Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm Thinkin There May Be Something Stinkin

The Deir mentioned in Section IV.H Population and Housing about the number of proposed residents in Ponte Vista.

On Page 18 of the section the reports suggests that 4,313 people may live in Ponte Vista when it is completed.

Further reading of the section and of the Appendix IV.H-1 gave me the results of how the authors came up with the number.

The supposition is that each of the age restricted units would have an average of 1.5 residents. The non-age restricted units would have an average of 2.0 residents per unit, as the claim is made. Also written in the DEIR is that the average number of residents per household in the Wilmington-Harbor City Planning Area is 3.47, and the average number of residents per household in the San Pedro Planning area is 2.55

According to figures in the DEIR, 862.5 people may live in the senior section of Ponte Vista, it 2,300 homes are built. Also, approximately 3450 folks may live in the 1,724 non-age restricted units.

The Traffic and Transportation Section of the DEIR is allowing for a minimum number of 5,750 parking spaces for residents and guests inside Ponte Vista.

So by the figures presented in the DEIR, 4,313 permanent residents and their guests will use 5,750 vehicle spaces, or a few more.

Now here is the rub that I can't figure out.

In the Notice of Preparation for the Draft Environmental Impact Report, the developer claimed that Ponte Vista, with the 2,300 home configuration would allow 7,343 permanents residents to live within the gates.

7,343 is different than 4,313. Between the Notice of Preparation and the publication of the report, 3,030 possible residents seemed to have vanished.

Or did they?

The Traffic and Transportation Section deals with the number of vehicles that could be attributed to a 4,313 resident project. So I did some more calculations.

If the Notice of Preparation is more correct that 7,343 people may live within Ponte Vista, then the number of vehicles that may find homes at Ponte Vista is more like 9,789.53.

9,789 is different than 5,750 if my calculator is correct. the difference in the two numbers looks to be an increase of more than 170% of the DEIR suggested numbers.

If 3,030 potential residents vanished between the Notice of Preparation and the DEIR, so must have the 4,039 potential vehicles that those missing folks may own.

Or did they?

Using the San Pedro Planning Area's average of 2.55 residents per household, I calculated that up to 5,865 residents may move into the 2,300 homes Mr. Bisno is proposing.

Similarly, when I used the 3.47 average residents per household in the Wilmington-Harbor City Planning Area, I found that 7,981 folks might want to call Ponte Vista their home.

Now let's look at ratios of vehicles per residence. I am going to use the figures established within the DEIR as a guide for determining more rationale ratios, depending on the proposed population.

If 4,313 residents use 5,750 parking spaces (for vehicles) then there would be 1.333 vehicles per resident at Ponte Vista.

If 7,343 residents use 1.333 vehicles per resident, then approximately 9,789 parking spaces would be used.

If Ponte Vista is uses the San Pedro Planning Area residents/household, then 7,818 vehicles would need parking spaces.

If Ponte Vista uses the average from the Wilmington-Harbor City Planning area, then we might encounter 10,638 vehicles looking for parking spaces.

Unfortunately, the numbers just don't seem to calculate reasonably. Why did the Notice of Preparation call for 7,343 permanent residents but the Traffic and Transportation Section deals with vehicles only from 4,313 permanent residents?

Why are the averages of possible residents lower in Ponte Vista than the two Planning Areas?

How many people and vehicles are really expected to be in Ponte Vista?

Why didn't the DEIR traffic studies consider the number of vehicles associated with 7,343 residents?

Now let's see if the numbers change when I calculate even a small increase in projected population within Ponte Vista.

I am allowing for 1.75 seniors per age restricted unit, which is .25 persons more than the DEIR suggests. The total of potential residents move up from 863.5 to 1006.25.

Allowing for 2.5 residents per home, rather than the projected 2.0 of the DEIR, in the non age restricted homes gives me 4,312.5, but I'll round it up to 4,313. Now what? Doesn't my allowance of additional non age restricted residents equal the total proposed population of the entire development?

Adding the 1006 seniors to the 4,313 non age restricted residents, I get 5,321 residents.

Using the ratio of 1.333 vehicles per resident established by the DEIR, I would suspect that there could be almost 7,093 vehicles calling Ponte Vista home.

Now, I am going to try and figure out how many residents and vehicles may find homes inside Ponte Vista if it remains R-1 single-family detached homes. I am allowing myself the opportunity of providing these calculations based on the differences in the information provided in the Notice of Preparation and the differences in averages between the proposed development and the actual averages found in the two Planning Areas.

I start with 429 single-family detached homes.

Using the Wilmington-Harbor City average of 3.47 residents per household, 1,488.63 people would live in a sold out development. Using the ratio of 1.333 vehicles per household, there would be 1,934 vehicles.

Using the San Pedro Planning Area average of 2.55 residents per household, there would be approximately 1,094 people and about 1,458 vehicles.

However, if these homes are finally built, they would be big, expensive, and probably have a larger number of folks living in them. I am going out on a limb here and give an average of 4.5 driving-age residents per home at Ponte Vista.

So. 4.5 drivers in 429 homes equals 1,930.5 drivers and 2,573 vehicles.
I am going to add 300 cars to the mix and call them vehicles driven by persons working for families in the development. I am going to also add 150 motor homes because the people who buy these homes will have lots of money to buy really big vacation vehicles.

Is the total of 3,023 vehicles within the R-1 Ponte Vista development reasonable?

I have learned that members of the Ponte Vista Development staff read this blog. I have written this particular post because I am quite concerned that this is one example of issues that haven't been addressed, in my opinion, enough in the DEIR. The loss of 3,030 possible residents of Ponte Vista is disturbing. I couldn't find any mention, so far, of the difference in population between the NOP and the DEIR. When questioned during the last meeting, I didn't hear an answer to this difference from Mr. Bisno or anyone else on his staff.

Folks really need to read the DEIR and make up their own minds about the project. We all need to see what is good and what is questionable. We need to get all the facts and have things we don't understand explained logically, completely, and honestly, so the best project for the residents of the area can be built.


Anonymous said...

looks like the posts are back to there normal length.

M Richards said...

In my very poor defense, "Stinkin" and "Notes" are probably the two longest posts on this blog and I wrote another very short post this morning that, too hopefully a few folks, will bring a chuckle.

P.S. More chuckles can be found at

tom said...

Excuse my being candid, but I wish you would figure out which side of the fence you are on. Or, if you are truly "un-biased" as you have claimed, then stay on the fence where you belong.

Despite your claims of being even-handed, for the most part your posts are barely disguised as anti-Ponte Vista. Which is your good right. Except don't bill yourself as neutral and then trash the proposed development and everything associated with it.

You can't seem to stay on point and this harms all of us. The question of the high school was answered. I was there, I heard it. We are supposed to be commenting on the DEIR in front of us now. NOT something which MIGHT be. Like Bisno said at the last meeting, if the school pursues eminent domain, then this document is tossed out and we start from the beginning. So GET OVER IT!

Secondly, you and your running your God! Since when have you become a certified city planner? How do you even know that you are reading this thing correctly? It is 9 inches of techno-babble. Your plucking numbers out of it and doing your calculations is more than ludicrous.

AND you forget that this document, the DEIR, was written by the City Planning Department. So if something doesn't jibe, it is on them. Why don't you throw some criticism their way? Do you really think we can trust the City?

All you are doing with your hare-brained ideas (light-rail system, road through Navy proprty to an off-ramp, etc. none of which are included in the scope of this DEIR!) and picking at minutiae is making all of us seem unable to give competent, reasonable input into the planning process.

Remember? This is what Janice Hahn picked you guys for; to represent us.

From what I've seen so far, it's like the Keystone Kops. You are destroying any credibility that the citizenry can partake in this process and not muck it up. You can be certain that if we are perceived as not being to get out of our own way, this is the last Advisory Committee that will ever be convened.

Some of us would like some input into how our neighborhoods will change by what is going to happen at Ponte Vista. But right now our "representatives" are too caught up in their own self-importance to realize the train is leaving the station.

Anonymous said...

i'm just guessing here but you probably had a yellow sticker on your shirt at the last meeting right Tom?

Anonymous said...

Tom, I think your "hare-brained" post is clearly indicative that you are "unbiased" and clearly a Bisno-hack. Perhaps you should consider taking a deep breath and avoiding such "hare-brained" critiques of the author of this blog.

as a casual observer, i can assure you that mark is one of the better members of the committee. leaps and bounds ahead of others like Lucie Thorsen or Jack Baric.

and one other thing... i've never heard anybody say "like bisno said" unless they've gotten a check from him. the only "hare-brained" idea is allowing a development of that size to be built in pedro without a commensurate infrastructure improvement. and i'm not talking about 3 million to widen western.

so if that's all you got pal, you're going to have to do better then that.

M Richards said...

Howdy, especially to Tom.
First Anonymouses, please don't pick on Tom. He has every right and he feels his responsibility to comment on whatever is written in this blog. I am interested in reading input from all sides.

Tom, Please take the time to read this entire blog. I know the posts are very long. The facts I write as facts can be backed up by documentation that I have stored and can supply to anyone who questions the facts I have posted.
Take a look at the first couple of posts that date back to the beginning of this blog. There you will find more facts.

I continue to write that I am attempting to keep this blog as objective as I can. Nobody on the committee is totally objective on the subject or they probably wouldn't serve and face criticisims from all sides of the issue.

I have written and admitted in the committee meetings and other public venues that I am the creator of the black R-1 buttons that some folks wear. With that being written, I have never seen objectivity from the Ponte Vista staff towards ideas that are different from Mr. Bisno's vision.

This blog is has been intended to provide the largest population with the most accurate information that is not available on If anyone is interested in reading posts on a blog that is very criticle of Mr. Bisno's plans, then please visit It is better known as Life on the Edge.

Tom, I wish you would also read the Scoping report of the DEIR as well as as much of the DEIR as you can. You may be able to help me figure out why the scoping report mentioned a population of 7,343 at Ponte Vista, while the DEIR states that the estimated population would be 4,313.

The number of homes in Ponte Vista is relevant. But so is the actual number of people that will live in the homes. As relevant as the number of homes and the number of residents, are the actual estimated number of vehicles that will call Ponte Vista home.

If the Traffic and Transportation study proposes 5,750 vehicle parking spaces inside Ponte Vista, is that based on a residential population of 4,313? It is based on the number of homes (2,300) proposed for the site.

But if the population projection is off by as much as 3,030 people, then the number of parking spaces required would need to be dramatically increased.

Tom is correct in the fact that the DEIR informs everyone why the high school is not studied very much in the DEIR. The chief L.A. City Planner for this project spoke at the first meeting of the committee and suggested that the committee avoid dealing with the proposed 2,025 seat school.

Fair enough. But may I continue to remind everyone about the L.A.U.S.D. and the Belmont Learning Center. L.A.U.S.D. will do whatever it wants to do and there is little any of us can do about that at this time other than not burying our heads in the sand and acknowledging that this "elephant in the living room" still looms over Mr. Bisno's project. Ignoring SRHS #14 will only do harm to both the supporters and opponents to Mr. Bisno's plans.

Tom, you have the right to attack me and my blog. May I ask why you support Mr. Bisno's plans, if you do? What is wrong with a new road connecting Western Avenue to Gaffey Street and then onto the Harbor Freeway. If you have ever seen me talk with Mr. Bisno, you would see we converse well with each other and we both agree that such a road would benefit all of us.

To everyone, yes I write very long posts and comments. I try to give everyone the best overall information I can and I do my very best to keep the facts separate from my opinions and to back up every fact I use. Am I biased? Sure. Do I sit on the fence? No, not really. I am only fence sitting to provide both sides of the fence the best information I can. Should I remain on the Committee? I serve at the pleasure of Ms. Hahn and the majority of the members of the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. Dick Brunner, Lucie Thorsen, were appointed to represent the interests of the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes and the larger community we all live in. Would I attack individual supporters of Mr. Bisno? Heck no! I want to know why folks support and oppose Mr. Bisno's plans.

Please remember when you read the DEIR and other documents regarding the site, including the proposal for the high school: Is it reasonable, realistic, responsible, and respectful?

tom said...

Mark, Well thank you for at least saying I have the right to express my opinion. Even though we may differ in our opinions, at least we can agree we each have the right to express them. These others feel if you are not in lock-step with them, you are somehow a traitor to San Pedro.

Perhaps the use of "hare-brained" was a bit rash. I retract that statement.

Nonetheless, while I agree with you that the number of units and cars is relevant, why aren't you busting the chops of the Planning Department and the LADOT? They are the one's who published the numbers.

I am frustrated with the lack of forward motion. Just think about it for a moment. If you wanted to put a gazebo in your back, it is your good right. After all it is YOUR property and you can pretty much build what you want as long as it conforms to building codes. Why is it suddenly different for a developer? Of course he has to jump through a lot more hoops than you or I. But it is still HIS property!

Something is going to be built there. The members of the Advisory Committee have yet to offer anything constructive about what they would like to see. There is this negative attitude which pervades the meetings and does not contribute to the mission at hand. All I hear are criticisms without any alternative suggestions to replace the things people don't like.

To Anonymouses - BTW, what does it matter if I wore a yellow sticker or a black button? I'm still entitled to voice my opinions.

tom said...

1. Continuing to discuss SRHS #14 is a waste of time. No one is going to forget that the elephant is in the room. But until the elephant actually takes some action, agonizing over "what if" is useless.

2. The traffic study specifies 5,750 parking spaces (2.5 per unit). This does not equate to vehicles or trips. At least Bisno is recognizing that people have vehicles, unlike LAUSD who proposes to build SRHS#14 with NO parking for students. Merely enough for teachers and staff.

3. The Scoping Statement is just that, the first initial summary thrown out for public comment. Forget it. It is history. The document you have before you, the DEIR, trumps anything previously published.

There IS a difference in the number of residents. Unfortunately, nowhere in the scoping statement does it specify what they used as an assumption for number of members of a household. The DEIR spells it out. Household size for non-restricted housing = 2.0, age-restricted housing = 1.5. This averages a household size of 1.88 for the entire project in the DEIR as opposed to 3.19 in the scoping document original assumptions by Bisno.

There could be an entire range of reasons for this. Perhaps Bisno thought couples would move in and have babies (there's a strange concept) and included them in the calculations? Maybe the Planning Department thought it should be limited to actual live people moving in and not include projections for population growth?

However, in any event, it sounds like a question to be brought up at the next meeting.

Silly me to think that a question should be clarified before everyone starts screaming that the sky is falling.

mellonhead said...

Andrea Adleman quoting Gale Goldberg of the L.A. City Planning Commission in More San Pedro last Saturday.
"I've asked myself the question, is real planning possible in L.A.? I think it is, if two constituent groups are behind it. We won't be successful without both of them.

Number one, the community and the neighborhood councils have to be supportive of real planning and I think they are. Communities want real planning because they need to know what is going to happen in their community and right now they don't.

"People complain and say, 'Oh, the neighborhood councils are against every project.' Under the system we have here, I think a logical response by neighborhood councils is to be against every project because you have no idea what the next one is going to be.

"Number two, the plan needs to have the support of the development community, meaning it's real. [Developers need to know that] when they look at a plan and they look at a zone, that's what we want.

"In every other city in this country, the zone on the land establishes the value of the land. That's the highest and best use.

"If it's industrially zoned land, it's worth $20 or $30 a square foot. In Los Angeles, that's not true.

"The value of the land is not based on what the zone says or what the plan says. It's based on what that developer believes he can change the zone to.

"That is disastrous for this city. Disastrous.

"I have to believe that the developers are getting sick of this. I have developers who come in to me and say, 'I bought this industrial land. I paid conversion prices,' -- meaning they didn't pay $20 or $30; they paid $100 -- and I say to them, 'Can you spell speculation?'

"And they say, 'But, you've always done it. You've always converted.'

"I'm sorry, zoning has to mean something in this city."

As we all know, the "Ponte Vista" property is zoned R-1 re-affirmed by the 1998-99 San Pedro Re-Use Committee and the Los Angeles City Council.

Anonymous said...

"Nonetheless, while I agree with you that the number of units and cars is relevant, why aren't you busting the chops of the Planning Department and the LADOT? They are the one's who published the numbers."

- In a conversation held before the creation of Janice Hahn's task force, DOT's man Yadi Hashemi stated that he "laughed" when he heard how many units the developer was proposing. Why aren't people busting the chops of the Planning Department and LADOT? Because they're not planning the development. Duh!

"I am frustrated with the lack of forward motion."

- me too.

"Just think about it for a moment. If you wanted to put a gazebo in your back, it is your good right.
After all it is YOUR property and you can pretty much build what you want as long as it conforms to building codes."

- What a horrible analogy! 2,300 units on 62 acres equals a gazebo in your backyard?

"Why is it suddenly different for a developer? Of course he has to jump through a lot more hoops than you or I. But it is still HIS property!"

- Indeed, it is "his property," but san pedro is "our town." Creating a project that might increase the population of the city by 10-15 percent deserves scrutiny ... not people falling down to see it happen.

M Richards said...

Howdy Anonymous 7:34 p.m.,

To be fair to "tom", we haven't read why he supports Mr. Bisno's plans, if he indeed does.

Also tom hasn't been afforded some of the knowledge some of us have gained during the process, I suspect. He used the common misconception that the L.A. City Planning Department actually wrote the DEIR.

I am not in favor of "busting the chops" of organizations that only supplied whatever methodoligy they consider is correct for developments of this size.

tom also suggested that the NOP and the scoping process was of no value now that the DEIR is published. He considers the DEIR trumps the previous documents.

The previous documents included 2,300 homes, 7,343 residents, and an economic impact of $101.5 million dollars per year. It seems strange then when I read that the DEIR is only projecting 4,313 residents.
Is the economic projection in the NOP based on 7,343 residents?
If so, why is the economic projection still $101.5 million dollars for only 4,313 residents?

tom and other rationale people know that 2,300 homes do not drive anywhere to buy anything. The residents of those homes own the vehicles that drive to the businesses where they spend the money.

Basing the traffic counts and the economic projections on the number of homes in a development is something that confuses me. I think it is the number of residents and number of vehicles that should be stressed in the DEIR.

But tom is also correct that I am not a city planner and I may be confused by some of the numbers. I am just a normal neighbor, interested in doing what is best for the residents of eastern R.P.V. and the areas nearby in San Pedro and Harbor City. MW