborhood Assn.

"They are building a disaster here," said Duke Kelso, a resident who is circulating a petition asking the city to delay approval on all large projects until a citywide traffic study is completed next year. "We've either got to close this project down . . . or fix the roads," he said.

The Santa Monica Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Colorado Place Aug. 10. The Water Gardens project will not be considered by the commission for at least three months, according to Kenyon Webster, senior planner for the city.

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