Places for Parking, Not People, in Santa Monica, California
"Since 2003, Santa Monica saw a net increase of about about [sic] 230 new multi-family housing units a year. Considering that the regional population grew from about 9.7 million in 2003 to more than 10 million people in 2013, the rate of housing construction in Santa Monica is relatively low, especially considering the location’s desirability," reports Jason Islas.
Islas also reveals that commercial development has lagged behind the cap proposed by a failed 2008 anti-development initiative called Prop T, or the "Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic."
Planning is at least partly responsible for the city's development constraints: "Santa Monica’s award-winning Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE) specifically prohibits increased density in about 96 percent of the city. The vast majority of the proposed development is slated to replace currently underdeveloped land either in the city’s downtown or the formerly industrial Bergamot Area, where the [defeated by NIMBYs] Transit Village project was proposed."
Santa Monica's ostensibly environmentalist and liberal residents have their true interests revealed by the kicker of the article: "Since 2003, according to City officials, 2,751,266 net new square feet of parking has been built in the city, for both commercial and multi-family residential projects. That’s 250,115 square feet of parking each year, or about 760 standard-sized (about 330 square feet, if you include space needed to maneuver your car) parking spaces."