Just two days ago, we reported the the City had selected the design firm for the 12-acre expansion of the Santa Monica Airport Park. We have a lot more good news to report since then.
To get a sense of the City’s firm commitment to pressing ahead with the process of regaining local control of the airport and repurposing the land for park and recreational purposes, one only has to listen to the comments made by Mayor Tony Vazquez and City Manager Rick Cole at the 2016 “State of the City” event.
Mayor Tony Vazquez and City Manager Rick Cole both stressed the importance of regaining local control and the creation of a park at Santa Monica Airport during the recent Santa Monica State of the City 2016 event held on January 28th, 2016 at the Soka Gakkai International Auditorium to a capacity audience hosted by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. In doing so, they both stressed that solving airport issues and creating a park were a priority issue as mandated by the 2014 landslide passage of Measure LC.
Mayor Tony Vazquez stated in his speech, “Our City Council will continue to fight for local control of our airport lands as mandated by the voters in Measure LC. In 2016, look for our city leaders to push hard with the federal elected officials and the FAA to resolve long standing airport issues that have negative impacts on our community and neighbors.” Link:full speech.
City Manager Rick Cole said in his speech, “It was innovative to build an airfield for biplanes, but that was 100 years ago. It makes no sense for corporate jets to be taking off 300 feet from the rooftops of our residents” Cole went on to say: “Santa Monica voters have spoken and we assert local control and we will reuse those building and hangers for creative business uses and will generate the revenue we need to build the great park that a great community eserves.” His comments were followed by loud applause from the capacity audience made up business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce. Link:full speech.
Short video clips of the most relevant sections can be seen below.
But thats not all, just today Airport2Park was told by the Nelson Hernandez, the City’s new Airport Tsar:
Yesterday the City of Santa Monica notified all tenants of our southeast parcel that “tie-down” leases for aircrafts located on the subject parcel will expire on March 15th. See SMDP story here. The southeast parcel currently has 73 aircraft tie-down spaces spread-out over six acres. The southeast parcel is located directly east of Airport Park.
At present there are 32 aircrafts leasing the property. The affected tenants will be offered tie-down spaces in other parts of the Airport, where there is adequate space. By clearing the property of the 73 aircraft tie-downs and using the land for a much needed expansion of Airport Park, the City will take an important step in regaining local control of our land and improving the quality of life for our residents.
This action was yet another critical step in the City’s schedule to follow up on the park mandate handed down by voters in the November 2014 election. Airport2Park is extremely happy to see things moving ahead so rapidly, and once again wishes to express our thanks to our City Council and Staff for doing exactly what they promised.