Another key Santa Monica citizens group, Residocracy, is withholding support of a petition being circulated regarding the Santa Monica Airport (SMO) being circulated by aviation interests. Residocracy is a “community network of residents” dedicated to ensuring that City Hall addresses residents’ concerns while preserving the character and livability of Santa Monica.
Residocracy recently led the successful signature campaign to block a major development in Santa Monica. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the lobbying group behind the airport initiative, explicitly has promoted its measure by linking it to to the Residocracy referendum. Residocracy, however, informed its members that the AOPA initiative “has not been endorsed by Residocracy or Residocracy’s Community Network of Residents.”
In an email labeled “Alert,” Residocracy told its members that while the petition talks of preventing overdevelopment at SMO “the actual goal…seems to be preserving the ‘status quo’ both for pilots … and for aviation businesses based at the airport.” The group advised that anyone who regrets having signed the petition can rescind their signatures, and linked to a form to do so.
Other community groups across the city also oppose the initiative, including Friends of Sunset Park; Northeast Neighbors; Ocean Park Association; Pico Neighborhood Association; Santa Monica Mid-City Neighbors; Wilshire-Montana Neighborhood Coalition, and Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights. The groups say the initiative is masquerading as an anti-development measure, while aiming to keep airport traffic, including jets, at its present or increased levels.
On March 25, 2014, the Santa Monica City Council took actions to ultimately reduce aviation uses at SMO, and began a process to ensure that future development would be low-intensity, such as a park. Two days later the AOPA filed its initiative to change the City Charter to block the city from following its March 25 plan.