Santa Monica Lookout
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Campaigns Against Santa Monica’s LUVE Initiative Form
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
2802 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310)828-7525 -

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

May 25, 2016 -- Slow-growth activists’ LUVE Initiative hasn't even qualified for Santa Monica’s November ballot yet, but at least two groups are preparing campaigns to oppose it.

Santa Monica Forward filed paperwork with the City last week to form an opposition committee. And this week a new committee was created called Housing and Opportunity for a Modern Economy (HOME).

HOME spokesman Jay Trisler told The Lookout there are some major names on the committee -- former Mayor Nat Trives, School Board member Ralph Mechur and longtime education activists Sam and Irene Zivi.

Trisler, who recently retired from the Santa Monica Police Department after 30 years where he was the union head and public information officer, said more names will be revealed soon.

He said passage of LUVE would be “detrimental” to affordable housing in Santa Monica.

HOME is "about affordability and availability of housing, which is near and dear to my heart,” Trisler said. “We want to make sure we have an adequate amount of affordable housing in Santa Monica.”

Proposed by the slow-growth group Residocracy, LUVE calls for a significant increase in voter participation in City planning decisions.

Voter approval would be required for most developments larger than two stories and major changes to City planning policies.

It includes an exemption for “100% affordable housing projects of 50 units or less.”

However, most of the affordable housing being approved for construction in Santa Monica are units tied to larger developments.

LUVE "will harm rather than help affordable housing,” Trisler said. “Some of the affordable housing would have to go to a public vote.

"There’s a process already in place [for development approval]. This will cause some issues in providing the affordable housing that is definitely needed."

Residocracy head Armen Melknoians did not respond to The Lookout’s request for comment prior to the publication deadline.

Although Residocracy says it has collected enough signatures to force the City Council to either approve the measure (not expected to happen) or place it on the November ballot, the County must confirm this.

For many people, this election brings back memories of the RIFT initiative from 2008.

That measure also called for significant development restrictions in Santa Monica, but it lost after an intense campaign that included a significant amount of money poured in from development interests.

Trisler said HOME would not be a front for developers.

“If there are people involved in building buildings, we welcome them,” Trisler said. “But there are many people that are going to be on this committee that aren’t just interested in building housing.”

He added, “We’re building a committee of people who all share the goal that Santa Monica needs to add to its housing supply to make sure people can come here in the future.”

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