The Real Deal Los Angeles

Opponents of SaMo anti-density campaign raise nearly $1M

Groups opposing the LUVE ballot initiatives garnered financial support from private residents and development stakeholders

October 06, 2016 12:15PM

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Renderings of 11800 West Santa Monica Boulevard by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects

Renderings of the project at 11800 West Santa Monica Boulevard by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

If it all comes down to money, the pro-development lobby has a leg up in Santa Monica.

Opponents of LUVE, the ballot initiative that would require all developments taller than two stories to gain community approval by popular vote, had raised $947,000 as of late September, thanks to private residents and deep-pocketed developers, according to the Santa Monica Lookout.

By comparison, Residocracy, the group behind the measure, had raised just $46,000, according to disclosure statements.

The two main opposition groups are Santa Monica Forward and Housing and Opportunity for a Modern Economy (HOME). The former had nearly 170 donations amounting to $585,000. Most contributors gave about $100, but there were a handful of development firms that wrote hefty checks, including Hudson Pacific Properties and Ocean Avenue LLC of Miramar Hotel, both of which gave $49,000. HOME had three main donors: NMS Properties, Century West Partners and the owner of the proposed mixed-use project at 525 Colorado Avenue. Century West gave $75,000.

Residocracy’s funds were raised mostly through small donations but include three larger contributions: $5,000 from investor Ishak Bibawi, $5,000 from Venice businessman Mark Sokol and $3,135 from retiree Thomas Epley. [SML]Cathaleen Chen