Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Contribution of an Article

An article appeared in the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council's recent newsletter and I was asked to create a post of the article.

I encourage anyone and everyone with articles and posts relating to anything to do with the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development, and wishing me to create a post on this blog, please Email me with your posting contributions.

The proposed Ponte Vista Development is slowly winding its way through the City’s bureaucratic process. The developer released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for 2300 units in “podium style” buildings, 4-6 story tall complexes built over open basement parking. He has been promoting his vision all over town to whatever group will listen. The units are expected to range in size from 700 square feet to over 3,000 square feet with an average sales price of $712,500. Economic projections in the document are based on an average annual household income of $145,217 with an average annual housing cost (mortgage and homeowners association fees) of $50,885 per unit. To put this in perspective, the average household income for San Pedro in 2005 was $42,667.

Despite the developer’s expensive public relations campaign for this extremely dense project, the attitude of most of the individuals we hear from remains the same as when we conducted our survey a year ago. That survey found that fewer than 4% of our stakeholders “support the developer’s proposal for 2300 condominiums”, 72% want to maintain the existing zoning, and 21% might consider “some additional homes” in exchange for specific mitigation measures.

Your Neighborhood Council commented extensively to the City on a number of the conclusions in the Draft EIR. Among the comments submitted were the following:

• The project is not consistent with adopted city planning policies. These policies encourage single family residential usage in our area, not an extremely dense condominium development.
• There is not enough specificity in the developer’s plan to adequately evaluate the environmental impacts. The plan does not state the mix of studio apartments, one, two, three and four bedroom units, but does predict exactly how many individuals will live in each unit.
• The traffic counts are inaccurate and underestimate the current traffic load. The counts were done while Western Avenue was torn up for sinkhole repairs, and are significantly lower than counts from the prior year.
• The traffic projections are too low. The projections are based on the average household taking only two trips per day - i.e. if there are two people in the household and both are working, they would leave home in the morning and return home in the evening and go nowhere else. Trip generation rates for comparable City projects are 40% higher.
• Proposed traffic mitigations are woefully inadequately. ATSAC will be installed even if no homes are built on this property.
• The number of new residents at the completion of the project, and hence the impacts on city services, is about 50% too low.
• The number of new students generated by the project is significantly under estimated. There will be severe impacts on already overcrowded area schools. No mitigations for these impacts have been considered in the EIR.

It is vital to your neighborhood council that accurate information be put forward in the EIR, so that the proposed mitigations will be strong enough to eliminate the problems caused by the additional residents and traffic.

The full text of our remarks can be found on our website, The City must now review all of the comments it receives on the Draft EIR and eventually release a final EIR.

The next step in the process is the review of the Developer’s Specific Plan. The City Planning Department has not yet determined the calendar for this process, but has indicated that it will include one or more opportunities for public comment.

Councilwoman Hahn’s Ponte Vista Community Advisory Committee continues to discuss their recommendations to the Councilwoman. A schedule of their meetings is posted on our website. There is an opportunity for public comment at all of their meetings and their March 8 meeting is specifically designed for public comment. Additionally, comments can be submitted to Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Attention Gordon Teuber, 638 S. Beacon Street, San Pedro 90731. The Los Angeles City Council is the ultimate decision maker as to what can be built on the site. Our Councilwoman wants to know what you think. Regardless of your feelings, now is the time to speak up.

1 comment:

M Richards said...

Blogger's comments.
The facts and figures mentioned on this post appear to be in line with facts and figures found within documents supported by the developer. The developer uses average annual income based on the 2000 census and those figures represent a lower average yearly income level for individuals in the 90731 and 90731 zip codes.
The developer is also able to provide data as to the number of individuals whose yearly income exceeds $100,000.00 per year in these two zip codes.
In preparing a more accurate accounting of documented economic details, I have run across a variety of facts and figures that I will report out on in the near future.
The yearly income level mentioned for potential buyers at Ponte Vista in the post and by representatives of Bisno Development is the same.
Any member of any organization questioning any fact or figure purported to be true on this blog, is encouraged to write to me for documentation or the fact or I will remove the fact that I am not able to verify.