Tuesday, February 27, 2007

On A Pathway To Perhaps

This post will deal with the CAC, the meeting held tonight, and my personal comments about what I think should be happening around San Pedro.

The CAC met on Tuesday evening for a lesson on creating a specific plan and make comments about what MIGHT be included at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Betsy Weitzman (sp?), the head of our area's Planning Department led our group, along with David Olivo and Mr. Camp(sp?) in Planning 101.

They gave our group and the audience a good presentation about the basics of creating a specific plan and how that plan fits in with the city's general plan and the community plan.

Our group also gave suggestions back to them about what we would like to see as to types of housing at Ponte Vista. We gave just the basics, and included no numbers.

We talked about types of housing, the importance of the road to Mary Star, retail types, and extremely general ideas toward what members felt like might be incorporated at Ponte Vista.

One item that is continuing to emerge from the group and one item that it seems many members of the public, as well as Mr. Bisno wants is Senior Housing.

If Senior Housing is built at Ponte Vista, the portion of the site that the Senior Housing will be built on will have to have a zoning change. This doesn't mean that the remainder of the site can't stay R1, but to have Senior Housing as many people would like to see it, would require a zoning change to accommodate those residences.

It is also emerging that the Senior Housing be inside a guard-gated portion of the site.

So I feel it is safe to write that PERHAPS one thing we all MIGHT agree on is that a Senior Housing component MAY be built at Ponte Vista and that component will probably be in a guard-gated portion of the site.

Whew! One thing may finally be agreed to. We have no idea how many units would be in the Senior Housing component, or what the density or types of structures would look like, but it seem to be easy to view the Senior Housing component as something that will probably be built.

There is also the appearance of agreement that the public road from Western Avenue to the Mary Star High School parking lot is a major component that agreement is fairly easy to reach.

Everything else is still on the table for open and honest discussion. There will be an Urban Planning Workshop planned for the next two CAC meetings, so we can all get to learn more about what goes into the nuts and bolts of a specific plan.

Now to address the title of this post.

Perhaps we will have a majority of CAC members who agree on many recommendations for a specific plan.

Perhaps Ms. Hahn will use some or all of our recommendations to work with the Planning Department on the creation of a specific plan.

Perhaps Betsy will use some of our recommendations when her Planning Department makes their own recommendations concerning the specific plan.

Perhaps some of the recommendations will be agreed upon by Mr. Bisno.

Perhaps is all I can ask for.

The Community Advisory Committee is in a position to make recommendations to give to Ms. Hahn in order to assist her in considering her stance on Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The CAC was told again this evening, by Betsy, that the group is simply an advisory group and only one type of group the Planning Department will use in helping it create the specific plan.

I don't know how to emphasize enough that the CAC is only one of many ways our community can utilize forces and groups to deal with Ponte Vista. It is not and should not be the be all, end all group in recommending anything concerning Ponte Vista.

This project is so big that everyone interested should become involved in making their views known and having input to all levels dealing with Ponte Vista.

I totally agree with Doug Epperhart's comments that there should be focus groups from throughout the larger community giving input towards the creation of the specific plan. I could even imagine a referendum of some type from throughout San Pedro, eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, and other local neighborhoods in Harbor City, Lomita, and Walteria. I don't feel supporters cards, some gathered under very questionable methods, as well as R-1 petitions, which demand only R1 zoning, be the only ways our community "votes" on what should be at Ponte Vista.

Folks, I would like someone from anywhere to find a development that even remotely compares to what is currently planned at Ponte Vista, within a 5-mile radius of the site. The current vision of Ponte Vista shares absolutely nothing with anything built in northwest San Pedro, eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, or anything I have seen built along Western Avenue from Paseo Del Mar to Los Feliz Drive in Hollywood.

One of the things we all need to consider is, do the current plans for Ponte Vista fit within the community plan of Wilmington-Harbor City? How might that community plan have to be changed in order for Ponte Vista to fit in, and should it fit in?

Facts as they are, we really can't figure if the Ponte Vista plans fit in with the San Pedro Community Plan, because the site does not fall within the area of the San Pedro Community Plan. It is true that the Planning Department is "looking in to" moving the area of the site from Wilmington-Harbor City Community Plan and into the San Pedro Community Plan. I have already been told that Ponte Vista would not fit into the San Pedro Community Plan, which is currently under review.

A supporter of Mr. Bisno's current plans spoke that he was confused because our committee wasn't working on Mr. Bisno's specific plan that he has proposed. He thought we should all agree to whatever Mr. Bisno wants, no matter what we might think. Sir, can you spell "NO"?

I also want to publicly commend the second member of the Ponte Vista Advisory Board to stand up in public and use the "C" word. Well, now there are two who choose not to march lock-step with other supporters. One at a time, is all I ask.

There was one speaker who criticized the group for doing "nothing" from the time our group was formed, until now. Well, Ms. speaker, our group and others probably averted a catastrophe by not marching lock-step with supporters and challenging Mr. Bisno's plans, asking very important questions, and investigating what is apparently a flawed Draft EIR. Nothing? We probably accomplished more in those first months than will be remembered for what we are doing from now on, IMHO.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 is coming...watch and read for details.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"..Senior Housing component MAY be built at Ponte Vista and that component will probably be in a guard-gated portion of the site."

So why do they need gates with guards? Is it because of the housing projects nearby? Further evidence of the meltdown and third world-ization of LA. Almost as sad as Villarigosa and Brewer boasting about moving a bus stop because school kids can't walk on certain LA streets in broad daylight because of street gangs.