Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just What is an Anti Ponte Vista Campaign?

As I am very sure all regular readers to this blog know, the creator of this blog is also a member of Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee.

Try as I might to keep my keys immobile in writings between Mr. Bisno and other CAC members, I seem to be the most active member of the CAC who responds to Mr. Bisno's Emails and responses to the CAC. I will try to stop doing this after this particular post.

Recently another member of the CAC wrote to members suggesting we think about creating models of what Ponte Vista may look like as a way for committee members to finally deal with making recommendations toward what MIGHT go into a specific plan for Ponte Vista.

This particular CAC member is extremely qualified to make these types of suggestions, in my opinion, and I regard his vast knowledge of the area and his devotion to our community as great assets to the CAC.

I also have thought about models and that is one reason I have created the Write Your Dreams Focus Group post to try to find out what members of the community really want to see built at Ponte Vista.

In a response to Emails passed between Mr. Bisno and SOME CAC members, Mr. Bisno included this next sentence in a FedEx delivered document to members of the CAC and selected others in the community and City Government:

"A CAC member who participates in an anti Ponte Vista campaign, by definition, acts in violation of that member's duty to be non biased and that member taints the results of the CAC process."

Mr. Robert H. Bisno, what do you mean by "anti Ponte Vista campaign"? do you mean a campaign where anyone who does not fully support your intentions to build 2,300 homes at Ponte Vista would be a member? Do you mean a campaign where members only advocate R1 development on the site? Do you mean a campaign where community members, CAC members included aren't allowed to belong to simply because they oppose your plans?

I don't know your definition of an "anti Ponte Vista campaign" and it would sure help me to know what you believe would constitute an "anti Ponte Vista campaign".

Every person interested in reading my opinions about the Ponte Vista development can read them here in this blog. I have set myself apart from most folks who oppose building 2,300 homes at your site because I have actively and repeatedly used the word "compromise" and I only state that R1 MUST be maintained if there is insufficient mitigation to build anything having a larger density than R1.

It should be well known by all readers that both you and I share a open willingness to discuss Senior Housing as a very important component to the Ponte Vista development. We both know that to provide for such housing a zoning change that would allow for a larger density than R1 would have to be approved in order to provide such housing.

I have also written that I have not signed any R1 petition. I do not begrudge anyone who chooses to sign such a petition, even other CAC members. I think we still have a few constitutional rights and the petitions have as much legal binding as your supporters' cards.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 is coming! it is an organization that does not support your efforts to bring 2,300 homes, with all buildings having similar designs and exterior features, to our community, that currently contains a great variety of housing types and sizes. Does this mean every potential member of the group will demand R1. Of course not! This organization will have lots of folks from all over the area who are as concerned about our community as you feel supporters of your development are. This paragraph is just my own opinion and does not reflect the beliefs of any other member of R Neighborhoods Are 1, or any other CAC member.

You have also included in numerous Emails, letters, publications, advertisements, and other sources the numbers of supporters and potential buyers of homes in the development. I think it is now time for all sides to reveal how some numbers were achieved and how many folks actually believe R1 should remain at the Ponte Vista site.

For the latter, I am quite surprised by the number of folks who advocate strictly R1 zoning at Ponte Vista. When the folks who have collected the petitions actually start revealing the number of signatures and names collected, the community will be somewhat shocked, in my opinion. It is also true that R Neighborhoods Are 1 is interested in finding volunteers to be block captains and continue to collect more R1 petition signatures.

For those folks who do not remember some of the early tactics used by the Bisno Organization to collect "supporters" information, perhaps now is as good a time as any to remind all of us.

As I was told by folks who unwittingly signed cards collected by paid gatherers, this is what happened. A paid gatherer would come up to a shopper at Albertson's and ask them if they favor "affordable housing in San Pedro". Well, who wouldn't want that? As I was further told by respectable folks who went ahead and signed the cards, their names appeared to be on supporters' lists for Ponte Vista at San Pedro. The folks who talked to me said they were not told their name would be added to a list of supporters to Mr. Bisno's plans and they felt they were tricked.

So, let's me more open and fair when discussing who actually supports and who actually opposes plans to build 2,300 homes at Ponte Vista.

And to be fair, I now have read or heard two members of the Board of Advisors to Mr. Bisno's current plans use the word "compromise" when writing or commenting about the project. This is refreshing to me because I can now see that there are actually some supporters who are not in total agreement with Mr. Bisno and his current plans. Oh, how I wish more supporters would wish to use that word and actively help all of us find what is best for San Pedro.

As I have written and spoken about how it is time for all of us to come together to support what is best for our community, it is also time for all of us, including Mr. Bisno, members of his organization, members of the opposition, and everyone else to come together and find some compromise. Just look at Sven Ludvquist O'Brien's dream. He would have some zoning changes made, but he would have Ponte Vista look more like the surrounding community with many different types of housing, just like San Pedro already has.

It is also time for Mr. Bisno and others to look at what the CAC actually is. It is a group of volunteers, and only one of many groups, that seek to find the best solutions for our community.
These volunteers on every committee have strong beliefs and if a few of them demand that Ponte Vista remain R1 it is perhaps there is a large number of community members they represent who have that same belief. These CAC members believe they are serving the folks they represent the best way they can and they should be commended for their volunteerism and not criticized for supporting the beliefs the folks they represent have.

If Mr. Bisno thinks that any member of the CAC who demands strictly R1 zoning at Ponte Vista be removed from the committee, then it would be equally fair to find out which members of the CAC support only Mr. Bisno's vision and ask them to step down, as well. What committee members have not done publicly or even privately in closed door meetings is discuss their personal beliefs as to how many homes should be built at Ponte Vista. this is a fact! If anyone, anywhere believes he/she knows what is in the minds of the fourteen members of the CAC, please be very, very, very certain that not even the fourteen of us really know what is in the minds of all of us. This continues to mean that our committee is open to listen and learn and will continue to strive to help make recommendations that may bring about the best solution for all of us, in OUR community.

Unfortunately, and again, Mr. Bisno used the word "elitist" as a descriptive of R1 supporters. His comments can be found in toay's Peninsula News article.

.... He said R-1 supporters such as the San Pedro and Peninsula Homeowners Coalition have a “completely elitist perspective” because “less than 2 percent of the San Pedro community working families” can afford houses in that price range.

Mr. Bisno, if there are 2% of the community that can afford R1 homes on the site, that would be many more times the number of 429, which is the number of homes that can currently be built at Ponte Vista. I feel, with a good marketing campaign and really nice amenities for these homes, they could be sold to the community members who could afford to buy these homes.

"Elitists" to me are folks who feel they want to be segregated from the community by the use of gates and guards. They also may be discriminatory by having only a certain group of individuals live in segregated housing. (Senior Housing)

The current Ponte Vista at San Pedro has many facets that have some people considering residents there will be elitist by where and how they live, and not be inclusive with the overall community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow bisno is really showing his true colors now. he's accusing someone of being biased?

give me a break!