Saturday, September 30, 2006

Extra Credit Homework Assignment.

Now class, I know you are all anxiously awaiting the Traffic Study for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development which is about to be released.

But may I suggest something I am going to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon after taking Cookie and Acacia for their walk. I am going to do a little homework.

It is something I should have done some time ago, being as I live so close to Western Avenue. But now I have to study up on the Western Avenue Task Force and it's findings and recommendations.

Here is the URL for the Adobe Acrobat .PDF. I hope you can find the link, but if not, just google: Western Avenue Task Force. Then click on the first site that is listed, and there you are.

The read is 49 pages long. I intend on using a highlighter and making notes. I may publish my thoughts and pieces of the document, but I hope everyone interested in what may happen to Western Avenue will take the time I haven't as yet taken, and read the document for themselves.

I am almost dying to read how the Traffic Study for Ponte Vista compares with the Western Avenue Task Force document...or doesn't compare. I fear trust is still in short supply with this blogger.

Another shorter read, is on the subject of Border Issues relating to the borders of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. I get to read up on that one too. With Ponte Vista proposed on the San Pedro side of Western and the possibility of affordable housing even being mentioned on the Rancho Palos Verdes side of Western, I think we all should be as well informed as possible. This document is only 20 pages long.

As soon as I hear where the October 12 committee meeting may be being moved to, I'll publish the location on this blog site.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Draw Your Dreams

For the most part, this blog has included postings and comments that were for the left side of your brain. Now it is time for some fun, creativity, and a little workout for the right side or your brain.

Draw Your Dreams consists of a series of photos and illustrations that you can save and edit so you can draw your dreams and ideas for what you feel is the best way to use the land inside the Ponte Vista at San Pedro site.

Draw Your Dreams is not a contest. You only get to compete with your own imagination. I have included in some of the illustrations, some of my dreams. You can keep them in, or edit them out. I am hopeful that there will be many folks who would be willing to share their dreams by sending their creations to If you don't want your name used, I'll exclude it and perhaps attribute it to some long-dead painter. You can be humorous with your imagination, but please refrain from being mean.

So, get out your favorite photo editing software, your Web images of homes, buildings, parks, nature paths, roads, landscaping, fields, lakes, streams, and whatever else you want to put on the site. It's time for a little fun to break up the facts and figures, I think.

Be an artist with a mouse, scanner, Internet, and brilliant ideas swimming in your mind.

The first image is a copy of Mr. Bisno's illustration of his concept for the site. It is superimposed on top of an aerial photo of the site as it is today.

Notice the pink "road"? That is part of my "impossible" road. Many of us, including Mr. Bisno would like to see a road between Western Avenue and Gaffey Street. My thought is , if you're going to build a road to Gaffey Street, why not just go up the hill and put some ramps on the Harbor Freeway? But this is part of my dream road and if you don't like it, change it or erase it.

At least this image gives you a bit of idea of the size and placement of the development with regards to Western Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods. What you can't see in this image is the new Mary Star High School, under construction, on the eastern side of Ponte Vista. I have the pink road ending at a possible eastern gate to Ponte Vista and well enough away from where the ball fields for Mary Star will be constructed along the southern side of the property.

This next illustration is the artist's concept of what an aerial photo of Ponte Vista might look like when completed according to Mr. Bisno's vision.
You may move buildings around, or use pieces of this shot on other images. You may also wish to change the number and type of structures within the development.

This image is "courtesy" of the L.A.U.S.D.. The pink area is the 24 acre, "Study Area" for the proposed 2,025 seat senior high school, now called SRHS #14. Within the 24 acres, L.A.U.S.D. has plans to purchase 15.03 acres of land as the "Preferred Site" for the school.
Mr. Bisno does not want such a large area seized using the right of eminent domain. He has publicly stated that he might consider a school site of up to 500-600 students within Ponte Vista.
With this image, you can play with the placement of any sized school you wish and create a residential community of your liking.

Now you get to see my favorite image of the property. Look, all you see are the trees and hedges that surround the property. With this illustration, you can create anything and everything you want. Perhaps you only want recreation, nature sites, learning areas, parks, and lakes. Maybe you would like to any number of single-family homes in your dream development. Maybe you would like to put a school somewhere else on the property.
This is your canvas to be as creative as you want to be. Here you see only the restrictions that are the property lines that you can't go beyond. Right click on the image (using Windows) and click "Save picture as" and have as much fun as you can have with a mouse, the Internet, and a willingness to draw the best thing for Northwest San Pedro!

Good luck with your endeavors. Please don't take this post too seriously. Give yourself the time to think what you would approve of in Ponte Vista. Perhaps you don't feel that you can draw your dreams. We might be able to have someone interpret you written words into images for one of these illustrations.

If Mr. Bisno can dream, so can you! Let's see what we can come up with.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Exhibit "B" Project Description

The second section of the Ponte Vista General Plan Amendment/Zone Change Application is the Legal Description of the development site. Never before have I read the words, "Thence" and "Commencing" so many times. This section is also called; Exhibit "A".

If you wish to follow the legal description of the property, please be my guest to get your own copy and have a very wordy read. (Much like my posts!) The section includes measurements for the entire property and is extremely specific as to locations, distances, and boundaries.

This post includes Exhibit "B", the third offering in the application binder. Exhibit "B", in our binder, is the Project Description. You will find it below with it's "magically" enlarging capability.
This section is two pages long.

On Page 2 of the exhibit, last paragraph, last sentence, it states as follows:
"An outline draft of a Specific Plan is attached in support of the applicant's project description."

No, it is not attached!

This "outline" may be one of the documents deliberately left out of the binder at the request of the City Planning Department, or ???

Western Avenue Task Force

The history of our area includes not one, but two recent analysis of traffic conditions on our end of Western Avenue.

For many years, Western Avenue was the longest continuous "Avenue" in the entire world. From one end, you can drive off a cliff and slam into the parking lot at Royal Palms. The other end of the longest continuous stretch of Western Avenue has you crashing into barriers at Griffith Park, if you fail to negotiate the sharp curve on to Los Feliz. Western Avenue does continue in the San Fernando Valley.

Recently there have been two Task Forces established to study and comment on traffic issues along Western Avenue, in our neck of the woods. Western Avenue Task Force #1, and Western Avenue Task Force #2. At least two of the members of the Janice Hahn CAC were members of the task forces. Gordon Tueber, a member of Ms. Hahn's staff and our committee's liaison to Ms. Hahn also served on the Task Forces, so I have been told.

I have also been informed that the recommendations from the Task Forces are available through the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. I bet you can find the recommendations too, if you contact Mr. Tueber from Ms. Hahn's office.

My as yet, unnamed contributor, also stated that Western Avenue is considered a "Major Highway" and as such designation applies, the center medians of Western Avenue are very important to maintain. When asked during the last meeting, whether the medians would be removed or not, the City Planner suggested that they would not be removed, but they may become narrower. Proper sized medians on major highways are important safety factors that should remain important.

Rumor Control #2

I bet many of you had heard the rumor that Mr. Bisno would not build 2,300 homes, but would probably only ask for some fewer number of homes in Ponte Vista. The number 1,500 has been bantered about for the total number of homes Mr. Bisno actually wanted to build. Other rumors gave various numbers and sizes of the homes for the development.

Mr. Bisno, through Mr. Eric Hoffman, has sent to the L.A. City Planning Department, an application for zoning changes that would allow him to build 2,300 homes.

Below this text you will find two .jpg copies of the two-page Master Land Use Permit Application that was submitted on September 7, 2006. This document was at the very beginning of the application binder that the committee and some members of the public who attended last Thursday's meeting received.

Now that the rumors have been scuttled, it is time to get into the nuts and bolts of the application and the processes necessary for for Mr. Bisno to achieve his goal. Right now the application is being studied, critiqued, analyzed, and commented on. The necessary processes continue. Whether you approve or disapprove of Mr. Bisno's plans, now is when the rubber really meets the road and folks on all sides of the issue should ramp up their knowledge, and response.

Mr. Bisno's position on the development has been published, described, commented on, televised, and shared with many people and at many venues.

My past and current position on the development, likewise, has been documented. My turn to share my current position is over. It's time to be drawn into the processes, weigh in, and support whatever positions you have. It is also probably time to communicate more with like-minded folks. If you are not part of an organization that supports your opinions and positions, I feel now is the time to get even more involved.

The rumor was just that, a rumor. Now it is time to deal with "just the facts, mame."

If you click on the images below, they will "magically" grow bigger.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


On page 2 of the September 23, 2006 edition of More San Pedro, Dennis Lim wrote a piece titled; "Developer doesn't have to follow group's critique."

He quoted me in his article stating; "That doesn't sound like what I heard would come out of this process" Mr. Lim also write that I had indicated that the group (CAC) would "formulate" Councilwoman Janice Hahn's stance on the project based on our findings.

I'll stand by my quote, but I think the concept that our group would "formulate" Ms. Hahn's stance is not quite what I told Mr. Lim. During the first meeting, I remember Ms. Hahn stating that she would use our group's recommendations to help her decide what her vote might be, after all is said and done. I also feel that our group's recommendations would help her assist the process while going through the City Planning Department. I felt I was led to believe that the group's input would have a strong sway with Ms. Hahn and Mr. Bisno, because they both claimed in public that it would.

O.K., call me naive. Perhaps to many, we are just put in place to go through the motions that allow Mr. Bisno to jump to the head of the lines and receive better service from the planning department because he is paying for the "Specific Plan" approach instead of a slower approach that might stall implementing his development longer than he wishes.

But I contend that our group is a microcosm of the population of San Pedro and eastern R.P.V. I am a blue-collar worker, Lucie is a teacher, some folks are retired, several members deal in real estate, at least one member owns a printing shop. I hope we represent the general population of San Pedro and eastern R.P.V. I think our influence in the process, is to learn as much as we can about everything, pass that information on to whoever is interested, and take to the group, concerns from the community.

Do we really have much influence? I think that depends on how we conduct ourselves and how much support we get from the public. We must remain open to all comments. Even though nobody on the committee is truly "objective" concerning Ponte Vista, we have all agreed to listen, debate, and come up with suggestions that might bring about the best possible outcome for everyone. If we weren't here, I think we would only read about the progress of the development through articles, some time after the fact.

Our influence actually comes from you. If we have strong support and communication with the community, we stand a better chance of being listened to, especially with the Planning Department.

Should we be the only group? Absolutely not! Mr. Bisno has his Senior Advisory Board, as well as other groups and paid staffers to sway the public towards his vision. There are other group completely dedicated to seeing that 2,300 homes are not built in Ponte Vista. There are groups in favor or opposed to a 2,025 seat high school built anywhere in the Harbor area. You are encouraged to join a group that is most inline with your opinions concerning anything related to Ponte Vista.

What can our group offer. So far, at the last two meetings, we had Mr. Bisno, Mr. Hamilton from the SRHS #14 project, Gordon Tueber from Ms. Hahn's office, and several members from the Planning Department, in the same room, at the same time. Every one of them had some input into the meeting. Last Thursday, the Harbor Area representative from Mayor V's office sat on my left. Our group offers the combined ears of the major players in the Ponte Vista project. I feel our group has the responsibility to inform the public as openly as possible and take back to the decision makers everyone's comments and concerns.

Are we truly objective? Are you? Should we be? Should you be? When I am truly objective, it gets my wife Terri, upset. When I am truly objective, I haven't formed an opinion on something.
When Terri asks if I like the pair of shoes she is considering buying, I may not have an opinion, so I tell her, "I have no opinion". That to me, is being truly objective. And boy, does it get her mad. You wouldn't be reading this blog if you didn't have an opinion or are truly objective. You would have no need, because you would be apathetic towards the project.

Should you be objective?
Please consider the prospect of 7,343 new residents living on less than one tenth of one percent of the land in San Pedro.
Please know that the traffic planner for Bisno Development has stated that a 2,300 home project would put between 5,000 and 5,500 more cars on Western Avenue.
Consider that Mr. Bisno estimates that his project may add over one-hundred million dollars to the business economy in San Pedro, Harbor City, Lomita, Wilmington, and Torrance.
Think about our newest Fire Station, being built on Gaffey St. at Mira Flores. It may have to serve an additional 2,300 homes, all in multi-story structures on limited sized streets.
Please concern yourself with the public and private schools in the area. How many more classrooms will be needed to educate the children living in Ponte Vista?
Imagine a 2,025 seat senior high school surrounded by fenced Navy property and a gated community.
Can you picture 575 Senior Housing homes where nobody has to climb even one stair?
Take a look at the drawings furnished by Ponte Vista at San Pedro. What do you think about them?
Talk to people an every side of the debate concerning the development and/or the school.

My guess is that you are just like the rest of us. You have opinions, perhaps even very strong opinions. Wouldn't you rather have a forum to learn and communicate your opinions, or just read about events, after the fact?


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rumor Control concerning "Condos"

Recently I have been approached by several people who have wondered if I had heard the rumor that there are going to be condos built near the old Do-It Center site on Western at Caddington, quite near the Ponte Vista Development.

There are absolutely zero applications on file with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Department concerning ANY condominium development along Western Avenue, in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Not only did I communicate with an R.P.V. City Councilperson, I also asked Mr. Kit Fox personally if he had heard about anything rumored. Being that he is a big part of the R.P.V. City Planning Department, I was assured he would know the facts.

The rumor is just a rumor. The fact is that, at this time, there are no applications for any condo or mixed use developments on the site in question, or along Western Avenue in R.P.V.

Now that the rumor is out of the way, here is some information about R.P.V. and a "possibility" for some development along Western Avenue, in R.P.V.

Cities are mandated by the State of California and/or the Federal Government to provide "affordable housing" within their limits. The City Fathers of R.P.V. have to wrestle with the fact that there is not enough "affordable housing" in R.P.V. and the vast majority of land is too expensive within R.P.V. to build "affordable housing" on. So the governors of the city might look more favorably at a couple of sites on Western Avenue for "affordable housing" development than most other possible sites in R.P.V.

So, if anyone hears another rumor like; there is an application on file to build "affordable housing" condo units on Western Avenue in place of the Best Value Motel, Blue Crab, and shops just to the south, please let me know and I will get right onboard of rumor control again.

Stay tuned, If I get wind of anything, I'll include it on this blog.

September 21 Meeting Highlights.

I want to first thank everyone who showed up for our third meeting. In addition to Mr. Bisno and members of his staff, we had members of the planning department, a representative from L.A. Mayor V's office, and Mr. Rod Hamilton, head of the SRHS #14 project. We also had what seemed to be an overflow number of interested citizens attending.

I now have, in my formally Cherry Coke stained hands, a copy of the "Ponte Vista General Plan Amendment/Zone Change Application" that was submitted to the L.A. City Planning Department. The application was filed on September 14, 2006 by Mr. Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation.

This document is available to the general public by visiting the planning department and requesting a copy. I also asked Mr. Bisno if he would be able to publish the documents online. Mr. Bisno agreed with me that the information should be provided to everyone who requests it. Mr. Bisno asked one of his staff members to look into putting the application online. If and when the document becomes available online, I will place the URL for it on this blog.

During the meeting, our committee discussed more organizational and scheduling items.

The Ponte Vista Development lawyer gave us the application binder and a presentation on the processes the applicant uses with the planning department.

We had a presentation from the planning department giving us an overview of their responsibilities and processes. Many questions were asked of the attendees from the planning department, and I understood most of the answers.

My question to the planning department representative was: Can a single property have multiple zonings within its boundaries? The answer was, yes?

Another questions dealt with the dwelling density of low-level zoning and medium level zoning.
As I understood the answer, R-1, or low-level density is 9 dwelling units per acre. R-3, or medium-level density is up to 55 dwellings per acre.

Using the current landscape and R-1 low-level density, there would be approximately 430 single-family homes able to be built.

During the meeting, we were informed that the Traffic Study, initiated by Mr. Bisno, will be forthcoming as soon as the City of L.A. releases it. Mr. Bisno and the rest of us had hoped to see that document tonight, but it apparently needs one official document finished before it is released. I will ask Mr. Bisno to have the Traffic Study placed online as well as available to the general public.

Our "800 ton Gorilla" made another appearance at the meeting tonight as well. I asked the L.A. City Planner if she had been in contact with anyone from L.A.U.S.D. and whether the City Planning Department had "official" knowledge that there is a 2,025 seat high school proposed for part of Ponte Vista. I brought that point up while I knew Mr. Hamilton was sitting behind me. It appeared to me and other members of the committee that L.A. City Planning hasn't yet, and may not be, too particularly interested in dealing with Mr. Hamilton and the L.A.U.S.D. I commented that I felt it was important for the City Planning Department to, at least, understand that whatever the applicant files, may be dramatically altered in the future by a 15.03 acre campus right smack dab where Mr. Bisno envisions the Senior Housing to be located.

We discussed scheduling and public forums. One form of schedules had us meeting up to four times in October! It also indicated that we would have activities up to three times a month for the next six months. When all the jaws were recovered from the floor, we settled on one meeting a month, for the next two months. They are scheduled for October 12, and November 9.

We talked about when our first public forum would be held. It seemed to many of us that we all would need to digest the application, Traffic Study, and environmental Impact Report before we have folks share their thoughts. I feel that the general public needs to be informed about the facts, studies, and some details so they can have the best opportunity to comment to our group.
These public forums will be in addition to public hearings which are very official in nature and have impact on the planning department. The more folks who speak up about the project, the more the planning department tends to listen.

The October 12 meeting is one I hope everyone interested in the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Project will attend. Mr. Bisno and his staff will give everyone his take on the project. I feel strongly that Mr. Bisno has the right to tell us why he thinks 2,300 homes is the appropriate number for Ponte Vista. I hope there is full disclosure about the concepts, thinking and planning processes that he and his staff went through to create the application he submitted.

I don't want to see protestors at this meeting, even though I do believe in free speech and open government. I feel that Mr. Bisno has the right and the opportunity to explain his positions. If protests to his concept are needed, there are plenty of other forums to conduct them in the future. But I would like October 12 to be Mr. Bisno's night where we all listen carefully to him and his staff. We should all bring pen and paper to write down concerns. As with every meeting, there will be public comment at the end of the meeting. We will use speaker cards to have a more orderly public comment session, so if you want a chance to speak, please show up before 6:00p.m. to fill out a card. We should begin promptly at six like we did this evening.

I fixed the comments problem

Being very new at this blogging business, I am carefull to make every mistake possible.
I have changed the settings to allow anyone to leave comments to anything I write.
If you would like to leave a comment but find you comment doesn't get posted, please create and Email to and I will publish your comments and try again to fix whatever mistakes I continue to make.

Thank you to the folks who have left me comments that I only saw briefly read before I forgot how to access them.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Bond for a Road

I was thinking about this in the shower this morning. It is a concept that I have absolutely no idea whether it is workable, or just plain crazy.

Mr. Bisno wants to build 2,300 homes in Ponte Vista. Myself and others want a new road from Western Avenue to Gaffey Street, then continuing up the hill to a new set of ramps on the Harbor Freeway.

How about a bond measure that, if passed by voters, would pay for the road. The zoning change Mr. Bisno would need to build the community according to his wishes would be contingent on the passage of the bond.

Who would vote on the bond measure? I think it is fair that the only people that would vote on the bond issue and be subject to the financial costs are the folks that would benefit from the new road. These include residents of the San Pedro Community Planning Area, the Harbor City/Wilmington Community Planning Area, residents of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Palos Verdes Estates, the City of Palos Verdes, and residents living within L.A. City Council District #15.

I think if the bond measure does pass and Ponte Vista gets a higher density, there should be something in the CC&Rs of the residents requiring them to pay, through their property taxes, their portion of the bond measure.

The new road and ramps would directly benefit the folks on the hill because it gives them a better route to the freeway or it relieves congestion at "5 Points", and the Anaheim and P.C.H. ramps for the Harbor Freeway. The road and ramps would also benefit many people in San Pedro because it would relieve congestion at the end of the Freeway, the Channel/North Gaffey ramps, and the Harbor Blvd ramps.

This bond idea doesn't involve L.A.U.S.D. right now. If L.A.U.S.D. gets into the picture, they always float bond measures and I would expect L.A.U.S.D. would be required to use bond money voted on by everyone who votes for L.A.U.S.D. bonds, to pay for the road and ramps. A 2,025 seat high school cannot have, as it's only access, Western Avenue.

It looks like a win-win idea to me, at least in my foggy brain this morning. Mr. Bisno would be able to count on higher density to his project and the rest of us, who would be so dramatically affected by Ponte Vista, would get a much needed road. The costs would be shared by everyone affected without having Mr. Bisno pay for the road himself. I would hope if a bond measure was seriously considered, Mr. Bisno would join with us to support passage of the bond. It would always be better to work with someone than in opposition to someone.

I know I am an R-1 proponent. But I want to illustrate that PERHAPS folks can find ways to listen, learn, and work together to benefit everyone.

The bottom line for me, still at this point is: No road, then only R-1 in Ponte Vista.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Traffic, Second Post

I guess the best way to deal with the number one issue concerning any and all development within the area known as "Ponte Vista" is to encourage everyone's comments about this issue.

The most common question both Mr. Bisno and the folks at the L.A.U.S.D. have heard for the past many, many months goes something like this:

Have you ever been on Western Avenue during the morning "rush" hour or between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.?

Mr. Bisno's representative would like you to know that no matter whether Mr. Bisno builds nothing inside Ponte Vista or 2,300 homes, traffic will get worse. The gentleman indicated that by using Mr. Bisno's plans for traffic mitigation, the traffic will not get to be as bad as it would if nothing were built at Ponte Vista. You can believe this or not.

I can't imagine building anything more than just R-1 lots with single-family homes if there is not a road between Western Avenue and Gaffey Street constructed. I would also, as much as, insist that a new set of ramps be placed on the Harbor Freeway, with access to these ramps from Gaffey Street and going up the hill between the refinery and the northernmost warehouse. Everyone tells me that it is an "impossible road" to build. They will say that the Navy will never sell land for the road, and that the refinery won't move it's tanks and pipelines to accommodate the road.
If these "facts" are true, then I'm not smart enough to find ways to mitigate what will happen to Western Avenue in the future.

If you go to google earth and zoom in on the area between the Harbor Freeway and where the Ponte Vista site is, you will all see the route pop into your eyes. It is a straight line from the freeway, between the warehouse and the refinery, down to Gaffey. Follow the terrain from Gaffey Street to the eastern edge of Ponte Vista, and the road will magically appear. From that point there would be an intersection. At the intersection, a road will go east to the new Mary Star High School. From that intersection, the road could go either of two ways. It could snake south and then west along the property line to Western Avenue, or it would snake west passed whatever high school might be built. Either way, Mr. Bisno and emergency vehicles would have an eastern entry way to the gated property.

The road that I envision would be VERY expensive for such a short distance. Besides purchasing the land for the road, petroleum pipes and perhaps some tanks would have to be relocated. Unfortunately the only organization dealing with areas within Ponte Vista that has deep enough pockets to pay or such a road is the L.A.U.S.D. They will cry "poverty" to the idea of them funding a major portion of the road. I would think that because residents of Ponte Vista and folks traveling to and from Mary Star High School would benefit so much, that they would pay a portion of the costs.

A new road in the vicinity of Gaffey Street, as well as the J.C.C. Homes project will hopefully add two more nails in the coffins of the Amerigas tanks that shouldn't have been put there in the first place.

The road I seek is my first attempt to help mitigate traffic problems on Western Avenue. Some of you have great ideas too, I bet.

Traffic will get worse, whether Mr. Bisno builds anything inside Ponte Vista. Your ideas and comments will help liven the conversations.

I will be posting facts about current traffic issues and future projections.

Saturday, September 16, 2006



What's in a name?


"Ponte Vista" was the name given by the people who were marketing the U.S. Government owned land that was sold at auction to Mr. Bisno. In Italian, ponte vista has, as it's primary meanings, bridge view. But there is so much more to these two words.

The principle translations for the Italian word "ponte" are bridge (nose), and bridge (ship).
Secondary translations include (in English) , air-bridge, span, bypass, bridge, boat deck, nosepiece, bridge (road infrastructure), extended holiday, scaffolding, and overpass.

The principle English translations for the word "vista" are view (sight), and panorama (view)
Secondary translations include (in English), vista, perspective, and sight (ability to see)

With this trivia, you can now get out a pen and piece of paper and have fun.

M Richards and Mark Wells

It took just a bit of snooping for Calamari to figure out that M Richards and Mark Wells are two names for the same person.

M Richards is a clown who fancies himself as a bit of a writer and character. M is much funnier than Mark. M enjoys comedy and making folks laugh. M is far more creative than Mark.

Mark is a dad who adores his family. Mark is a blue-collar worker. Mark is very much a technician. If you give him a problem and the tools to work with, he will use his "sequential mindedness", to try to figure things out.

Mark is the son of Nancy, a former teacher at San Pedro High School. He is also the brother of Ruth, and the brother-in-law of Phil Buono.

Mark would like you to know that if you ever write to or about M Richards, please do not put a period after "M". M hates that.

OOPS!, A little typo can mean a lot


In my Guest Column in today's More San Pedro, I found a typo that seemed to change the direction of one of my questions to Mr. Bisno.

In the column, it was written "Where is the benefit to those of us who don't want businesses within a 5-mile radius?" What I really submitted was "Where is the benefit to those of us who don't own businesses within a 5-mile radius?" See the difference?

Mr. Bisno claims that there would be great economical benefits for businesses within a 5-mile radius of his 2,300 home development. That may be quite true. I have written that these same businesses may incur added costs for increasing their parking or build size to accommodate the added business. If the 2,300 homes were built and businesses within a 5-mile radius did get more business, who would be affected during the course of business and parking lot expansion? You get the brass ring is you guessed all of us who patronize the businesses.

What do you think might happen if businesses in the 5-mile radius choose not to expand their selling space, staff, and parking lots? Who would suffer then? I suggest we all would.

In my imagination, sometimes I see myself getting ready to pass through the front door of Albertson's or Ralph's. Just before I pass through the magically opening doors I pause. Then I turn around and look. What I see is 300 more cars trying to get into whatever parking space may be left.

I want businesses within a 5-mile radius of whatever is built in Ponte Vista. We all use businesses to make our lives easier. I am not for going back to the old days of waiting for the man with the vegetable cart to pass along our streets to sell food we don't grow ourselves.
My wife and I do not own a spinning wheel and even though I did have a forge, I am not very good at making my own hand tools. I sorry.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The second CAG meeting

The second Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting concerning Ponte Vista was held.
Like I expected, the meeting was organizational in nature. Members were introduced to our facilitator, Mr. Victor Griego, and he explained his job and expectations of the group.
Members also completed an exercise to establish our "story" and find common paths forward within the group.

Now as I remembered from the first meeting, Janice Hahn got up in front of the group, Mr. Bob Bisno, and members of the public and stated that the group was going to write the specific plan for Ponte Vista.


It seems this is the way it is really going to work:
Mr. Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation will submit a specific plan written by their lawyers and advisors and submit it to the city's planning commission. The planning commission has stated they would use our group's recommendations when they draft the true specific plan that will be presented to the planning commission for a vote. If the planning commission approves that specific plan, then it will be forwarded to the City Council for a vote.

Where does the group come in? We will make recommendations to the commission and to Mr. Bisno to assist both of them to come up with a plan that is most acceptable to our group and the community we represent.

Where do you come in? We need total support from the community to establish that our recommendations are in the best interest of the existing community on the whole. Members of the planning commission stated that they take community input seriously when drafting specific plans. We need everyone to show that they want total public involvement in the creation of the specific plan. Whether you agree or disagree with individual members of the group, we all need to know that we have a strong San Pedro and Rancho Palos Verdes public supporting our goal to have the best possible outcome for our community.

Mr. Bisno is paying premium dollars with the specific plan concept of development. He gets individual support from the city planning commission and goes to the front of the line with the applications processes.

Next week's meeting will start promptly at 6:00 p.m. on the forth floor of the Municipal Building. We will be receiving a presentation by the L.A. City Planning Commission on how a specific plan is drafted, legal issues, and the roles the commission has in the process. We will also deal with more organizational items. The meeting should end at 9:00 p.m.

Public comment was discussed during tonight's meeting.
Tonight we had two speakers address the group. One person was very critical of Mr. Bisno's piece in last Saturday's More San Pedro Guest Column. The other person was the leader of the SRHS #14 project. He appreciated being welcomed by the group. In all the discussions concerning Ponte Vista, we must never fail to consider the 50,000 ton gorilla that is the proposed high school.

P.S. Don't forget to have a look at this Saturday's More San Pedro.

Questions for and about Ponte Vista

I've got questions and comments about Ponte Vista and I am sure I am not alone. This blog might be a great place to post your questions and comments about anything to do with Ponte Vista.

In future posts, I will let everyone in on facts about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Project that I have published verifacation of. I will also include my personal comments based on the facts I have gathered and will gather.

I want to know your questions and comments. Since I really am a member of Ms. Hahn's Community Advisory Group, I can publish answers to questions faster than others can.

Now folks, this blog is for anything and everything Ponte Vista. So we all must welcome and not disparage folks who comment on this blog that have a different view point than you do. I feel we all have a responsibility to listen to all sides that don't violate the "Four R's", Responsible, Reasonable, Realistic, and Respectful. Just because Mr. Bisno doesn't seem to follow these rules doesn't mean that his supporters are that way, too.

At an upcoming Community Advisory Group meeting, Mr. Bisno will present his detailed view of his project where he believes he will demonstrate that, and I quote from Mr. Bob Bisno from the first CAG meeting: "I believe that I can show that twenty-three hundred homes is the appropriate number of homes." I will be listening and taking many note when Mr. Bisno gives that talk. I hope you will all be there to listen to him. I think, because he does own the property, he has a right to have his views known.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ponte Vista by the numbers

I can provide sources for all facts claimed in this post.

The U.S. Navy ended the auction for 41.95 acres of Ponte Vista land on March 7, 2005. The winning bid of $88,000,000.00 was placed by Mr. Bob Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation.

An additional 19.58 acres within the Ponte Vista area was conveyed to a homeless advocacy group using a “Housing Assistance Conveyance” from an act that became law in 1994.

Mr. Bisno purchased the 19.58 acres of land for $34,000,000.00.

Breakdown of acreage and cost:

41.95 acres at $88,000,000.00 equals $2,097,753.40 (approx) per acre.
19.58 acres at $34,000,000.00 equals $1,736,465.78 (approx) per acre

61.53 total acres for $122,000,000.00 equals $1,982,772.63 (approx)
Per acre.

61.53 acres equals 0.09614 Square Miles. (Source:

7,343 permanent residents (Source: Ponte Vista Scoping Comments)

Population Density is a ratio of the number of residents within a given area. The U.S. Census figures density as persons per square mile.

7,343persons divided by 0.09614 square miles equals 76,378.198 persons per square mile.

2,300 housing units within 61.53 acres is equivalent to 23,923.44 units per
square mile.

Population densities based on 2000 U.S. Census.
State of New York 402 person per square mile,
New York City (all boroughs combined) 26,403 persons per square mile
Manhattan Island and the Borough of Manhattan 66,940 persons per square mile.

The First Post

Ponte Vista at San Pedro is a development proposed by Mr. Bob Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation.

Mr. Bisno proposes to built 2,300 condo and townhomes on less than 1/10 of a square mile of land.The proposed project calls for 575 age-restricted units for senior citizens and 1725 non age-restricted units.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has also proposed using the right of eminent domain to acquire as much as 24 acres of Mr. Bisno's property for a 2,025 seat senior high school.

Mr. Bisno acquired approximately 61.5 acres of land that the U.S.Navy sold through an auction process for approximately 122 million dollars.
Mr. Bisno does not want a 2025 seat high school anywhere near his property, let alone within his property. Litigation is ongoing concerning Mr. Bisno and the school district.

This is the first post of this item and these are just the overall facts. There is so much more to this story and so many opinions, facts, fears, and arguments that I will try to report and gather.This may be a good place to comment about Ponte Vista. I need all the views I can get.

Please don't be shy about commenting on anything Ponte Vista. Whether you agree or disagree with my opinions is not the point. The point is to comment, share, divulge, ponder, spar, question, and report your feelings, facts, thoughts, and whatever.