A Half–Truth is All Wrong


Mark Twain is alleged to have once said:

 "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”

 This is just the problem with the folks that insist that Santa Monica Municipal Airport, historical Cloverfield, was supposed to be a park. The truth is that the land was purchased for the express purpose of having an airport for the city by using a parkland bond in the mid 1920’s.

People in and out of city government that tell us that the land beneath our airport was originally bought for a park are just plain wrong. It is parkland, but it was purchased for an airport.

When the city fathers decided that an airport was part of the path to Santa Monica’s future, they petitioned the state government in Sacramento to modify the parkland law to recognize aviation as a legitimate parkland use. Much to the short–sighted present day City Council's chagrin, that law, written nearly one hundred years ago at this city’s behest, is still the law of the land. In California a park can be used as an airport as long as an airport is needed. The land use is equivalent under the law.

Any change in this parkland status would require a 2/3 vote of registered voters, a difficult hurdle to clear indeed. Lesser votes like those in last November’s low turnout election can never supersede this requirement.

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