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'Development Excess'

May 23, 1991

We wish to take exception to developer Ernest Kaplan's view that the Third Street Promenade is a "success that speaks for itself" (Letter, May 11). The Promenade, while remaining a valuable community asset, is fast becoming another example of development excess.

The City Council has approved some 45 liquor outlets for this small neighborhood. Only half are open. Firefighters ordered by the city manager to carry out crowd control told us that the concentration of liquor licenses in the Promenade would be greater than anywhere in Southern California.

If firefighters are patrolling the Promenade on Saturday nights, who is watching the rest of the city? Is there a drain of resources away from other neighborhoods to subsidize the transformation of Santa Monica into a glitz capital for out-of-towners?

A city's values are expressed in its use of public space. We are proud of having a community college, a farmers' market, a public pier. Last November, 62% of our voters favored preserving the beach instead of giving it to a luxury hotel developer. The Promenade now threatens to make us an '80s-style capital of consumption when we must be adopting a more conservationist lifestyle.

We commend Councilmen Ken Genser and Kelly Olsen for raising overdue questions about the Promenade. We hope the council will roll back existing permits, impose a new one for alcohol, restore a greater retail emphasis on the Promenade, and avoid becoming another Westwood.

TOM HAYDEN

Assemblyman, 44th District

SHARON GILPIN

Santa Monica

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