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Santa Monica City Council says no to higher-rise buildings

Santa Monica City Council backed off a controversial change to its zoning code Tuesday. 

In a 4-3 vote, council members removed the option to build taller buildings throughout some of the city's downtown.

Councilmember Gleam Davis was in favor of allowing five-story mixed use buildings along Wilshire Boulevard. She said putting restrictions on housing in the city is a mistake.

"So for a group of people who claim to support housing, I'm actually quite honestly stunned that we're not erring on the side of favoring housing," she said before the vote.

This was a small victory for the 50 protesters who gathered outside City Hall prior to the meeting. They held signs that read: "Too big. Too tall. Too much." They were all a part of the advocacy group Residocracy. 


Fifteen-year resident Lewis Perkins said taller buildings would have added even more congestion.
“Some of the services are nice and we like amenities and to shop but it’s becoming too dense for a beach community,” he said. 

The council's re-zoning decision did not come without debate. The council heard from nearly 100 residents before making a decision Tuesday. They also heard from over 100 community members last month.

Overall, public opinions were split. Some argued that taller buildings would change the beach town. Others said it would promote public transit and affordable housing.

This story has been updated.