Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Data Versus Community

The Draft Environmental Impact Report has been published and the comment period is in full swing.

Within the large collections of pages are numbers, figures, graphs, tables, drawings, and seemingly endless amounts of facts. The Data is here, but what about the community?

There are many folks who live in San Pedro. There are quite a good number of people like me who live in Rancho Palos Verdes, but consider ourselves members of the San Pedro community.

Our community has a long history of inclusion of peoples from all over the world. I am part Norwegian and we all know Italians, Croatians, Latin Americans, African Americans, and people who have ancestors from six of the seven continents who made San Pedro their home.

We are a community of blue-collar workers, professionals, students, civic employees, and almost every other working group there is in America.

We have parades, both on land and in the water. We celebrate both national and religious holidays. We have civic organizations, philanthropic organizations, cultural groups, clubs, societies, and associations all over the community.

How might the Ponte Vista Development fit into our community?

What about all the other large guarded and gated developments in San Pedro? Have the residents in these large planned developments joined our community?

How will the views from the homes in Ponte Vista compare to the views from the other homes in our community?

Can members of our community drive through Ponte Vista with the same freedom that we can, when we drive around other parts of our community?

Can Ponte Vista residents feel they can become members of our community if they only have one access road to the rest of our community?

Will the residents of Ponte Vista feel they are part of a larger community if they live behind gates and walls?

How will the development of Ponte Vista impact our community?

What is the benefit of Ponte Vista to our community besides numbers, mandates, and data?

What about the heart of San Pedro?

What about our community's long term future?

In the hearts of the members of the San Pedro community, is Ponte Vista something we really want?

What price progress?

Now that the DEIR has been published, many, many members of our community are pouring over the facts and figures and questioning many of the findings and issues. We have until January 30, 2007 to comment on the documents. But a real community is not built on facts, figures, questions, findings, and results. A real community is build on heart and soul.

If you have lived in the area for at least five years, you have a history here. For many of us in the area, we can go back generations in the area. We have common experiences, we have common friends, we have common issues, and we have the common thread of community.

Ponte Vista will be like nothing that has ever been seen in San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes. Is this development good for the heart of our community?


M Richards said...

I wrote this post after I talked to a fellow who told me that a community is more than just the buildings and the facts. He spoke about the heart and soul of a community and how important he thought it was to make sure that whatever is built at Ponte Vista be a benefit to the whole community and not just the residents of the new project.

I don't want to answer the questions I wrote. I want folks who read the post to answer the questions in their own mind and write their answers in the comments, only if they choose to.

I want you also to know that many of the supporters of Mr. Bisno's plan are already members of our community. When they move out of their old homes and into Ponte Vista, new neighbors will take their place in their old neighborhoods. Those new neighbors in the old homes will become part of our community, too.

What should we give up to allow a large condominuim project into our community, and why? MW

Anonymous said...

bisno responded once again in this week's MSP. Life on the Edge has it...

M Richards said...

Howdy Anonymous 8:03 PM,

The last time Mr. Bisno wrote a column in the More San Pedro, I responded with a column that appeared the following Saturday.

I am not inclined, at this time to write to MSP about Mr. Bisno's letter.

It will be up to others to respond in any way they choose.

The "Hybrid Scenario" is getting more interesting the longer it is out in the public. It is not single-family detached homes, but it may be a compromise that Mr. Bisno may be willing to talk about. His Traffic Engineer claims that the traffic counts durint "peak hours" would be just slightly larger than R-1 zoning.

While I am still on the committee, I want to hear all sides and look at all proposals and alternatives before helping to make recommendations to Ms. Hahn and the Planning Department, with as much help from the public as I can get.