City Wants to Demolish Parking Structure
change.org petition has 1,665 signatures opposing the demotion
May 20, 2021
by Alyssa Erdley
News with Attitude
City officials are asking the California Coastal Commission to approve their proposal to tear down Parking Structure 3 in downtown Santa Monica. Officials wish to replace the 337-car structure with "affordable" housing for low-income tenants.
Since 1968, the parking structure has served Santa Monica and the tourists who come here. Pre-pandemic, all of the downtown parking structures regularly filled up every day with cars of people shopping in Santa Monica.
Retail businesses downtown rely heavily on the parking structures that line 2nd and 4th streets surrounding the Third Street Promenade. After the year-long lockdowns and the May 31 looting and riots, the downtown area is struggling to revive. Many businesses have left and there are many empty storefronts.
Instead of parking, officials have said Santa Monica needs to zone for 6,168 affordable housing units. (This number is from the Southern California Association of Governments, who got it from the state's Department of Housing and Development).
The CCC's staff paid a consultant who told them that the loss of Parking Structure 3 would not cause cars to overflow into surrounding streets to look for parking there. Why would that happen? One can't imagine.
Nearby business owners are understandably alarmed and enraged by the city's plans to demolish any parking, let alone a structure that can accommodate over 300 cars. They started a petition on Change.org which had 1,665 signatures as of this writing. "The parking structure was paid for by Businesses in the Downtown area for use by visitors," the petition reads. "We support housing for low income and homeless, but not on the downtown area and not by removing much needed parking." Obviously, none of the people involved in the petition would ever enter elected office. They have too much common sense for the idiocy apparently required for the job.
"Retaining Garage 3 has everything to do with the comeback and future success of the Promenade, and to the property owners, businesses and Stakeholders who paid for its construction," wrote property owner and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. stakeholder John Alle in a letter to DTSM, which bizarrely supports the demolition of the parking. "This issue and its implications were never discussed with or brought before Stakeholders," Alle wrote, complaining about DTSM's official support for the demolition. "The idea of tearing down Structure 3 is a whacky idea and makes no sense." Alle promised that the decision "will be met with strong resistance and legal motions."