After listening to the public hearing of the Santa Monica City Council on the pending airport development project, I have come to the conclusion that the City Council might oppose the project for one of two possible reasons.
The first is that they want to take a symbolic tough stand against development--show the voters that they, too, are sick of development and traffic. If this is the case, they should have voted down the Water Garden project or they should oppose the next project. The airport is too lucrative financially for the city to pass up. A comparison of revenue per car trip generated between the airport and Water Garden projects would demonstrate the unique financial value of the project.
The second is that the council is as sick of development as many of their constituents and that they intend to vote down not just the airport project but all those that follow. If this is the case, Santa Monica will be faced with the elimination of a major source of revenues in a period when money is desperately needed for many programs (e.g. police, the homeless, drug treatment, etc.). In this analysis, the income stream the airport project could generate will be critical to the city's future.
This quietly anti-development Santa Monican hopes that the City Council does take steps in the future to slow or stop development but that it supports the airport project next week.