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Story About Pier 'Missed the Boat'

March 12, 1992

Your article on the Santa Monica Pier (March 1) really missed the boat.

The purpose of the Planning Commission Hearing on Feb. 26 was to determine the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement of the pier. What actually transpired over seven exhausting hours was a carefully orchestrated, publicly funded (by pier consultants) dog-and-pony show.

* Instead of a traffic study assessment, we were treated to high schoolers telling us that if the "Fun Zone" was not built, they would have "nothing to do."

* Instead of discussing impacts of pier crowds on police and other emergency services, we listened to nostalgic remembrances of how the pier was in the "old days," complete with little girls holding up pictures of various Ferris wheels.

* Instead of the analysis of the potential of gang violence at the pier, we were told to "hire the gang leaders." I thought the protection racket went out long ago.

* Instead of determining the impacts to the RVC Zone that the pier finds itself in (that's Resident Visitor Commercial), the pier was treated as if it were part of the "Twilight Zone"--unattached to the realities of a neighborhood or the city it is a part of.

So, is the EIR adequate or not? Only Rod Serling knows for sure.

JERRY BASS

Santa Monica

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