Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another Elevation

I created a post concerning my visit with the Ponte Vista Advisory Board.

There have been several comments to it so far, but I felt the comments from Anonymous 8:48 PM were insightful and deserved to be elevated and comment on. At the end of the two comments I will add some more comments that may help to describe what may be coming to pass.

Anonymous said...
Mark, I have just given up. This blog seems to be dieing. You are hobknobing with Bisno and quite honestly I don't know where you stand. You were the one who went through the effort to make R1 buttons and stand firmly for R1, but through your pledge to be impartial you are searching for the perfect compromise. Yes it will be a screw up if a compromise to R1 is reached. You and the CAC have the only chance to uphold R1. Nobody outside the CAC is doing anything to combat Bisno. What's Doug Epperhart doing? Nothing that I can tell. What's Andrea Adelman doing? Nothing. Any of the neighborhood councils? Nothing. I've contacted both Doug and Andrea and left information and they have done nothing to take the lead, yet they both have put themselves out there to lead. I give up on them.

So I put this issue squarely on the CAC. It's the CAC that will come down with the recommendation, not me or anyone else outside the CAC. The screw up will be on your CAC's shoulders. So go ahead and keep being impartial and keep getting cozy with Bisno. The end result is what will count. The CAC will bear the responsibility along with Hahn.

Sorry Mark, I appreciate the time you put into this, but what the hell is the CAC doing? Have you reached any conclusions about anything? Any consensus? What has the CAC concluded regarding the DEIR? Does the CAC EVER work without the presence of Bob Bisno?

Here is my response.

Anonymous 8:48 PM, Jeanne, and Louis, Thank you all for your three great comments. I am going to elevate them to a post later tonight.

Thanks Louis for informing us on the make-up of the board. I did speak or was introduced to more than four women who claimed to be involved in real estate in some way or another on Tuesday night, but I do appreciate you informing this blog.

Jeanne, if the woman in Lomita was the same woman who wrote an earlier letter to the editor in the Breeze, then you can read my comments about that letter on this blog.

Now, Anonymous 8:48, your comments are excellent and you have every right to hold me and the committee to the fire.

I hope you read back on this blog and learn why I call for R1 at Ponte and the reasoning behind my conclusions. I am not wavering in any way my feeling that unless appropriate mitigation for some (as yet unknown) number of homes more than R1 zone density be approved of for Ponte Vista, the current zoning MUST BE MAINTAINED on the 61.53 acre site. I don't know how to write it any clearer.

I also value your comments about the CAC. We are positioned to make recommendations concerning the specific plan and I still find some value serving on the committee.

The CAC is attacked and threatened on all sides. The volunteers that make up the committee know this and are willing to serve despite all the attacks on the credibility of the committee. I am still troubled by the fact that there is not more organization among opponents of the project and I still don't know why individuals opposed to Mr. Bisno's plans don't speak up in greater numbers.

Again, I request that everyone give the CAC a fair chance to accomplish the tasks that are both very difficult and almost unheard of, at this time.

To get a bunch of volunteers for various communities together, why have different agendas, different distances from the project site, and different residents they represent, put them all in a room along with a multi-millionaire developer who doesn't live here but believes he knows what is best for OUR community, bring in a fair number of politicians and their underlings, add L.A.City bureaucrats and L.A.U.S.D., you can see that the CAC is trying to do its best in very uncharted territory.

The meeting tonight is with the Planning Department. They are the folks that will eventually draft the specific plan. Our committee had two non-public meetings and the last one of them, included a teaching process to move forward on finally issuing recommendations.

We are just 9-10 days away from the end of the comment period, so even though it may seem like we are moving at a snail's pace, we are moving forward and will be scheduling two or more meetings a month until we are finished. We will also be considering more community involvement in workshops and focus groups.

Folks, we have a giant project looming on the horizon. Bob Bisno claims in writings how many supporters he has and folks in opposition have not come forward in large enough numbers, in my opinion to challenge the current plans.

Let's allow Bisno Development to keep telling us that there WILL be 2300 homes built at Ponte Vista, because even Mr. Bisno knows that will never happen. That unwillingness to even consider compromise puts his position at greater risk of being found incredible or uncredible.

As long as opponents aren't willing to organize or come forward as individuals, the supporters of Ponte Vista will be able to continue to sit back and attack us and demand that their vision of the monster be approved.

My wife claims I am doing all I can to try to keep Ponte Vista R1 and still find the best possible solution for the community.

I didn't spend a whole bunch of hours creating my drawing I have on "Draw Your Dreams II" for nothing. That drawing actually really represents my ideal use of the site. But I have to be a realist and I know when Janice Hahn told the CAC that "A project will be built" at Ponte Vista, I have to take her word for it.

What is still in question and what the CAC is trying its best to do is find out the best size of the project IF appropriate mitigation can be proposed and approved of. If there is not enough appropriate mitigation for a number of homes with a greater density than R1, then I know that the vast majority of CAC members would simply vote for maintaining the current zoning on the site.

Please always remember, it was the L.A.City Council that approved an ordinance establishing the current zoning on the site and it is only the L.A. City Council that can change the current zoning.

Please also know that the "A" in CAC is Advisory. For all the importance folks may bestow on our committee, in the end, we are all still subject to the whims of politicians and bureaucrats. But I still feel that my service on the CAC has some value to me, Mira Vista, and my community as a whole.

Here are some more comments.

I have to agree with Doug Epperhart that it should be up to the stakeholders who risk the most to organize and dominate the opposition. Both Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council and perhaps some folks in R.P.V. should spearhead the efforts of the opposition. While Doug may be a great organizer, I think we both agree that the leadership should come from the areas most negatively affected by the current plans.

There are things you don't know. There is a brand new funding mechanism that was just established while I was dining with the Ponte Vista Advisory Board that will take donations of funds for the use of the opposition. I promise to widely and wildly publish facts about this fund when I learn more about it. I know who is accounting for the funds and that person is probably the most perfect person to handle the funds that I could ever imagine.

The opposition will grow. I think the nail was finally driven in far enough into the heads of some folks to finally get the point that it is now time to ramp up efforts. I am encouraged by what I have heard and I will certainly hold some feet to the fires to make sure this happens and I am very willing to publish whatever I feel needs to be commented on.

If you attended the CAC meeting tonight you heard John Greenwood specifically address the numerous faults of the DEIR with comments approved of by the CAC members and others in the community. Our assertions about the failings of the DEIR are many and very well documented by facts and sources that are extremely credible.

The CAC is more than ready, I feel to dig deep into the meat of a specific plan. We will be guided by the folks who create specific plans and will have a great deal of resources to assist us.

I understand the many individuals and groups are clamoring for some type of statement by Ms. Hahn and/or the committee concerning their current stances on the development.

It is with great sadness and a large chunk of regret that I must write that the statement unanimously agreed on with Ms. Hahn sitting in the room also agreeing to, was rescinded by the majority of CAC members at tonight's meeting. I know what the statement said, I know what it meant, but more than 8 committee members wanted the statement rescinded, so it was. I abstained from the vote.

Based on only my opinion, and not from anyone else on the committee, I feel that Ms. Hahn does not want 2300 homes built at Ponte Vista, but she recognizes that a project will be built and that R1 zoning is more than likely, not going to be the final zoning. Email me if you want to know the actual statement.

With all that said and done, it is time to move forward! The CAC is going on a two-meetings per month schedule proposed by the L.A. City Planning Department for the express purpose of making recommendations towards the creation of a specific plan.

I will continue this blog.

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