Wednesday, September 18, 2013


It's time for me to move on, for at least a while. I know I have not posted much recently, and I guess and hope you know why.

Terri and I moved away from Rancho Palos Verdes last March 26 and we moved into our new home in Murrieta, California, on April 5.

Existence here is so very, very different than it was when we lived in R.P.V. and it is not only an extremely interesting change, it is also more wonderful than either of us had expected.

Not a week goes by when we learn new things and visit sites and have activities we didn't think we would like so much, out here in Southwest Riverside County.

We could not have imagined that it could be pool o'clock just about anytime we wanted and that jacuzzi o'clock whenever, could be so enjoyable.

It took about 4-1/2 months to get used to 100 degree days and now we get 'hot' when it gets over 108 degrees. The bout of humidity we had several weeks ago was also noted as being a bit more uncomfortable that we like, but it sounds like R.P.V. got several doses of that, too.

I truly do not miss anything in R.P.V. because I had association with the area I grew up in for over 57-1/2 years. Of course I miss the people and I hope everyone is happy and healthy.

As for issues, I will consider how two issues related to R.P.V. compare to what we are finding out here.

Ponte Vista:

830-total units in Northwest San Pedro is too many for me to be comfortable with, even though I have opined that I could have lived with 831-total units.

The fact that while the developers have added more 'single-family' units from their original number, there are still too many multi-family building being asked for, with too many truly or most likely becoming rental units.

I don't care how much traffic mitigation the developers claim they will do, with only ONE access street (Western Avenue) to and from the property, that is at least one street too few.

Remember, The Gardens have Western, Westmont AND Gaffey.

I did write my options about the project when the DEIR was published. Whether any calls for fewer than 830 units or the makeup of the types of units is changed is something that MAY bring about more acceptance for the project. Tripling the number of 'single-family, detached' units might be a good start, though.

Here in Murrieta, well actually by our Kaiser Permente facility in nearby Wildomar, there is a giant multi-family buildings comlex being built. Renewed building of residences and business is back and ongoing, and it is good for just about everyone.

HOWEVER, we down here have the space and our on-ramps and off-ramps to the TWO Interstates that we live between are being enlarged.

We have alternative routes to pass more congested areas. Yes, there are some ramps you would not believe and both Winchester and Temecula Parkway can be true nightmares, too much of the time.

We live in norther Murrieta, but the Temecula mall is closer and easier to get to than the Del Amo mall was to us.

As far as schools, thankfully, is a push between most of the Temecula and Murrieta schools, compared to P.V.P.U.S.D. Wildomar school, not so much. Menifee schools, nowhere near. Lake Elsinor school, don't belong in any comparison.

The vast majority of helicopters that pass over our home are NOT 'ghetto birds' but come from Camp Pendleton.

There are ZERO standard gauge railroad tracks in Murrieta, so we don't here the trains that belong to the Harbor Belt Line.

If I want to hear a foghorn early in the morning, I can go to the Internet for that.

The closest fire station to us is closer than Station 83 but since the trucks don't run ALL THE TIME or along Western Avenue, that is a big change we appreciate.

We also appreciate that we no longer live so close to a cemetery located along a major thoroughfare, when L    O    N    G funeral processions don't block our way.

While I don't drink alcohol and Terri barely manages one glass of wine, having GREAT selections of dining choices at regular restaurants AND wineries, provides with so many new tastes and experiences.

We got very spoiled, very quickly. There are Sunday music concerts all over the place.

You haven't really lived until you see a Shakespeare or Shakespeare-based comedy being performed at a winery where wine is served long before the performance begins. Watching some of the audience is at least as comical as watching many of the 'other' actors.

Music is all over the valley. Whether it is at a winery or in Old Temecula, the choices for types of music varies as much as the types of grapes grown around here.

The biggest drawback for me, living here, is that my work is still in the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley areas. If you think driving to and from R.P.V. to locations in the areas mentioned, just getting me to and from Corona, Ca takes a little over half and hour. Then, the 91 freeway, through the canyon could be more better compared to driving 19 miles through the streets of Calcutta.

I try as hard as I can to have call times outside 'normal' commute times. Working overnight is more convenient and has much less stressful driving patterns.

I am (sort of) looking for 'regular' work. I may try harder for just part-time work. I'm trying to get my California Security Guard Card, but whether I'll look for a job in that line of work is still being determined.

I have not been to a Murrieta City Council meeting...yet. I have received information that their members are at least as conservative as four of the members of the R.P.V. C.C.. At this time there doesn't appear to be any issues I have and issues with, but it is good to become a better citizen/participant, than just asking others to do it.

As for the Murrieta Police, my best description is to imagine the Simi Valley Police Department, but perhaps just a bit tougher. All the neighbors tell us that they are great, just don't cross, think of crossing, dream of crossing, or plan on dreaming about thinking about trying to cross them.

According to an F.B.I. survey, done some time ago, Murrieta was judged the second safest city in the whole U.S.A. I can believe that.

I have and never will have anything against the L.A. County Sheriffs Department and the great men and women who served and continue to serve R.P.V. and every other community.

There are not enough thanks in this Galaxy that I could give to the many friends and acquaintances we made and have in R.P.V., San Pedro and other locales. My contacts have grown since we left and I'm not about to do away with any contacts.

As for the upcoming election, if I were to vote for two Council members, I would re-elect Brian Campbell and give former Mayor Ken Dyda another term. All three candidates are conservatives so I don't have a choice between a conservative and a liberal.

My consideration about former Mayor Anthony Misetich is that it seems he does so much better in his chosen field of expertise and if he is getting a new company off the ground, perhaps city business should go away for him so he can create the most successful business as possible.

Ken Dyda's dedication to the city and its residents long after he served on the R.P.V. City Council demonstrates his love for the city, his vast knowledge of city business and its people and his willingness to try to make things better for residents, is such a good thing.

The Junior College that became a 4-year institution, that now seems to be adding post-graduate degree studies...whatever the name of it now is:

Marymount College/Marymount California University should take over the Ponte Vista site, move its R.P.V. campus there and move its Palos Verdes North housing there, too.

But that won't happen, so let's move on.

I continue to feel strongly that whatever Marymount supporters want, should be studied one element at a time. Let's see if they can do anything other than changing asphalt at their R.P.V. campus.

There is no way I would ever support having anywhere near 1,200-students and associated staff attending classes and facilities on the Southeast side of The Hill.

Once the final stripe was placed on their new parking lot, any suggestion of have that many students attending that campus made the whole parking lot obsolete. Heck, it was obsolete before it was finished.

I continue to support Marymount's efforts in downtown San Pedro and would have supported The Marymount College Facilites Expansion Project had it ever been physically started. (The newly completed parking facilities fall outside the approved plans for the approved Project.)

Let Marymount build whatever they wish to build, one thing at a time, for up to 794-students attending the R.P.V. site.

Now in contrast, even though we haven't lived in Murrieta six months yet, Terri is still enrolled in a Microsoft Office class at San Jacinto College. That campus is in nearby Menifee, about ten minutes away from our home. It would take you longer to drive from Hesse Park to Marymount than it does getting to S.J. College.

But that's only a start. Less that 1/4 of a mile from our front door is a rented space for Murrieta University. About 1/4 mile from that site is another site for Azusa Pacific. So I technically have two colleges within one half a mile from my home.

I could get to U.C. Riverside faster than someone living on the Western-most edge of R.P.V. getting to U.S.C.

There is space out here that R.P.V. simply does not have. There are no colleges among the nearby hills, but they are on flat land, with wide open spaces.

Less than five miles away from our home is a Loma Linda University Hospital and teaching facility.

Murrieta has about 2-1/2 times the population that R.P.V. has. We do have lots of tract housing and many multi-tenant buildings. We can put the land that the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy has into a fairly decent open space land areas here in Murrieta. But then we would still have all the city parks, city maintained trails, watersheds and other open spaces to enjoy.

Sun City is nearby but it is NOT in Murrieta. We have The Colony.

It's hotter in the Summer and colder in the Winter here, compared to R.P.V. it rains a whole heck of a lot less, here. It's dryer here, too.

So, until I write again, thanks so very, very, very much for putting up with my overly long posts and I hope you learned a little bit and enjoyed a little bit more, this blog.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ponte Vista: 830 Units or Fewer?

Hello to all former and new readers to this blog.

I have not posted since I moved from Rancho Palos Verdes to Murrieta, California, although I probably should have.

The issues revolving around the 61.53 acre site commonly known as Ponte Vista are very much back into discussions and studies and more comments, opinions, facts and details are finding their way onto social media, much more than we have seen since 2005.

This blog contains a great deal of facts, trivia, opinions and history of the project, most concerning what I call "The Bob Years" when Mr. Robert H. Bisno held court on the project.

You can learn lots of facts about what what then, but this is now and I feel it is time I also make comments on the project.

In consideration of the number of units being proposed at Ponte Vista, I don't like 830-units, but then again I have opined that I really can't object too much about that number.

But for a project with ONLY Western Avenue for ingress and egress, there are items which are important to discuss.

The Gardens is a community which almost borders Ponte Vista. It is 1,100 units on about 80 acres. It has been successful for decades. It has a dwelling density of about 13.75 units per acre.

The tract map for Ponte Vista is for a project of 61.53 acres in total.

In consideration of roads and open spaces, I estimated that as many as about 831 dwelling units 'could' be built at Ponte Vista. Whether there should be as many as 830 dwelling units on the site if the focus of many discussions, arguments, studies and the current writing streams that are appearing on social media.

The Gardens have dwelling units where residents have access to both Western Avenue and Gaffey Street. Westmont runs between two large sections of The Gardens, the Ponte Vista site would not have such a large street, like Westmont.

Opinions very and there are those who wanted as many as 2,300-units on the site.

I was one of the founding board members of the group R Neighborhoods Are 1 and I suggest that all readers of this block study the position of that group.

The Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council is also a very important source of information, discussion and dialog, about the project.

When considering how many units could be successfully constructed and resided in, for many decades to come, the one, overall, over riding, and most important element to consider is traffic and transportation.

Every single person entering or leaving Ponte Vista IF the access through Mary Star of the Sea High School is closed off, MUST use at least a part of Western Avenue, every time they go into or out of, Ponte Vista.

IF access through the Mary Star campus is closed off, EVERY public school student living in Ponte Vista will have to travel along at least a portion of Western Avenue, even students attending Taper Avenue Elementary School.

Marymount California University has big plans for increasing the use of the "Palos Verdes North" facility, located along Palos Verdes Drive North, between Western Avenue and '5-Points'.

While the number of students living on that site will probably increase over the coming years, there are plans to put classrooms and other student-related facilities on that site which will be used by all students whether they live in other parts of San Pedro or in some other surrounding community.

The mitigation proposed by the current developers of Ponte Vista have offered what many believe is too few items of traffic mitigation.

There is one (1) bus line, (#205) that would serve residents of Ponte Vista and there are no plans, whatsoever, to create any new access from the Ponte Vista site to either Gaffey or Westmong.

Infrastructure issues within the San Pedro community are also a concern of many, when considering whether so many units should be built at Ponte Vista. While it is obvious that '830'- units is far fewer than both '2,300' and even '1,950'  there are many who consider even 830 to be far too many.

I don't necessarily disagree with those who continue to demand "R-1" which, for reminders sake is 'a single-family detached dwelling on a lot of not less than 5,000 square feet'.

During 'The Bob Years' a total "R-1" illustration and study within the EIR was conducted. That portion of the Report showed '429' single-family houses and the illustrations and tract maps showed a very crowded and congested community.

Also, during 'The Bob Years' the L.A. Mayor during those years, along with other community leaders stated that L.A. was no longer a place where new construction of R-1 housing should be done, Angelinos needed to provide more housing for others because of some type of responsibility they opined L.A. residents had and no projects except for the massive R-1 housing approved for years earlier and being built on the bluff overlooking Playa Vista, were approved.

The current plan calls for '830'-units, but could more actually be constructed? The short answer is, YES! A 'density bonus' would be allowed if the project managers conclude they would build at least a certain number of units considered to be 'affordable housing'. There have been lots of projects built in Los Angeles that qualify for an up to 35% increase in the total number of units actually approved for.

If the developer of Ponte Vista, while they currently deny wanting a density bonus, ends up creating the project such that they get the maximum number of density bonus units built, the '830' could actually swell up to as many as '1,121' total units. (120.5) After dealing with the Ponte Vista Project during "The Bob Years" might some or all of us question the people in charge of any development?

The last tract of true R-1 housing in San Pedro was built in about 1975.

Other considerations I hope folks think about includes:

Has all the newly built condominium and apartment complexes built in San Pedro become occupied?

What is the vacancy rate for units near the Ponte Vista site?

Should residents living closer to the Ponte Vista site incur all the negative impacts of an 830-unit development?

It is any resident's responsibility to adjust their lifestyle because of some sort of civic duty to increase the local population?

If the number of units being sought would get the financial institution involved in the project to at least break even, is it the communities responsibility to basically 'bail out' that company by supporting so many dwelling units at Ponte Vista?

Is there another total number of dwelling units you feel could successfully be built at Ponte Vista, fewer than 830?

One of the things I have found interesting about the debate are those who support the current number of units and even those who supported a far greater number of units because of some generational issues, in the community. There is at least one 'third generation' San Pedran who supports the current plan. During "The Bob Years" there was an individual who traces his San Pedro roots back 5 generations. Could anyone explain why that matters in this current discussion?

There are also many in the community that will want folks to consider escape routes, terrorists attacks in the harbor area and the twin tanks whose rupture and explosion would simply wipe out the entire eastern side of The Hill and take Ponte Vista and surrounding neighborhoods with it. All of these considerations should be considered with the current Ponte Vista project, in my opinion.

If an evacuation order is given South of Palos Verdes Drive North and you are not out of the area within the first 15-30 minutes, you will be trapped, no matter which escape route you try to take. That is true unless you are an Olympic caliber swimmer.

In conclusion, I did opine that up to '831' dwelling units could be built at Ponte Vista. I remain maintained that there should not be even 830 units.

I don't think the current L.A. City Council member for the 15th District will fight as hard as former Councilwoman Janice Hahn did, in opposing Ponte Vista's number of units.

You are not responsible for the trouble iStar Financial got into and you are not responsible for getting them out of trouble or bailing them out by supporting or approving 830-units.

Now I live around so many trails, close to the Temecula Vally wine country and its open spaces and then reading about the lack of parks and open spaces in the San Pedro area recently, I think I have a better number of dwelling units to suggest.

How about up to 285 dwelling units, with the remainder of the site becoming park lands and open spaces?

Thank you for reading.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's Our Last Night In Rancho Palos Verdes



Hello and Good-Bye!

As many of my regular readers know, I used to attend RPV City Council meetings and cite how many years, months and days I had been associated with the home I was brought to, at the age of one-day old, on May 4, 1955.

Tonight, Terri and I spend our last night in the home on Trudie Drive and tomorrow we embark on a whole new adventure in a new home in Murrieta, California.

There was a period of about 22 years when other Wells' lived in the home and there was one Memorial Day weekend where I worked on all the appliances hook ups when my sister and my mom switched houses. Two moves on one day, two moving vans competing for space. That is not something I would do again...I hope.

A new young family will begin their adventure in the almost 63-year old house. There are two little boys who will have the opportunity to search for any 'Matchbox' cars I buried in the upper portion of the back yard, decades ago.

The memories and stories I was part of, living in or associated with the same home and area for so long, could fill volumes. But I won't begin them here.

I will ponder current and future affairs related to 'my home town' in later posts.

What a wonder it was growing up on the east side of The Hill.

Will I miss living in the home? I highly doubt it because I am so familiar with the house, the lot, the people and the area, it would take years and years and years of great changes to have me not 'see' everything around the area.

I will miss many of the people I have met, along the way. I'll deal with that in later posts, too.

I don't necessarily believe in luck or being lucky. I will certainly and happily admit I am the most fortunate fellow on the planet.

Folks like me are not comfortable saying good-bye and it would be hard to think I won't be around many, many times in the future.

There are still folks to talk to, issues that remain important to me and for us, life is just moving about 88 miles away, from here.

So in the end, March 26, 2013 gave me roughly 57 years, 10 months and 22 days here. What a trip it has been.

Monday, January 14, 2013

South Bay Daily Breeze Article, Tomorrow

Ms. Donna Littlejohn wrote an article appearing in the Tuesday January 15 edition of The South Bay Daily Breeze, containing the news item that the developers of The Ponte Vista Project will go forward with the 830-unit Alternative, rather than the 1,135-unit Alternative they originally considered as their preferred project.

This is a surprise to very few people and it might make attempts to keep the current zoning at the site, more difficult.

What was not stated in the article is whether the development team will seek a 'Density Bonus' that could swell the number of units from 830 to as many as up to 1,105.

Further information will be forthcoming on this blog.

Thank you.

Friday, January 04, 2013

My Comments To The New DEIR

Here is my comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report for The Ponte Vista Project.

I will add additional comments under my name:

"January 4, 2013

Erin Strelich, Planning Assistant
Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: NO. ENV-2005-4516-EIR

Dear Erin Strelich:

The following are my comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for The Ponte Vista Project.

I have known about development plans for the area in which The Ponte Vista Project is planned for since 2005.

I began my blog in about September 2006 and I served as one of the three representatives appointed from the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, to (former) Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn’s Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project.

I also serve as a committee member of “R Neighborhoods Are 1”, a community-based organized group that provides education and other amenities that allow residents of many communities the opportunities to learn about The Ponte Vista Project. This helps to organize individual and groups towards seeking the best results for all communities, with respect to the development of The Ponte Vista Project.

Between April 2009 and continuing to the present, I have considered many possible options for the development of the site and, I have changed my opinion about what could be successfully built there.

I have gone from a staunch supporter of keeping the current zoning on the site and not allowing for any new zoning there, to someone who believes that the zoning should not be changed, but now I have the opinion that “Alternative C”, which allows for the construction of up to 830 dwelling units at The Ponte Vista Project would be acceptable.

I have written that I believe that the dwelling density per acre on buildable land within the Ponte Vista site should be no greater than what has been constructed at “The Gardens”, a nearby multi-family, multiple dwellings development.

I still have two concerns dealing with my acceptance of “Alternative C” that I strongly feel needs further studies and may require an alternative to “Alternative C”.

“SB 1818” is one way to identify what others may think of for the codes and requirements of implementing a ‘density bonus’ in a development.  I feel it would be absolutely terrible to approve any Alternative that would eventually allow for the construction of more than 850-dwelling units on the Ponte Vista site.

No matter how many dwellings might be approved for at the Ponte Vista site, I must continue to call for at least 15 acres of open space within the boundaries of The Ponte Vista Project. I do not find that “Alternative C” allows for enough open space that is usable for recreation and other activities by residents and members of the public.

Since my original comments to the DEIR created for the former development known as “Ponte Vista at San Pedro”, I continue to have great support for “Alternative B”, which calls for elimination of all structures on the site and/or the construction of up to ‘385’ dwelling units, all on individual lots of not less than 5,000 square feet in size.

However, with the need for more open space on the site, I believe that should this Alternative be approved, it should allow for no more than 291-single family dwelling units.

I have some knowledge of the comments that have been created by the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council and what the “Board of R Neighborhoods Are One” have considered and I hope both of those sets of comments are studied by all, with specific further studies being based on Traffic and Transportation comments, created by the Northwest group.

I am confident that comments created by Mr. Kit Fox and/or others representing the city of Rancho Palos Verdes will offer sound reflection and recommendations for further study by Staff and members of The Los Angeles City Planning Department and Commission.

With any of the Alternatives that would allow for new construction on the site, I oppose the approval of any ‘Specific Plan’ for the site and would recommend that specific lots be established for new construction, depending on the dwelling or other units approved for at The Ponte Vista Project.

Thank you.


Mark R. Wells"

Most of the reasoning for keeping the current zoning at the site were first adopted about 6 years ago.

Nothing in general has really changed, except that there has been more growth and many of the studies conducted during years of recession should now not be used.

However, I do acknowledge that I have changed somewhat. While I told the Project Manager that I will not "support" having up to 850 dwelling units constructed at the site, I do see the possibilities of having up to that number built there.

I still support and will work with those who seek no change in the current zoning at the site and I can actually find even more reasons for that since I began dealing with Ponte Vista, now over 7 years ago.

I am still working to learn more about a possible NEW Alternative for the site, generated by community members working with the Los Angeles City Planning Department and the Ponte Vista Development team. It may just need to come down to these three different groups coming together to create the truly best Alternative for everyone.

Can that work? I really think it can. In San Pedro and in Rancho Palos Verdes where I live, groups have come together to create some very fine outcomes. This is done by working together towards the common goal of creating the best outcome for everyone.

In Rancho Palos Verdes we can visit Terranea, St. John Fisher, and even Trump National Golf Course to view areas where developers, government and community members have worked together to create developments that are better when everyone works together.

We can also see that in San Pedro. Many folks might not believe it but both Target and Harbor Highlands have seen developers work with government and community members to create something better than might have been, had community members not worked as hard and developers and government had not included community members in more positive ways.

Mr. Dennis Callavari, the Project Manager for The Ponte Vista Project will continue to find ways to promote his preferred project which includes "1,135" units. He does acknowledge that his "830" unit Alternative is the one preferred by L.A. City Planning staff and others. I think that is a plus all around.

But I do think and feel with many more community members learning about The Ponte Vista Project and working positively towards the best outcome for everyone, we all just may find out that what may eventually be built there could be the best outcome possible.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Odds And Ends 200

First, thank you so much for reading this blog. There has been several stretches of time where I posted little and I appreciate everyone who visits this blog.

This is the 200th "Odds And Ends". I will continue posting these types of posts as well as other posts on this blog.

Please remember that the end date to submit your comments regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for The Ponte Vista Project, is January 7, 2013, which is now within 10 days.

I can now let everyone know that what was once called 'The Rudderless Steering Committee' for R Neighborhoods Are 1 is ready to start the new year. There is a lot of information and communication out there that will be brought into better focus for everyone to use to help each and everyone who cares about what is being planned for our community, has all the best and most truthful information possible.

Unlike during "The Bob Years" I have much more confidence in all the information coming from the 'new' development team to provide their best information to everyone, but as with so many things, there are always multiple sides to every story.

One of the issues I neglected to ask the great folks during my meeting with several members of The Ponte Vista Project's development team, was about 'Density Bonus' at Ponte Vista.

I think I remember during some community outreach gatherings, there was some talk about the current development team NOT seeking any density bonuses at Ponte Vista.

I may have remembered incorrectly, so one of the things I want to get clear about quickly, is whether we might see density bonuses being talked about, on all sides.

A Density Bonus allows a developer the right to built more dwelling units than they originally ask for, by providing some incentives in terms of 'affordable housing' in their project.

Typically, a Density Bonus could allow for up to 35% MORE housing units into a project than would otherwise be allowed for should the Density Bonus not come into play.

Let's say a developer is seeking approval for '1,135-units'. If the developer and/or community leaders and governors want to provide greater housing opportunities to more potential residents, a total of up to about 1,532 units could actually be approved for construction.

In a development of '830-units' there COULD be approvals for up to 1,120-units.

I write again that I don't remember well enough to state whether the current development team is or will seek Density Bonuses at Ponte Vista.

A Density Bonus also allows developers to use all the environmental information, studies and findings based on what they bring forth as their preferred project, and then have that information used to allow for up to 35% greater numbers of dwelling units.

I should have all this sorted out by the second week in January.

I have now witnessed TWO collisions involving vehicles happening in the 'slow' or outer lanes along Western Avenue, between Avenida Aprenda and Weymouth Avenue, in less than a week after the new white strips were painted.

A driver attempted to turn left into the south entrance of The Terraces, from the northbound left turn lane on Western Avenue.

The driver of a vehicle in the southbound 'inner' or 'fast' lane on Western, stopped to allow the driver to turn.

Another driver, in the 'outer' or 'slow lane of southbound Western Avenue ALSO stopped to allow the driver to turn into the driveway.

HOWEVER, since the outer or slow lane is so darn wide at that and other intersections, ANOTHER driver, attempting to PASS ON THE RIGHT of the one person already stopped in the outer or slow lane, did not stop or even see the turning driver and PRESTO, exactly what I have been warning about since I first saw the temporary lane lines painted on the roadway, happened.

The second outer or slow lane collision was on the northbound lane of Western Avenue at the entrance of the shops on the east side of Western Avenue and involved two drivers, both in the outer or slow lane, one trying to turn into the entrance and the other not watching that there was already a car in the outer or slow lane. It appeared the car more towards the inner lane tried to turn right and didn't see the car passing on its right, also in the outer or slow lane.


Both of those collisions happened while our schools were on Christmas Vacation. I am quite sure from having first driven along Western Avenue on May 3, 1971, that there will be some 'hotshot' drivers not wishing to get slowed down during morning or afternoon commutes who will try to pass on the right in the outer/slow lanes.

So with that, I end this 200th "Odds And Ends", except for:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today's Meeting Regarding The Ponte Vista Project

Today, I met with three members of the team representing The Ponte Vista Project and I can report that is was positive for me and I appreciated the way the meeting was held and turned out.

I met with Ms. Sarojin Lall, who is part of Strategic Communications for Marathon Communications, Inc.

I met also with Mr. Dennis Cavallari, the 'boss' if you will, of The Ponte Vista Project.

The last name I will add is Mr. Neill E. Brower, Attorney at Law. He is a lawyer representing The Ponte Vista Project.

On the outset I would like to thank the three team members for meeting with me and discussing with me many aspects of The Project.

I found the three to be friendly and ready to listen. Mr. Brower took notes but I don't think I have anything to worry about because everything I stated I would also put on this blog.

If any of you wish to speak directly to representatives of The Ponte Vista Project, especially to seek answers to any questions you might have, please contact Ms. Lall via Email at:

You can also reach a representative at:

All that being written so far, I have not changed my current considerations for what I feel could be successfully built at Ponte Vista.

I remain having no real objection to have no more than 850-dwelling units built at Ponte Vista and I do appreciate that one of the Alternatives is for "830-units".

I remain supportive of those who contend that the Alternative which would result in either a cleared site, with no building on it OR up to 429 Single-Family housing units, should be approved.

As explained to me by Mr. Cavallari, if any Alternatives are approved that would allow for new dwellings to be constructed on the site, iStar Financial would probably build the streets and other infrastructure elements and that the construction of new dwelling units would basically be 'farmed out' to builders who would build all or part of the approved units.

Ponte Vista is being proposed to have a "Specific Plan" type of zoning established for its site.

Currently the site only allows for new construction of up to 429-Single Family houses on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet. A Specific Plan Zone identification would allow the Developer to state where they want a type of dwelling unit, on land suitable for dwelling construction. (There is Open Space land that is not suitable for dwellings to be constructed on.

Specific Plan zoning also allows for open spaces to be established on land that could be used for dwelling construction.

A Specific Plan zone seems to allow more freedom by the Developer.

Traffic and traffic mitigation is always the main topic when considering what could be successful at Ponte Vista.

I found the illustrations of the proposed traffic mitigation elements to be refreshing, compared to those in the previous Draft Environmental Impact Report.

One thing I found interesting is that should the Project get approved for up to 429 units and the Developer actually starts with traffic mitigation efforts, fifteen elements would be dealt with.

However, should the Project get approved for 830 or 1,135 units, there would be just one additional traffic mitigation element  constructed. That actually does favor the Single-Family throughout Alternative, I feel.

As for the 1,135-unit Alternative, Mr. Cavallari stated that this is the Alternative he and his team will move forward and he will continue to advocate for that, unless and until he and his team decide not to.

He did mention that "830-units" is an Alternative that is still available to him and his team.

Of course I did my best to make my points that I am strongly against having 1,135-units approved for at Ponte Vista.

It was mentioned that the original time for the comment period for the DEIR was originally 45 days, but it was moved to 60 days, in part, because of the holidays.

I opined that I wanted 90 days for the comment period because some organizations are slower than others to move things along. I referenced my city's government as an example of a body that moves slower than some other groups.

Coming away from my experiences with this new development team and what we all went through during "The Bob Years", I think we have a marketing team that is more soft-sell than before and is working harder to make connections and meet with interested folks, too.

I hope all others interested in having their views heard by development team members, get the opportunity that I received.

Odds and Ends 199

As the year rolls to an end, I want to remind you that your comments regarding the new Draft Environmental Impact Report, (DEIR) are due by January 7, 2013.

The following are comments and an address to send your comments to:

Comments of the  Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Ponte Vista are due to the City by 4:00 pm Jan 7, 2013.  

We hope you will help on this project by commenting on the Draft EIR which is based on 1135 housing units.

It is not necessary for you to provide detailed comments.  It is important for you to say what concerns you have about the project [traffic, density, etc.] or what you would like to see built at the site [housing mix, single family, mixed use, additional open space, etc.] .  You should especially comment on the fact that the Jan 7 deadline is unreasonable, and requiring comments over the holiday season does not allow you sufficient time for review and comment.

The DEIR is available online at (click on “Environmental” then “Draft EIR” then Ponte Vista) or at the San Pedro Library.  It is as huge document so we suggest you look at the index and read the sections of specific interest to you.
They should be addressed to 

Erin Strelich, Planning Assistant
Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 978-1343
They may be sent  by email to 

It is important to include the following in the subject line:  Ponte Vista ENV-2005-4516-EIR

We recommend that you also send a copy to Councilman Joe Buscaino, 638 S. Beacon, San Pedro 90731 or by e-mail to

Please pass this on to others who care about our community
I know the author of the comments and I absolutely concur that the January 7, 2013 deadline is unreasonable because of the holidays and because not enough organizations will have time to confer, construct and vote on comments being sent in on the behalf of members. I believe there should have been at least 90 days for the comment period.

I am still confused and ill at ease with the new striping of the center lanes along Western Avenue between about Avenida Aprenda and areas south of Weymouth.

What my fear is is that more reckless drivers will use the very wide outer lanes to pass on the right, especially during the after 2 PM drive time. One of Rpv's Council members is very concerned too and I have talked to the traffic engineer for the city of R.P.V. about this.

It appears to me that the center lanes along a portion of the State Highway are not wide enough, along a portion of Western Avenue.

I will be meeting with a group of individuals associated with The Ponte Vista Project, later today and I intend on writing a post about that meeting.

What I can tell you is that I am pleased with the 'new' outreach being shown by the folks at The Ponte Vista Project and it is more refreshing to me than what I dealt with between  2005 and 2009.

Terri and I still have a chuckle remembering when it was considered that Terri look for employment at the trailers during "The Bob Years" which began in 2005 and concerned the time and efforts of Mr. Robert H. (Bob) Bisno and his attempt to over develop the Ponte Vista site.

There has been some new delays established with Marymount College officials' attempts to continue to expand their Palos Verdes North off-campus housing site, along Palos Verdes Drive North.

I don't know many of the details but I did read that some things have been moved into an 'uncertain' category.

I have read the Traffic Study for The Ponte Vista Project and viewed the illustrations of the traffic mitigation being considered with The Project. There are still a good number of folks in our community who continue to question the Study. Many folks have a much better understanding of the Study and some of what they are concerned about. They should be considered our mentors because of their knowledge, history and dealings with traffic in our area.

There are members of The Western Avenue Task Force who have much more detailed knowledge than I do, about traffic and many of them are also concerned with the Traffic Study of The Ponte Vista Project.

Is it going to be a rainy and cold winter before Spring springs? It seems to me that we have been getting more rain than we have seen in recent years. I also wonder what it may be like when Spring has sprung.