Friday, March 02, 2007

Odds and Ends #2

Well, writing this particular type of post every Sunday lasted just one Sunday. I have decided to write the Odds and Ends pieces on Friday or Saturday night in order to give my keyboards a whole day off each week.

This past week was somewhat fun and there is some news to pass along.

For those few regular readers who didn't hear about our newest "drive-thru" restaurant on Western Avenue, here is a small recap.

An elderly driver was attempting to exit the parking lot directly south of our local Coco's restaurant. As he turned too soon, his car collided with a vehicle traveling northbound on Western Avenue. The elderly driver attempted to regain control of his car by trying to hit the brakes. Unfortunately his foot landed on the accelerator pedal and he and his care went up on the sidewalk, between pillar out in front of Coco's, over some news racks, and right through the front of the restaurant, a few feet from the front door.

Thankfully, there were no patrons sitting at the booth the driver's car crashed over and no one, including the elderly driver was injured.

The CAC had a pretty good meeting on Tuesday night, learning more about how a specific plan is created, who actually creates the specific plan, and how our committee might offer suggestions that may or may not be included in a specific plan.

Mr. Bisno, again, referred to folks who felt R1 is the best zoning for the site, as "elitists".

On Tuesday evening, the CAC members, and everyone else in the ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel learned a fact that Mr. Bisno would have probably not had revealed, ever.

One of the large points the Ponte Vista Development Organization is claiming is that there needs to be a lot of housing built in our area because there are so many jobs in our area and so many more jobs on the way. I believe many supporters of Mr. Bisno's plans want everyone to feel that we need a large development here in San Pedro because this is where the jobs are.

Mr. David Olivo, is an L.A. City Planner and a regularly attends the CAC meetings, tours, and other events concerning Ponte Vista because he is assigned to the Ponte Vista Project.

On Tuesday evening, while giving a presentation about the how's, why's, and where's of thinking about building a large development he gave us all some very interesting facts.

In the greater Los Angeles City area, there are 1.4 jobs per household. That means, for the entire City of Los Angeles, there is more than one job per home.

This is not the case for the San Pedro area, though. According to Mr. Olivo there is " much less than" 1.4 jobs per household in our community. He didn't have the actual, factual number available, but he assured the committee he would get the information to us and the rest of the community.

Well then, what does having less than one job per household really mean for San Pedro? It means that more people have to leave San Pedro to go to their work than have the opportunity of living near their jobsite, within this community. It means more commuters here than in other areas that have a higher jobs per household ratio. It means that any new development will bring in more residents that will need to commute to their jobs, because there are really, truly, and factually, not enough jobs in our area for the number of potential workers who live here.

It also means that if anyone tells you that more housing is needed here because this is where the jobs are, they are incorrect, according to documented facts that will be supplied by the Planning Department.

It also means that new residents, no matter where they choose to live in San Pedro will be faced with having to commute to their jobs. It means more traffic for them and the rest of us who live here, but don't work here. It means we need to really look hard at Traffic and Transportation issues for all the new developments, being planned, recently approved, or already under construction.

I hope Mr. Bisno and his organization will feel responsible enough to acknowledge what the City Planning Department's facts state and any and all advertisements and other correspondences stating the Ponte Vista should be built because San Pedro is where the jobs are, is false and misrepresents the facts.

Vesting Tentative Tract Map, Tract No. 63399 For Condominium Purposes, Proposed Subdivision. September 12, 2005.

This is the applicants map for a condominium development that would be commonly known as "Ponte Vista at San Pedro"

Lot #16 is mapped as the location for "Ball Field". This area is more commonly called by the developer and others as, "The 6-Acre Public Park." There have even been plans for having community members discuss what should be included in "the 6-acre public park."

By looking at the track map, Lot #16 is 238,012 square feet, or 5.46 acres in size.
The area of the public park can be rounded up to 5.5 acres or it can be rounded down to 5.0 acres. The actual, factual, and mapped size of the area is closer to being 5 acres than it is 6 acres.

The roadway between Western Avenue and the Mary Star campus has two sections. The route closest to Western Avenue and adjoining the majority of the boundary of the "6 acre park" is scheduled to be used by the public and residents of the development who choose to use the remotely controlled gate on the south side of the Ponte Vista development. The remaining length of the road is also considered a "community benefit" by the Bisno Development organization.

The Community Advisory Committee will meet again on Thursday March 8,2007 at the Crowne Plaza hotel to continue to write down and consider what they would like to see at Ponte Vista. As always, interested folks are welcome to speak at each meeting on whatever subject they choose.

Please consider posting a comment to either "Write Your Dreams Focus Group" or Write Your Nightmares Focus Group" or both, on this blog.

Thank you and congratulations to Tom F. who will be the first snail mail recipient of a comical "Four-star Ranting Elitist" button.


tom said...

If it were only that simple. Not that I want us to fail, it would be best if we won. However, back to something else you mentioned in this blog - baseline. At first blush, I tend to agree with David Olivo. But how does that compare to other "bedroom" communities? And it would bolster his claim if a bunch of dockworkers, local business owners, and other union people and regular folks who buy in Ponte Vista so they can cut down their commute.

THOSE number I'd love, to see and would most certainly be very revealing.

Thank you for getting my button out to me. I'll be watching my mailbox in anticipation.

Tom Field

Anonymous said...

"Mr. Bisno, again, referred to folks who felt R1 is the best zoning for the site, as "elitists". "

Wow. So this Beverly Hills millionaire (billionaire?) developer who toots around town in a Rolls calls hard-working middle class San Pedrans "elitists" for not supporting a zone change so that he can stuff his bloated pockets even more at the community's expense. How about we rezone his mansion's palatial grounds and cram crappy condos on it.

Anonymous said...

precisely. the guy is ridiculous. to even attempt to play the cards he's played is ridiculous. the "nice guy" who is "on our side" is stupid.

tom said...


After the last discussion about jobs and housing and commuting, and my related comment, I stopped to think for a few moments. (I know this is a strange concept, but I really did.)

If David Olivo is correct, that means that ULI - the Urban Land Institute has to be wrong. This makes me worry. Given that ULI is the generally accepted "gold standard" for urban development planning; and given that they recommended a minimum of 3,000 housing units be built; and given that pretty much everyone you talk to agrees that they are correct (including Janice Hahn) and their recommendations are good. And on the other had we have a planner for the City of Los Angeles telling us something else; and given their history of screw-ups. Who do we believe?

Tom Field

M Richards said...

Thanks Tom, for your comments.

When David spoke to all of us in the room and told us that, within the greater City of L.A. the ratio of jobs per household is 1.4 jobs per household, but that this is not true for the San Pedro, Wilmington harbor areas, I was VERY surprised.

I thought that everything Bob Bisno and others were claiming, that there is a need for more housing because of all the jobs that are here and will be coming in the future, was true.

It seems when Mr. Olivo gives the CAC the actual numbers for this area (hopefully this Thursday night) we should lear more, who is correct.

Of course, as many documents have indicated, numbers can be constructed to look just about any way the author wishes and I am even more skeptical of facts and figures since first learning about a development on 62 acres (61.53) of land in San Pedro.

To also have a "6 acre public park" (5.46 acres) on the site is a benefit for the community.

The number of residents, 7,343 (4,313, 6,088, 5,300+), the traffic impact of "no significant impact" (29% increase), and the number of school age chilren, 199 (640+) all seem to be included in facts and figures.

It is no wonder why so many folks are, at least, calling for new studies that may end up more accurate than what is contained in the Draft EIR. A newer EIR, created with input from a select few and fair community members, may ease some of the fears and frustrations many folks in our community have.

I, Mark Wells (M Richards, Gus, Nels) thank everyone for their comments and their interest.

M Richards said...

Howdy tom,

Well, David Olivo gave us the ratio of jobs per household in our area, tonight.

As I mentioned before, using the entire City of Los Angeles, there are 1.4 jobs per household. That means folks may be able to live closer to their jobs than other areas that have a lower ratio.

Mr. Olivo's report showed that in the harbor area, there are 0.86 jobs per household. That means more of us who live in the area must commute to our jobs.

Of course, and most possitively absolutely, the folks from Bisno Development balked at the numbers and how those numbers were generated. I can imagine another FedEx delivery on my doorstep with a long letter and documents contradicting the numbers supplied by Mr. Olivo. No matter what any written evidence is presented, the Bisno Organization spend lots of money and time refuting whatever disagrees with their own findings, no matter how truthful they are, or not.

I tried to remind Mr. Abshez that numbers differ depending on which end result you wish to achieve.

At this point I tend to believe the numbers Mr. Olivo provided, rather than anything the Bisno Organization comes up with because David Olivo "has no dog in the hunt."

Anonymous said...

I am very excited about the project. I am interested in buying one of the houses.I think is great.