Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Contribution from Tom, Imbg, and aNOnymous

Tom, Imbg, and aNOnymous are regular commentors to this blog.

Tom has asked that some of the comments he has exchanged with me be posted as a regular post. This is what I call elavating comments to post status.

Tom likes my use of a fictional character I have created named "Gus". I think both Tom and I feel that "Gus" can help demonstrate how someone might answer two specific questions that we think everyone has the right to be heard and read about.

The two questions that we hope everyone answers in their own opinion are:

What should be built at Ponte Vista?

Why do you believe what it should be built, in your opinion?

Imbg also comments on this blog and "Life on the Edge." In fact just today, Imbg very clearly answered my challenge to state what he/she feels should be at Ponte Vista, and why.
I am seizing the opportunity to snatch Imbg's comments off of Life on the Edge and posting them further down this post.

aNOymous has also contributed his opinions and reasonings in a different format than "Gus" and imbg chose to use. I appreciate being able to elevate imbg and aNOnymous' comments to post status. I will do the same for others who wish their opinions and reasonings be posted using this manner.

Tom and I hope this will encourage others to let every reader share their opinion on this issue.

The comments below include suggestions made to me by Tom. This post is essentially his creation with a little thievery on my part.
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For this comment, I will call myself "Gus" for the hypothetical purpose of letting everyone know what "Gus" thinks.

"Gus" would like you to know that he doesn't believe that most persons
employed in "service-related" jobs could afford homes priced in the range Mr. Bisno seeks to build them for. It has been mentioned that the income level needed to by the median priced home at Ponte Vista (probably a 3-bedroom unit) would be about $140,000.00 per year. I am in a "service-related" job and "Gus" would have to work at least 10 hours per day for about 24 days a month, each year to make that gross income. "Gus" chooses to not work for so many hours per year.

I think for most of the readers' sake, and for ease of other contributors, it might be best for anyone wishing to, to state their opinions of what they feel should be built at Ponte Vista, and why.

"Gus" is finding, by his reading, that many folks who are "Anonymous" and others (imbg for one) are not presenting their cases in format that is conducive to easier understanding by many of the readers to this blog and these comments who choose not to respond.

"Gus" wants to read, in very simple terms, what someone feels should be built at Ponte Vista, and why the contributor feels that way.

"Gus" is now going to give his (not Mark's or M's) thoughts on what should be built at Ponte Vista and why as an example that many readers should be able to easliy understand and make comments based on his writing.

"Gus" believes that Mr. Bisno should get approval for up to 1,200 homes at Ponte Vista, with 60% senior housing and 40% non-age restricted housing.

He believes a convienence store, complete with a pharmacy should be on the property, and that the streets and park areas within the non-age restricted part, be open to public access.

"Gus" also feels that Mr. Bisno should work with L.A.U.S.D. on voluntarily welcoming an 800-student academy onto Ponte Vista, or accept the 2,025-seat senior high school on the southern protion of Ponte Vista, and not where he wants his senior housing to go.

Now this is why "Gus" believes what he believes.

1,200 homes, with 60% senior housing, would meet Mr. Bisno's public thoughts about expanding the current number of senior units. Gus feels that the total number of homes and amount of senior housing would be have similar traffic counts as single-family homes, without actually building any single-family detached homes at the project.

"Gus" thinks if public access to the non-age restricted streets and amenities is allowed, it would foster a better community relationship with the entire area.

"Gus" likes the idea of a convienence store, including a pharmacy, would lessen the number of car trips because, for small items and medicines, residents will have the opportunity of walking to the nearest small store and pharmacy.

"Gus" understands the need for another high school in the area. He thinks an 800-seat academy could be built at Ponte Vista, but he doesn't understand much about what amenities would students lack with such a small campus. Would there be sports fields, gym, arts, and shop classes on the site?

"Gus" can't rule out the need for the big high school, but he thinks that it should be situated in the southern portion of Ponte Vista as a courtesy to Mr. Bisno's wishes to put his senior housing where he plans to build it.

"Gus" knows that the property won't have single-family detached homes unless they are Patio Homes because: a) the area really needs a lot more housing, and b) those types of homes would price most folks out of buying at Ponte Vista.

"Gus" worked at a McDonald's for over 35 years. He still sees "KISS" in his dreams. "Keep it simple, stupid" is his mantra.

Do "Gus'" comments help folks?
MW
7:08 AM
tom said...
Mark,

"Gus" seems to have a down-to-earth viewpoint of this issue that many of us might inadvertently lose while in pursuit of items which pique our personal interests.

The only question I have for Gus is whether he is the sole wage-earner in his household. I can readily understand his reluctance to put in 10-hour days, 24 days a month. I didn't like it when I was a young man, and I certainly have less of an appetite for it now. I'd much rather be out on the golf course. Actually, his reasoning is very straightforward.

I must confess when you said he still dreams of KISS I thought you meant the band.

As for some of his points.

I think there is an allocation for retail in the development, but if memory serves me right (and please give me a break here and remember my Alzheimer's!) it is only 10,00 sq.ft. I don't know if that is enough to fit what would be required to reduce off-site car trips. This might be one suggestion for Bisno.

Gus's point about the school and the smaller academy lacking the amenities of a larger school is pretty spot-on. However Janice Hahn is dead set against a big school, so I do not know what Bisno could do about that.

Regarding the school in general, does anyone remember when Rod Hamilton got pinned down by Betsy Weismann at one of the fir Committee meetings? It seems that even though in their public presentations they offer up a "site" where they want to put their school, officially in writing they have not yet done so. They are still classifying the entire 62 acres as their "designated site". As Mark pointed out in his comment about being compensated if a movie company used his property to shoot a film, he would expect to be compensated; wouldn't it stand to reason that you would also have them specify which part of your home they would be using? Wouldn't you refuse them if they didn't? Isn't Bisno entitled to the same rights? I know I would want to be. I really think this is the sticking point. They won't tell Bisno, or at least negotiate in good faith, over where the school would go. My answer (and I suspect yours and most others) would be the same as Bisno's and tell them to take a flying leap...

But back to Gus. His ability to see the need for housing that is affordable is the key. The ultimate numbers can be worked out pending review and verification of population and traffic numbers which have been so all over the map as to leave everyone uncertain as to where it would finally wind up.

I think this comment thread would do well if it is cut and pasted into it's own entry.
3:55 PM
M Richards said...
Howdy Tom,

You have made some great points again.

"Gus" told me that his wife, "Betty" works part time.

"Gus" would like to see anyone who is interested in professing opinions about the whats and whys of Ponte Vista put them in a form somewhat similar to the way "Gus" put his opinions.

Your comments on the possible retail space is what is planned at this point. There has been a assessment that retail space be very limited to a Dry Cleaning business, a small coffee shop/food store, and possibly a day care center.

I do think it is very much in the realm of discussing alternatives to the retail area that would assist seniors more and supply further amenities to the general public if access to Ponte Vista is open. I think there is a strong belief among most of us discussing Ponte Vista, that the senior area, no matter how big it is, where it finally is, and what it looks like, should still have a guard-gated entrance as well as a remote-accessed entrance.

For the L.A.U.S.D. to have access to Mr. Bisno's land, I think a contract with specific wording and fee schedule would be the correct thing to have. It is not something L.A.U.S.D. wants to start to do. But it is simply the proper thing to do. I would regret Mr. Bisno's complete denial of access to his land under every circumstance, but he has a right to get paid for access to his property, if he chooses.

I, being the creator of "Gus" must caution folks not to be confused by the word "affordable" with respect to Ponte Vista.

Ponte Vista may provide housing that many folks can afford, but there are no plans to have any housing for sale that follow the strict guidelines required for calling the housing "affordable" in the sense of these types of housing requirements.

Ponte Vista's home prices will be dictated by the market that is current at the time the homes are placed for sale. There is a rebate scheme afoot for certain buyers who fit into specific job categories, but those folks will probably need an income higher than most "service" jobs pay.

Tom, I need your help in identifying which parts of these comments should be elevated to post status. I don't know if you want the all the comments elevated or just certain ones. You get the call on this one and I'll do whatever your wishes are.
MW
7:13 PM
tom said...
Mark,

IMHO the description of "Gus", his situation and what he would like to see, should jump up to its own post. Viewing things in that light helped to cut through some of the other issues I am as guilty as anyone else of letting infiltrate my comments. It sort of brought things back into focus. Perhaps if the discussion gets back on track, figuring out which numbers, generated by whom, are accurate and make sense.

I'll try to keep my own ego out of this, so my comments don't need to go with it. Let people start fresh. People can look at them here if they are really interested. The important thing is to get the focus back on people like "Gus" and "Betty".

I think we are on the same page re. LAUSD. I can empathize with Bisno not wanting people on his land without proper insurance, contracts, etc. But LAUSD is so used to being unfettered, this is a difficult concept for them to swallow. Much less the other item you mentioned of the precedent it would set. Seeing what unfolds will prove interesting.
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Now I am going to include the comments I found very worthwhile to me and fit quite nicely my ideas of what I was requesting.

IMBG said...
MW wrote:

Now imbg, why don't you tell us what you would like to see at Ponte Vista, and why you want to see whatever you want.

I would like to see something like the nature preserve at White Point, but without the militancy about native plants. Fat chance of it ever happening, of course, but you did ask what I'd like to see. It's not often you get a chance to reverse sprawl, so it's really dispiriting to see people shouting themselves hoarse over how best to preserve sprawl instead. You can never have too many places like White Point (another place that the military didn't need anymore, remember), and right now we don't have nearly enough.

As you can no doubt guess, I am not sold on the "need" for housing or other high-impact uses on this spot. San Pedro, Wilmington, and Lomita have plenty of fugly parking lots and struggling strip malls that should have a reasonably dense housing and commercial mix on them instead. Beautify neighborhoods while increasing housing stock and reducing car trips. Senior housing? Well, if I were a "senior" I don't think I would want to be shunted off from the rest of the world out in Sprawlvania, and the proximity to Green Hills just seems...mmm, unnecessarily poignant. The DiCarlo bakery would have been a better site for the LAUSD's high school, and would have spared us a local-business-killing Target store. And so on. It's not rocket surgery.
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I have not included my comments back to imbg on this post. I encourage everyone to visit Life on the Edge at www.laharbor.blogspot.com to learn for this site and read some great posts and comments that don't necessarily all deal with Ponte Vista.
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aNOnymous and tom have a lively debate going. aNOnymous has posted his opinions and reasonings he based his opinions on. So here they are:

aNOnmyous' Goal:
Influence the City Council to uphold the current zoning of R1 at Ponte Vista.

Method to achieve goal:
A two pronged approach of
a) Drawing attention to the issue.
b) Attacking the credibility of BisNO's application for re-zoning Ponte Vista.

Detail of methods:
a) We need to be loud. Believe it or not, many people do not have a clue of what BisNO is trying to do to SP/RPV with this development. We need to attract attention by coming up with catchy phrases like "Just Say NO to BisNO" and put them on posters, mailers, stickers, buttons, blogs etc, and then take to the street with demonstrations and pickets. We could try and attract the media and could even appear on a local cable show (that, by the way, I know is interested). The idea here is to call attention in a big loud way. Loud and angry.
b) Simultaneously, we have a group of people whose job it would be to take various sections of BisNO's support data and piece by piece break it down to expose all the assumptions, omissions and uncertainty in the data. That data would be used by an individual who would be very good at articulating that data to the public, media, council members etc, in order to drive home the "facts and data" side of our campaign.

I think something along those lines can get the attention of the City Council.

"Tom", my message and goal is clear, direct, unwaivering and it does not rely on trying to appeal to a person (Bob BisNO) who is purely motivated by making "boatloads" of money. You don't know what BisNO is thinking unless you happen to be BisNO himself or an associate. If you even begin to dig into the profit goals of Bob BisNO with your compromise solutions, he will slam the door shut in your face and you will be left with nothing but wasted time and no real goals. BisNO has no responsibility to the communities of SP/RPV. The City Council DOES. I choose to influence the City Council. I choose not to show any signs of compromise on this issue because the burden of changing the zoning is on Bob BisNO. The people who support R1 are in the drivers seat, for now, and there is no reason for compromise until BisNO gets his wish (if he gets his wish) and a zoning change is approved. Now "Tom" please don't reply with the old story of Bob BisNO walking away, and Ponte Vista turning into an Industrial Wasteland scenario. It's pure speculation, nothing more. I could speculate that a less greedy developer(s) could come in and make Ponte Vista work as R1 with a healthy enough profit to satisfy most property development company's goals. What's your go forward plan? Details please...Pretty Please?

The following comment from aNOnymous includes more of his opinions and reasoning behind them and I felt is also deserves elevation to post status.

Mark,I see you went ahead and elevated my plan. Actually my start of a plan. Obviously there are allot more details that have to be determined before it could be put into motion. Thanks for the recognition. I do want to also submit that there should be a 3rd prong to the plan. It's the part that would be the contingency part of the plan. This is where compromise comes in. If at any point in the campaign it looks as if the City Council is going to approve some type of zoning change, we have to be ready with a clear cut compromise or hybrid plan that could be proposed. It has to be a real plan with clear substantiated reasons for the plan that make it acceptable to the community. But this absolutely cannot come out before we hit the R1 only campaign....it's strictly a fall back position (a very important position though that must be prepared ahead of time). So as you can tell, I do see value in all the compromise discussions, it's just that we have to put it in the proper order.

18 comments:

confuscious said...

what is your problem? gus? what is this crap? stop playing around and make a comment on your own or get off the stage. Bisno weants wants to screw thw whole area with his project

M Richards said...

Confuscious, I must apologize to you because it seems you have trouble with "Gus".

"Gus" is a fictional character the author of the blog and many of the posts, created to illustrate how someone might publish their opinions on what should be built at Ponte Vista, and why they have those opinions.


If you look at contributions from "imbg" and "aNOnymous" you will read different ways these two have stated their opinions and reasonings behind them.

I have been encouraging everyone to learn as much as they wish to about the Ponte Vista development and publish their opinions and reasonings. I have written of many sources for gathering information about what Mr. Bisno proposes for the site and some of the issues that may hamper his efforts to build Ponte Vista with his current vision.

Confuscious, what would you like to see done with the 61.53 acres in what is known as Ponte Vista at San Pedro? What are your reasonings that back up your opinions?
Should there be a 2,025 seat senior high school on 15.03 acres of a 24 acre study site within Ponte Vista? What do you think about a smaller sized school on the site?

Everyones' opinions count. My opinions are no more important than yours. I have a greater responsibility to have opinions that mirror the opinions of the folks in R.P.V. I represent while I am serving on Mr. Hahn's Community Advisory Committee. But I am only one person, just like you and I am also not a decision-maker on what finally appears inside Ponte Vista.

Please have a look at some of my earlier posts that provide lots of information to folks. You can also visit pontevista.com and Life on the Edge for more information. To get to these sites click on their link on the upper right side of my blog.
MW

tom said...

aNonymous,

Can we just agree that we see things from a different perspective, but perhaps have the same goal? If I was sarcastic, I apologize. I would really prefer to end the cycle, so if you could refrain from condescending and the "pretty please"s, it would help me a lot.

It's late. I just got in and I do not have the energy to think through a dissertation right now. Just give me a couple days. I'm certain I can come up with something in a format which would be more acceptable to you. Is that a fair request?

Anonymous said...

Hey no problem Tom. No apology necessary. This type of heated stuff is what I expected...I think you know that too.
I still don't think we have the same goal though. My goal is to get the best situation for SP/RPV and that is retain R1. It's a simple belief that less (homes) is better. I don't want you to summarize/format a plan just to satisfy me either. I see this as a debate of what plan would make the most sense to put into action. This is to put it out there for many people to see and hopefully motivate.

aNOnymous

Anonymous said...

i'm sure everybody heard but northwest just agreed to invest money to pay for it's own traffic consultant.

Anonymous said...

I think that is sooooo great! I believe that person will be reviewing the DEIR. It's money well spent. The information/data that comes out of this will be so valuable to the fight to keep Ponte Vista R1.

aNOnymous

IMBG said...

Heads up to MW: I posted an answer to your answer to my comments back on LOTE. Actually, my answer is more like a bunch of questions.

I confess that I have more questions than answers as regards this situation. My main question, as you've probably figured out, is why anybody would waste a lick of effort fighting Bisno's sprawl while advocating...sprawl.

M Richards said...

Howdy imbg,
Great comments! let me remind folks what you wrote in LOTE;

IMBG said...
Why, exactly, do you feel that you must limit your pushing as long as you are on the Community Advisory Committee?

What, exactly, is the function of a member of a community advisory committee appointed by a government body, if not to give advice to that body as to how its actions might best serve a community?

Is there something about membership in a CAC that, in your view, precludes a person from expressing actual honest opinions? If so, you might consider the possibility that you would be a far more valuable resource as a member of the public, advocating what you actually want as part of the public comment process, than as a member of an "advisory" committee forbidden to advise.

MW's response;

As the only CAC member with a blog, I have already received a fair amount of criticism for what I have already written.

The original charge that committee members were given was to weigh everything and come up with recommendations for Ms Hahn and the City Planning Department AFTER all the information was presented and folks had a chance to let the committee know what should be built at Ponte Vista.

Some critics have told me that I have already "played my hand" in revealing my conclusions I have already posted.

I have accepted the notion since typing the first word of this blog, that I could be asked to resign from the committee at any time, for just having this blog.

Wrestling with remaining on the committee or resigning from the committee and changing the course and content of this blog has yet to include a 3-second pin count.

There will come a time that I am no longer on the committee. Whether I remain on the committee long enough to be able to make motions on recommendations or vote on any, has yet to be seen.

I would like to continue to represent the residents I have been selected to represent and I feel that I have been doing at least a fair job doing that since the committee was formed.

I also feel I edit a blog that gives some of the most accurate information possible on the subject of Ponte Vista. I feel Life on the Edge also contributes a gread deal of accuracy and the two blogs complement each other while LOTE deals more in outright opposition to Mr. Bisno's plans.

If folks want to read pro-Bisno information, they can click the link to pontevista.com. If folks want to join others in opposition to plans at Ponte Vista, LOTE is my first choice for a site folks can view, at this time.

This blog (hopefully) is designed to provide accurate information as objectively as possible, learn opinions from folks on all sides of the issues, provide a source for debate and discussion, and set forth my opinions, conclusions, and reasonings.

Your point about fighting sprawl while advocating sprawl is noted. I feel there is sprawl and there is SPRAWL!!!

One "sprawl" is a giant development which offers many housing units to folks who the developer feels will pay whatever is charged for the homes he builds in his multi-unit condominiums.

There is "sprawl" which changed formerly open hillsides and canyons into Beverly Park, where 20,000+++ square feet homes and the accompanying landscape change the area for many lifetimes.

There is "sprawl" that combines multiple dwellings with a large portion of wetlands. This we call "Playa Vista."

Mr. Bisno's "sprawl" looks very different than the "sprawl" many folks are advocating with keeping the land in its current R1 zoning.

Perhaps the question you are asking is; Do I want bad or do I want worse? I have to admit, I'd rather have bad than worse, or much worse with Mr. Bisno's current plans.

On a side note, I was interviewed by Dennis Lim for an article that may appear in More San Pedro, about this blog. If the article does appear, and I am asked by Ms. Hahn or the CC members of Rancho Palos Verdes to resign from the committee, I will. Then you can sit back and read the changes that will take place with this blog.
MW

tom said...

Mark

I'm swamped as I'm certain everyone is heading into the holiday. I have not forgotten my promise to aNOnymous to elucidate my thinking on development in San Pedro, specifically the proposed Ponte Vista prject. Please bear with me, it's coming.

But one subject has come up a couple times and I wanted to comment on it before any other events occurred.

Just because you have this blog is no reason to resign from the Advisory Committee. At least not in your case. In most cases people who have blogs are intractable and closed to any other ideas. I think you have demonstrated this is not the case with you. While you have certain opinions (some of which we agree on, others we do not) at least you have shown the willingness to conduct an open forum. And while pro-Ponte Vista posting has been light, you have tried to mediate the other commentary to let everyone have a chance to voice their opinion.

So I don't think that should be an issue. Short of being escorted out of meetings by a LAPD officer, you should not give up this position. During meetings you bring up lucid, cogent points and questions and it seems you have a decent avenue of communication with Bisno. We need all of these things if we are to communicate our concerns as a community to Hahn, the Planning Department, and Bisno. While obviously not an advocate of Ponte Vista as proposed, at least you contribute to the discussion instead of adhering to a party line, or sitting there saying nothing, as other members ofthe Committee have been wont to do. I think the Committee would be lessened by your absence. So I urge you to put any idea of resigning by the wayside.

Besides, I would love to see anyone attempt to justify your dismissal from the committee for merely exercising your First Amendment rights.

IMBG said...

MW:

I don't think that anybody has grounds to ask a member of a Community Advisory Committee to resign just because he has preconceptions. A CAC is not the same as a jury in a criminal trial. Members of a CAC are not selected, as are members of a jury, for their utter lack of knowledge about the issue on which they will be asked to render judgment.

Presumably you were asked to serve because you were believed able to bring some kind of knowledge and experience to the Committee. Nobody acquires knowledge or experience on a subject without developing opinions. I've never known of a CAC that wasn't packed with opinionated people.

As to the difference between sprawl and SPRAWL!: it's all sprawl. Different forms of sprawl are deplorable for different reasons, but they're all deplorable. In some ways, R-1 sprawl is worse than dense, Bisno-style sprawl, in that it uses land less efficiently and it requires more energy and water use per resident. And don't forget that the presumed public benefit of development (reducing demand for housing) is a variable that changes with the density of the housing built on a given patch of land, while the loss to the public of potential low-impact use of that land is a constant.

You wonder whether I'm really asking you whether you "want bad, or...want worse." No, I'm not asking you that, and I reject the premise of the question on the grounds that it presents a false dilemma. I rather suspect that you do not want bad or worse.

Don't think I don't understand what you're trying, in your coy way, to tell me. But frankly, I couldn't care less what you're willing to settle for. Forced to pick, I'd settle for being punched in the gut by Bob Bisno over being shot in the temple by him, and so would you, and so would anybody. But I sure wouldn't go around writing articles entitled "Why I Support Being Punched In The Stomach," or wearing little "PUNCH ME IN THE GUT" buttons on my lapel, when what I really wanted was for him to keep his goddamned hands to himself.

So, what do you really want?

M Richards said...

Thank you Tom and imbg for your comments.

imbg, you asked what I really wanted, so here goes;

From the beginning and until the very end, my first "want" is that if any residential and/or school buildings are built on the property, a new road from Western to Gaffey must be built. I also wish to see the road continue up the hill between the refinery and the warehouse to ramps on the Harbor Freeway.

That is "want" #1. It probably won't happen, but you asked, so I answered.

Second, this is my personal "want" and has nothing to do with my service on the committee.
Since there probably won't be a road, I think a recreational/open space/developed parklands would be the best for the area.

I have commented to Mr. Bisno that I would like to see the old stream bed on the south side of the property restored to its original form and water run through it with the use of pumps when there is not enough natural runoff filling the stream.

I think there is a need for more natural habitat being reintroduced into the area. We have White Point on the coast, but we don't have good access inland to view what the area was like hundreds of years ago.

Some recreational areas could be installed in the area, including covered kiosks like ones that used to be at Peck Park. Since I think the original natural habitat did not include many trees, shade for visitors could be found under the covered areas.

Perhaps an adaptive nature trail could be installed where everyone has a chance to experience the area. I would like to see signage identifying native plants along a path constructed for all access.

I haven't, as yet, concluded whether I want any community buildings on the site. I don't know what the usage is of the Community Center at Peck Park, so I can't say a similar building is needed at the Ponte Vista site.

I would like to see a children's play area with play equipment similar to what is found at Friendship Park, miles away from Ponte Vista.

I would be delighted if local folks, who are interested, build a railroad track on a one inch to one foot scale so live steamers could gather and have an area to run their trains for everyone to enjoy. I would think a small meeting place/roundhouse could be built.

An Radio Controlled hobby dirt track might fit well on the east side of the property. I would prefer land vehicles over R.C. aircraft due to the proximity of homes and the fenced off Navy fuel site.

These "wants" are my private dreams for the site, and they do not live in the real world, but I wish they did.

When I established the four "Rs" (reasonable, responsible, realistic, and respectful), I decided I have to live by them just as much as I hope others would live by them.

With a housing "crisis" appearently declared in the area, I think it is unrealistic for me to reasonably believe that there won't be housing built at Ponte Vista.

So, knowing that housing most probably will be built at Ponte Vista, I charge myself with being responsible to recommend the best solutions for the folks in the area I respect.

Fighting for my "wants" would be wasting my efforts at finding the best realistic solutions for the area, in my opinion.

imbg, tom, and others have given me possitive responses about keeping this blog and remaining on the committee. I feel that I can best do what I have chosen to do by staying on the committee and writing this blog.

imbg, if you know of a group that has formed and demands no building whatsoever at Ponte Vista, please send me an Email with their address. There is room in my budget of a monetary contribution to such a group.

If folks know of more groups in opposition to Mr. Bisno's plans, please Email me with that information and I will post it on theis blog.

If anyone starts another blog concerning Ponte Vista, I will post a link to in, here.

After December 26, I will ramp up discussion and debate about what should happen at the January 18 Open Forum the CAC is planning.

Let's sit back and enjoy the holidays and get back hard into the fight on Dec. 26.
MW

IMBG said...

You have your priorities exactly backwards. You can't logically say that your first and foremost "want" is for some mitigating element to be included in a project that you don't actually want.

Your second "want," in any reasonably ordered universe, ought to be your first want. And your second (actually first) want, clearly, is that no high-impact development of any kind be built on the site of the former Navy Housing.

When I established the four "Rs" (reasonable, responsible, realistic, and respectful), I decided I have to live by them just as much as I hope others would live by them.

So, live by them, then. You already seem to understand that advocating recreational or park use of the land is responsible (it's certainly more responsible stewardship of the land than advocating sprawl) and respectful. So I suspect that it's the first and third of the R's that are giving you pause.

But, you see, there's nothing at all unrealistic or unreasonable about demanding that no housing project be built on a piece of land owned by a developer who has stated his intent to build such a project, if it can be convincingly argued that such a project will do more environmental and social harm than good. Ever hear of Ahmanson Ranch?

With a housing "crisis" appearently declared in the area,

By whom, on what authority? With what supporting evidence? Incorporating what salient argument in favor of averting that "crisis" by constructing sprawl housing on that particular patch of land?

I think it is unrealistic for me to reasonably believe that there won't be housing built at Ponte Vista.

And why, on God's green earth, should this have anything to do with what you advocate?

Realistically and reasonably, I know that during the year 2007, a greater-than-zero number of people will be subject to the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers, and I know that this will happen no matter how loudly I complain about it. Should I therefore advocate that law enforcement officers be allowed to use excessive force? How about if I advocate that they only be allowed to use half of the excessive force that they're using now? Pretty ridiculous, isn't it...but that's the same logic that you're applying to your advocacy (and let's not pretend that you're not engaging in advocacy) regarding the former Navy Housing.

So, knowing that housing most probably will be built at Ponte Vista, I charge myself with being responsible to recommend the best solutions for the folks in the area I respect.

Once again, this fails the logic test. The best solutions for the folks in the area are entirely independent of what you may think will inevitably be built.

If I have appendicitis, the best solution for me is an appendectomy. This is objectively true, whether or not anybody is willing to give me one. If you are charged with recommending the best care for my medical problem, you are both logically and ethically required to recommend that I be given an appendectomy even if you know that I have a terrible HMO that will try to give me a kidney transplant instead.

Fighting for my "wants" would be wasting my efforts at finding the best realistic solutions for the area, in my opinion.

How do you figure? No matter what happens in the end, what this all boils down to is negotiation. Asking for less than what you want is not a very good negotiating tactic. In fact, if you were employing somebody to negotiate for you, and you found out that he was negotiating in this way, you would fire him. Wouldn't you?

.

M Richards said...

Howdy imbg,

You wrote;
You have your priorities exactly backwards. You can't logically say that your first and foremost "want" is for some mitigating element to be included in a project that you don't actually want.

Let me try this again.

I would prefer that no residences should be built at Ponte Vista.

I am willing to contemplate a senior high school if the student population is held to approximately 800 students and other conditions are placed on the physical plant of the school.

I would like to see what I have previously outlined for recreational uses and open spaces for the Ponte Vista site.

I want to keep the current zoning intact if any residences are built at Ponte Vista, at this time.

I strongly recommend that if any residences and/or schools are built on the site, there must be a new road between Western Avenue and Gaffey Street, and then continuing on up the hill to new ramps for the Harbor Freeway.

Realistically, I feel that residential units of some type will be built at Ponte Vista. I also feel that the L.A.U.S.D. will probably be successful at pushing through a 2,025 seat senior high school.

If housing is approved inside Ponte Vista, and R1 zoning is changed, I feel there must be negotiations and compromises as to the number of homes built and amenities supplied. Any senior housing should be behind guarded gates and fences. Non-age restricted housing areas should be accessible by the public.

I would like to see and support organized groups of individuals opposed to Mr. Bisno’s plans to build anything other than R1 zoned homes.

I would contribute to and support a blog registered to another person that calls for only recreation and open spaces in the Ponte Vista area.

Imbg, I don’t know if the previous paragraphs satisfy your call for me to reveal what I really want. I am extremely right-brained and I don’t construct my thoughts very logically. Left-handers such as me use our creative and imaginative side of our brain more than any logical portions that our left brains may have.

In my youth I was very much a progressive idealist. I still claim to be progressive, but I have learned to appreciate reality a bit more.

The reality of Ponte Vista is that some types of residences will be built on the site. I choose to deal with that reality rather than use more energy trying to achieve my primary wants. That is one reason this blog is the way it is. If folks don’t like this blog, my conclusions, reasoning’s, and my eagerness to seek comments and opinions from others, then they can discontinue reading this blog and start a blog of their own, if they choose to.

Imbg questioned my declaration that there may be a housing “crisis” in the area. He wondered;
By whom, on what authority? With what supporting evidence? Incorporating what salient argument in favor of averting that "crisis" by constructing sprawl housing on that particular patch of land?

On November 30, 2006, during the meeting of the Community Advisory Committee, a speaker supplied by Mr. Bisno’s organization talked about housing needs and the financial impact of the Ponte Vista Development.

The Ponte Vista DEIR, including appendices, suggest there are requirements for housing units within the Wilmington/Harbor City and San Pedro Community Area Plan, that haven’t been met yet.

The aforementioned area plans themselves give numbers for needs of housing in their particular geographical areas.

City Planning documents and guidelines available on the Internet give statistics for needs of housing units in different sized areas.

All the information I have looked still has not convinced me that there is a real housing “crisis” in our area. That is why I put quotation marks around the word. But I do recognize that many folks believe there is a housing “crisis” in the area and they feel more housing is needed. I need to respect the issue that while I may not agree that there is a “crisis” I need work with folks and proposals that deal with a belief that the “crisis” exists for them.

So, knowing that housing most probably will be built at Ponte Vista, I charge myself with being responsible to recommend the best solutions for the folks in the area I respect.

Imbg response begins with;
Once again, this fails the logic test.

To imbg and others, I wish I could do a word search on my entire blog to find if and where I used the word “logic” when dealing with just about anything concerning Ponte Vista.

Please consider a developer who has big developments in Northern California and whose business is up to 80% commercial development, uses the phone and Internet to give the highest bid on property that the sellers’ agents suggest was overpaid for by hundreds of percent over the suspected value of the property.

This same developer lives in one of the highest priced homes in Southern California, routinely drives to Ponte Vista in many different cars, one being a black Rolls Royce, sends at least one of his kids to the most affluent of private schools and then calls folks who live in middle-income homes “ranting elitists.”

This developer also claims he knows what is best for the residents of the area and how he will mitigate a traffic issue that is already being planned to have mitigation done.

Couple the developer with a school district that was offered the whole site by the federal government, FOR FREE, not once, but multiple times and wants to combine students from middle-income homes in San Pedro, and students from gang-infested Rancho San Pedro with students from Lomita, Harbor City, Wilmington, and Walteria, and you still want logic?

The Population and Housing Section of the DEIR and its appendices suggest numbers and methodology that are not realistic with actual census numbers and population distribution.

The Schools Section suggests that 199 public school-aged children will live within Ponte Vista. There is no reasonable documentation to back up that fact. The attendance number for Taper Avenue School only counted the “regular” student body and did not include the students attending the magnet portion of the school.

I suspect I don’t need to write anything more about the Traffic and Transportation Section because it is so completely illogical that it is beyond comprehension by a great number of knowledgeable people.

Fighting for my "wants" would be wasting my efforts at finding the best realistic solutions for the area, in my opinion.

Imbg responded;
How do you figure? No matter what happens in the end, what this all boils down to is negotiation. Asking for less than what you want is not a very good negotiating tactic. In fact, if you were employing somebody to negotiate for you, and you found out that he was negotiating in this way, you would fire him. Wouldn't you?

My choice is to help to try to find the best solution for the residents of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, northwest San Pedro, and everyone else.

Whether this is logical or not is up to each reader.

What I want in open spaces and recreation is what I will have to travel to, rather than expecting it will be found at the Ponte Vista site.

What I demand for a new road will take more fighting and negotiating for.

What I wish for in keeping the current zoning will take a good fight and many folks to join together to demand.

What I suspect with the L.A.U.S.D. will take more fighting than I can probably imagine and it will take combined involvement from many people on many sides of the Ponte Vista issues.

What I see for the future of Ponte Vista plans include a real discussion on the number and type of homes that may actually be built inside Ponte Vista.

What I hope for is more organization by folks opposing Mr. Bisno’s plans, more input about what folks think should be built at Ponte Vista, and a realization by most folks that logic and idealism may have to take a back seat to dealing with the many issues that Ponte Vista puts forth.
MW

IMBG said...

I would prefer that no residences should be built at Ponte Vista.

There. That wasn't so hard, was it?

I want to keep the current zoning intact if any residences are built at Ponte Vista, at this time.

Why? If you think that it is--to use your pet buzzword--realistically possible to limit Bisno's development to 900 units or so, of what earthly difference is it to you or to Western Avenue's traffic flow whether those units are multi-family or detached?

I strongly recommend that if any residences and/or schools are built on the site, there must be a new road between Western Avenue and Gaffey Street, and then continuing on up the hill to new ramps for the Harbor Freeway.

Thus guaranteeing further sprawl, both residential and commercial, in the near-to-middle future along that new road.

Any senior housing should be behind guarded gates and fences.

Awesome. I can't imagine a better way to spend one's golden years than to be sequestered in a compound where 82% of the population is forbidden to go without clearing security. To sit outside on the porch of a wistful summer's evening with a cool glass of Ensure, gazing at the high cinderblock fence surrounding the tract on all four sides: can there be a greater reward for a lifetime's toil and forbearance?

OK, I'll stop.

I am extremely right-brained and I don’t construct my thoughts very logically. Left-handers such as me use our creative and imaginative side of our brain more than any logical portions that our left brains may have.

Fine. Call me when your first volume of surrealist free verse poetry is published, and we'll drop some acid and bay at the moon. Meanwhile, you are supposed to be serving on a Community Advisory Committee dealing with complex and contentious land use issues. I should think that the ability to order one's thoughts, examine and analyze data, engage in critical thinking when considering claims and counterclaims, etc. would be prerequisites for serving on such a committee. Or am I just being a fuddy-duddy here?

All the information I have looked still has not convinced me that there is a real housing “crisis” in our area. That is why I put quotation marks around the word. But I do recognize that many folks believe there is a housing “crisis” in the area and they feel more housing is needed.

Here's where you've got me a little worried about the whole critical-thinking thing.

Doubtless some "folks" involved in this controversy claim that a housing crisis exists. Of those folks, how many folks are ordinary members of the community who have come to you and expressed a concern that there isn't enough housing in the area? And how many of those folks are folks who stand to make a great deal of money by building housing (or are being paid, directly or indirectly, by folks who do) and who therefore may have reason to make those claims insincerely?

I need to respect the issue that while I may not agree that there is a “crisis” I need work with folks and proposals that deal with a belief that the “crisis” exists for them.

You are under no obligation to accord respect to "beliefs" that are insincerely held, and/or to beliefs that have no basis in fact. Have you asked any of these people to provide the Committee with evidence to back up these "beliefs"? Assertion in an EIR is not evidence.

Imbg response begins with;
Once again, this fails the logic test.

To imbg and others, I wish I could do a word search on my entire blog to find if and where I used the word “logic” when dealing with just about anything concerning Ponte Vista.


That others involved in this controversy have behaved irrationally is not at issue here. It's your own illogic that concerns me.

Here's what you said:

"So, knowing that housing most probably will be built at Ponte Vista, I charge myself with being responsible to recommend the best solutions for the folks in the area I respect."

I'm trying to tell you that this simply makes no sense. I've given you an example to show you why. Since that example didn't seem to get through to you, I'll try another. See if you can answer this multiple-choice question (based on a true story).

---

It's 4:45 AM. I really should go to sleep, because I have Christmas shopping to do tomorrow. However, I will probably finish writing this reply, make some tea, and then screw around on eBay for an hour or so. Based on the foregoing information, what is the best solution to my problem?

a) I should make some tea and screw around on eBay for an hour.
b) I should make some tea and screw around on eBay for a half hour.
c) I should turn off the goddamned computer and go to sleep.

---

Give up?

The answer is "c." I gave away the answer in the second sentence of the question. What I should do--the best solution to my problem--is independent of what I may do or what I will do.

Now do you see what I'm saying?

My choice is to help to try to find the best solution for the residents of eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, northwest San Pedro, and everyone else.

You've already found it, and it's not R-1 sprawl or a new road. Now all you have to do is say so, publicly. If you end up with scaled-down sprawl housing as a compromise, so be it. At least you did your job. And if Bisno ends up getting exactly what he's demanding, then clamoring for R-1 sprawl wouldn't have done you any good, anyway.

You literally have nothing to lose.

M Richards said...

O.K., imbg, I am tapping the wrestling mat three times and giving up trying to please you with our ongoing discussion.

My college degree will always be just a dream my mother had. I am a product of the public school system and I am not brilliant or probably very wise, for that matter.

You wrote about poetry and I must confess that I have been approached by a scam publishing organization that informed my that I won a poetry competition and I could buy the book where my poem could be read. I won't buy the book.

With my real world, this blog, and dealing with the Ponte Vista/L.A.U.S.D. issues, I feel I can no longer carry on these challenging discussions with you that, I fear, will never give you the answers you are looking for.

If you look at the site meter, you will notice that there are more than just us "regular" contributors to this blog that visit this blog.

You can continue to try to bring me around to your reasoning but I will admit that I am probably not up to your intelligence level and I do not have as keen of abilities to write and discuss issues that you seem to have.

So imbg, why don't you submit posts to me of your own contemplations, and join me in fighting for what each one of us feels is the best for the community?

We certainly don't need to agree on issues for me to welcome entire posts from you on this blog.

You can use this blog to promote your goals for what you believe should happen to this area.

You can start a blog of your own. They are free to create and edit. I would be glad to read it and appreciate having more blogs to openly debate and discuss any number of issues.

You and I shouldn't take tests for each other to answer. We should create tests to find answers that will help everyone form opinions and conclusions that bring about the best possible outcome for our community.

I started this comment less than one hour after you posted yours, imbg. Now I must depart for the shower and off to my blue collar (literally) job I go.

Be well, you win.
MW

Anonymous said...

Mark,
An interesting arguement in deductive logic that IMBG poses. I am with him when it comes to negotiations. There is no and should be no room for negotiation or compromise at this point. R1 is R1. BisNO bought it, now he should build it or sell it. It seems that the idea of an advisory committee, at this point, is all backwards. It seems that the committee is set up to recommend a compromise to R1, when BisNO doesn't even have approval for a zoning change! What is the charter of the Hahn Advisory Committee? Do you have one? If it's not to keep the Ponte Vista property zoned R1, then I'd have to agree with IMBG that your effort might be best spent pursuing a NO zoning change campaign. I'm a simple man with a simple want...Just Say NO to BisNO and he can build his R1 "sprawl" and then get the hell out.
Have a nice Christmas Mark and everyone else, we need to crank up the fight in 2007!
aNOnmyous

IMBG said...

aNOnymous wrote:

I'd have to agree with IMBG that your effort might be best spent pursuing a NO zoning change campaign

That's not what I said at all. I would rather see the local residents fight for open (undeveloped) or recreational space there, rather than fighting for R-1 sprawl. I'm arguing against MW's position of fighting for the preservation of R-1.

Furthermore, if a compromise must be reached that includes, say, about a thousand units of housing, I can't think of a single reason why anybody should insist that the housing be R-1 (detached) rather than multi-family. Indeed, I can think of several reasons to insist on multi-family housing, the foremost of which is that it would leave more land available for recreational use or for leaving undeveloped.

To summarize: fight for what's best. What's best is no sprawl. What's best is undeveloped land, a nature preserve or a recreational field. If you can't get what's best, then you negotiate. But you never, never, never open up a negotiation process by immediately offering every concession that you may ever have to make, just because you think the other guy may win. That is self-defeating and, frankly, stupid.

Anonymous said...

imbg -
Is undeveloped or recreational space even on the table? I'm sorry if I misinterpreted you, but an urban developer guy named Bob Bisno owns the R1 zoned land and I seriously doubt he will just call it a loss and leave the land as a natural preserve. Who is offering a consession by holding him to R1?
aNOnymous