City of Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village "Hines Project" Veto Referendum (November 2014)
Administration of Government
|Not on ballot|
This measure was triggered by the Santa Monica City Council approval of a Bergamot Transit Village (BTV) development project proposed by Hines 26th Street LLC development company. This project, if it goes forward unthwarted by this referendum, would produce 765,095 square feet of mixed-use development at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and 26th Street. The City Council voted on February 4, 2014, in a four against three decision to approve the BTV project. Not even a full day later, a campaign for a veto referendum petition campaign against the City Council's decision was underway. It was led by the movement called Residocracy.org, which was founded by former City Council candidate Armen Melkonians. The petitioners have a 30 day window beginning on the day of the city council's vote to collect the required 6,091 valid signatures. This window ends on March 14, 2014. If enough signatures have been collected by that date, the referendum will be put on either the November 4, 2014 election ballot or a special election ballot before that date.
Note: Those who are opposed to the City Council approved development project and in favor of overturning the development agreement, which is the goal of the referendum measure, are considered supporters in this article.
- Residocracy.org is leading the referendum petition campaign.
Other supporters include:
- Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR)
- Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC)
- Mid-City Neighbors
- Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition (Wilmont)
Arguments in favor
Those opposed believe the city council ignored the will of the effected residents by approving this construction project and that it will result in a large and inconvenient increase in traffic.
An email sent out by Residocracy.org to its members read, “Referendum to Veto City Council's decision on proposed 765,000 square foot development scheduled to launch after City Council ignores residents and approves 7,000 new daily car trips."
Armen Melkonians, founder of Residocracy.org, spent about $2,500 on printing petition signature packets. Several attendants of the referendum launch meeting donated money to offset these costs.
Note: Those who are in favor of the City Council approved development project and opposed to overturning the development agreement, which is the goal of the referendum measure, are considered opponents in this article.
City council vote
For development project
The following four council members voted for approving the BTV development project:
- Councilmember Gleam Davis
- Mayor Pam O'Connor
- Mayor Pro Tem Terry O'Day
- Councilmember Bob Holbrook
Against development project
The following three council members voted against approving the BTV development project as proposed:
- Councilmember Kevin McKeown
- Councilmember Tony Vazquez
- Councilmember Ted Winterer
Path to the ballot
This measure was triggered by the approval by the Santa Monica City Council of a Bergamot Transit Village (BTV) development project proposed by Hines 26th Street LLC development company. The City Council voted on February 4, 2014, in a four against three decision to approve the BTV project. Not even a full day later, about 250 city residents gathered to plan and begin a campaign to collect the 6,091 required valid signatures to put a veto referendum against the city council's decision on the ballot. This campaign is being led by the movement called Residocracy.org, which was founded by former City Council candidate Armen Melkonians. If enough signatures are gathered within the 30 day window allowed, the measure will either go on the November 4, 2014 election ballot or on a special election ballot before that date.
The Santa Monica Charter allows the city initiative, referendum and recall laws to be governed by state law. These laws require that, for a city of over 1,000 residents, an effective referendum petition must contain valid signatures equal in number to ten percent of the registered voters of the city. The most recent full report showed 60,909 registered voters in Santa Monica, which makes the requisite number of signatures to be 6,091. According to the same state statutes, if signatures equaling 15 percent of registered voters are gathered, which is 9,136 in this case, a special election before the November 4, 2014, general election could be forced.
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- City of Columbus Blue Jackets’ Nationwide Arena Bailout Initiative (May 2014)
- City of San Francisco Voter Approval of Waterfront Construction Exceeding Height Limits Initiative (June 2014)
- City of Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village "Hines Project" Veto Referendum (November 2014)
- City of Eau Claire Voter Approval of Performing Arts Building Initiative (April 2014)
- 8 Washington Street-Referendum, Proposition C (November 2013)
- 8 Washington Street Development-Initiative, Proposition B (November 2013)
- Santa Monica Daily Press, "My Write: Referendum goes beyond Bergamot Transit Village," February 23, 2014
- Santa Monica Mirror, "Referendum Campaign To Veto Hines Development In Full Swing," February 14, 2014
- Residocracy.org website, accessed February 21, 2014
- Santa Monica Lookout, "Santa Monica Resident Group Gears up for Referendum," February 7, 2014
- Santa Monica Lookout, "Santa Monica City Council Narrowly Approves Bergamot Transit Village," February 7, 2014
- California Elections Code 9200-9226, accessed February 21, 2014