Friday, November 24, 2006

Notes, Comment, and Other Stuff

This post has a reminder, a comment, and other stuff to help you.

Please remember that you have until January 30, 2007 to give your comments, observations, reasoning, and concerns dealing with the Draft Environmental Impact Report. You can view the DEIR by visiting

You may send your writings to:
Mr. Jonathan Riker
Los Angeles City Planning Department
200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012.

On Wednesday evening I deleted a post that seems to have been misinterpreted by some folks.

The post dealt with my proposal for a meeting of people interested in the Ponte Vista project. The proposal suggested that a gathering at one of the two L.A.U.S.D. schools in Rancho Palos Verdes might be beneficial to the public.

Some folks contacted me and thought the post was written to make it sound like residents of Rancho Palos Verdes are not very concerned with what is proposed for the Ponte Vista site. If anyone thinks that R.P.V. residents living on the east side of the hill are interested or concerned with Mr. Bisno's plans for the 61.53 acres of land, may I please use a phrase that was made popular my Mr. T. of "The A-Team". "I pity the fool!" Let me be quite clear that I have found a great number of neighbors living in the R.P.V. neighborhoods near Western Avenue are very interested and concerned with the Ponte Vista project. Whether they support Mr. Bisno's plans or object to the plans, all anyone need to do is ask one of the residents in the area about Ponte Vista and you will get responses you will either agree with, or disagree with.

To avoid any confusion by folks who think we in R.P.V. might not care about the Ponte Vista project, I have deleted that post and I am working on a different method to gauge whether a meeting in R.P.V. is wanted or even necessary before the January, 2007 Public Forum that the Community Advisory Committee will hold.

One of the interesting sections of the DEIR deals with schools and the projected number of students living in Ponte Vista. The DEIR projects 199 school aged students might live within the gates and walls of Ponte Vista. The breakdown of students is; 99 elementary school students, 50 middle school students, and 50 senior high school students.

I did some calculations and saved them for anyone who questions my input.
The ratio of number of projected students to the number of residences in the non age-restricted portion of the 2,300 home Ponte Vista proposal is 0.11536 students per household.

Basically, my figures suggest that just over 1/10 of a student will live in each of the homes, or about 11 students per 100 condominiums.

Are the figures I have calculated comparable with other neighborhoods in the area?

Are the assumptions used in the DEIR correct for number of students per home?

What is the statewide ratio of students per household? Is the ratio the same, less, or greater for L.A.U.S.D.?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I wanted to let you all know what the actual ratio the DEIR projected. If that is in line with what you know, please let me know. If these numbers are different than what you know or were told, then perhaps, you can bring your information to the public forum for airing out.
The next meeting of the Community Advisory Committee meeting is November 30, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, probably in the main ballroom. I expect there will be microphones and speakers so folks can hear this time.

The issues that will be discussed during the meeting are planned to be:

Presentation of Ponte Vista Project:
Presentation of project (concept, rationale, key features, incorporation of community
benefits/features) from the developer's prospective.

Housing Needs/Regional-Community Planning Matters::
Discussion of current housing needs and related planning matters. This matter may be
discussed with the developer and city government planners.

Fiscal and Economic Impacts:
Discussion of projects impact on municipal services and local and regional economy.

I have called for a presentation by the developer and his staff to explain his proposals to our committee and the community in a fact-based presentation that allows Mr. Bisno to completely put "his cards on the table" with respect to his proposal to build 2,300 homes at Ponte Vista.
I strongly hope that this meeting will finally be that meeting. We are all able to read the DEIR and make our own comments on the issues inside the report. Mr. Bisno should be encouraged and allowed to present his views verbally to back up what is written in the DEIR. Once we have both the information contained in the DEIR and the presentation by Mr. Bisno and his staff, we should then have a good picture of the proposed project in which the committee can then make thoughtful and informed recommendations on.

It is also very important, in my opinion, that the public will be fully informed if they listen to Mr. Bisno's thoughts and rationale. None of us have to agree on his rationale, but we are all better informed if we receive the largest amount of information we can have.

Once we hear from Mr. Bisno and his staff, and along with ongoing reading of the DEIR, we all can make informed decisions based on the facts presented and the opinions of the developer.

My caveat to all of this is that I am not asking anyone to take the information produced in the DEIR as the truth, or all the facts. Many people regard the DEIR as the definitive draft report that is correct in the facts presented, the assumptions made, the projections anticipated, and the outcome correctly foreseen. On the other hand, and it is a very big hand, there are many who question the validity of the facts in the DEIR and the methodology used to write portions of the DEIR.

While I read the DEIR, I also use the Internet to help understand the DEIR better and find out if I can respect the facts that are written. There are portions of the DEIR that I have problems with, and I feel I am better informed if I seek out the correct answers to the problems that crop up.

My first letter to Mr. Jonathan Riker was concerned with items I felt were either not studied, or simply ignored in the DEIR. Mr. Riker's job is to compile all the comments to the DEIR and report out on them and have them published in the final EIR. The City Planning Department will read the comments and make their own recommendations, based in part, to the comments sent in to Mr. Riker. That is why everyone who has an opinion about Ponte Vista should make those opinions known to Mr. Riker and the Planning Department.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is still moving forward with their proposed South Region High School #14. The 2,025 seat senior high school is proposed to be built on a net acreage of 15.03 acres within a 24 acre portion of the Ponte Vista site. I continue to bring this issue up from time to time to let everyone know the "elephant is still in the room."

As a reminder, the DEIR for Ponte Vista has a series of paragraphs dealing with why the school project is not included in most of the DEIR. The proposed school is mentioned in the Schools section of the DEIR, but there are no projections on the number of students of Ponte Vista that might attend the school because both a 2,300 home development and a 2,025 seat high school won't fit in the available 61.53 acres of Ponte Vista.

There will not be a public meeting of the Community Advisory Meeting in December. The committee has planned a make-up tour of Playa Vista on December 3, and the whole committee is invited to tour a second set of developments on December 9. Committee members asked to see a new development of single-family detached homes on a similar sized property, and another example of the Bisno Development Cos. property.
These tours are reported out at the following public committee meetings.

On January 11, 2007 the committee will meet at the Crowne Plaza to discuss the remainder of the Traffic and Transportation section, that it had not finished during the November 9 meeting. We will also discuss other EIR issues the committee wishes to bring up. this meeting will have a public comment period.

On January 18, 2007 it is the public turn to advise the committee. The first Public Forum will allow the committee members to hear for all interested persons whatever opinions they may have about the Ponte Vista project. Your comments, reasoning, passions, and facts will aide the committee members to recommend the best possible outcome for our entire community.

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