Santa Monica

Councilmember Kevin McKeown


Charging developers a fixed fee to compensate our community for the housing needs that their commercial projects create is, one would think, an obvious way to protect residents.  The historic pattern, though, has been letting developers get sweetheart deals with minimal community housing benefits.

Staff recommended we charge only ONE TWENTIETH of what our own studies showed was justified.  I fought for the level of  fee supported by our Housing Commission.  In the end, the Council majority went with the sweetheart deal, again.

“I would like to see a higher yield from commercial projects that get built,” McKeown said, “and if that means that fewer commercial projects get built or if they take longer because we have to wait for a developer who is better capitalized or, frankly, who has a better, more profitable project, I don’t think the residents of the city would be terribly dismayed if there were less commercial development as a result.”

To read the whole story published in The Lookout, 9/25/14, please click here.