As we usher in a new Santa Monica City Council, it is important to recognize the messages the voters sent this past election.
We will no longer tolerate large-scale development that adversely affects our residential quality of life. The significant support garnered by the independent candidates, coupled with the passage of Propositions S and Z, amply attest to that. The council should now begin to intelligently manage commercial development to stay within our infrastructural capacities and to have it serve our neighborhoods. An essential component of such a strategy is immediate downzoning in certain areas and the implementation of plans to protect residential neighborhoods from the impacts of already-approved development.
The voters also said that violent behavior by the homeless must stop, and solutions need to be developed to help them move back into society. I was heartened to see several council candidates adopt the position that, in exchange for meals and temporary shelter, able-bodied homeless provide public work, such as cleaning up our parks and beaches.
Finally, the voters said, as did I, that both rent control initiatives were unacceptable. The Rent Control Board should now move forward with the Incentive Housing Program that would provide landlords substantial rent relief, while at the same time assuring preservation of affordable housing through covenants to stay in business, enhanced tenant protections and a sensible "inclusionary" housing quotient.
KATHLEEN T. SCHWALLIE
Editor's note: Schwallie was an unsuccessful candidate for the City Council in the Nov. 6 election.