Here is my comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report for The Ponte Vista Project.
I will add additional comments under my name:
Erin Strelich, Planning Assistant
Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Erin Strelich:
The following are my comments to the Draft Environmental
Impact Report (DEIR) for The Ponte Vista
I have known about development plans for the area in which
The Ponte Vista Project is planned for since 2005.
I began my www.pontevista.blogspot.com
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
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
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.
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.