Santa Monica is in the middle of a density war: several developers are hoping to build tall tall projects downtown and residents, as they so often are, are pissed. "Think of the drivers!" they're crying. They're worried that actually making room for more people to move into their lovely, popular city will create additional traffic and parking nightmares. The City Council is planning to study the local sentiment in more detail--is everyone opposed or are just a few very loud people opposed?--but The Huntley Hotel is way ahead of them. Conclusion: Santa Monicans are anti-development. The Huntley is engaged in a very nasty, ridiculous fight over a redevelopment plan at nearby rival Fairmont Miramar (the project could include a 21-story tower) and they hired a firm to survey 404 likely voters on their attitudes about development and density and the Fairmont project specifically. And they got the answers they wanted. The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that "only 15 percent said they favored" development and that 69 percent "opposed taller buildings and higher density development." 57 percent said they opposed the Fairmont Miramar project, but "[r]esults for those in favor ... were not released." The city is currently considering a Downtown Specific Plan that would limit building heights to 84 feet (taller buildings wouldn't necessarily be outlawed, but they'd be tougher to build).
· Voters don't want development says Huntley-funded poll [SMDP]