Friday, March 16, 2007

Survey Results

I want to first thank "Anonymous 1:00 PM, for a copy of this report.
I know I said that I would publish the results after they were made public but I chose not to pick up one of the only 20 hard copies of the report made available because I know that one will magically appear on my doorstep in the coming days, (thanks to Bisno Development) and I thought other folks who would have to wait longer than the CAC members need to wait for their copies, might be better served if they got a better choice.

The contributor to this post is actually a supporter of Mr. Bisno's current plans and he wrote a comment chastising me, which you are all welcome to review on another post.

TO: Community Advisory Committee
FROM: Richard Maullin and Rick Sklarz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & AssociatesDATE: March 8, 2007
RE: Summary of Public Opinion Survey
SURVEY SAMPLE AND METHODOLOGY:Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates (FMM&A), an independent public opinion research company, was recently engaged by the Ponte Vista residential community project to conduct a random sample survey of 500 registered voters living close to the proposed project to assess the extent of support for the project. The survey was conducted by telephone starting February 9th and ending February 12th of this year.

The survey’s respondents were selected at random from voters living within the 90710, 90717, 90731, 90732, and 90275 zip codes and within the following geographical boundaries:·
South of Lomita Boulevard on the north·
East of Palos Verdes Drive East on the east ·
East of Miraleste Drive on the east· North of West 9th Street on the south ·
West of Gaffey Street until it runs into the 110 Harbor Freeway, and then west of the 110 Freeway

The survey’s margin of error due to pure chance is plus or minus 4.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for the subgroups within the sample is higher depending on the number within a group.

To ensure all voters could participate in the research, the survey was translated into Spanish for those who preferred to answer in that language.



More than three-fourths of voters in the survey area consider the area’s quality of life to be excellent or good. (See Figure 1)
Among voters with a positive assessment of the area’s quality of life, nearly three in five believe the quality of life will remain the same while 22 percent think it will get better in the future. But almost one in five (19 percent) think it will worsen. For the 21 percent who say that the quality of life in the survey area today is just fair or poor, four in ten have expectations for the future that it will continue as it is today and nearly an equal number (39 percent) believe it will get worse. But 20 percent are more optimistic and believe the quality of life will improve. (See Figure 2)

Figure 1
Perception of Quality of Life in the Survey Area
(“Overall, how would you rate the quality of life in your area?”)
Excellent - 30%
Good - 47%
Fair - 17%
Poor - 4%
Don't Know/NA - 1%

Figure 2
Things Getting Better/Worse Among Respondents Saying Quality of Life is “Excellent/Good” and “Fair/Poor”
(“In the last two or three years, do you think things in your area have gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed about the same?”)
Excellent/Good Much better - 8%
Somewhat better - 14%Stay the same - 57%
Somewhat worse - 13%
Much worse - 6%
Don't know/NA - 3%

Fair/Poor Much better - 6%
Somewhat better - 14%
Stay the same - 40%
Somewhat worse - 22%
Much worse - 17%
Don't know/NA - 1%

Survey area voters identify traffic concerns and the cost and availability of homes to own or rent as the most prominent issues or problems facing residents of the survey area. Other significant concerns include property tax bills, air pollution, particularly from the Port of Los Angeles, and crime. (See Figure 3).

Figure 3
Problems in the Survey Area
(“Now I am going to read you a list of issues or problems we have heard people talk about in your area. After I mention each one, please tell me how serious of a problem it may be for you personally?”)
Extremely/Very Serious Problem S.W./Not Serious Problem DK (Don' Know)/NA
Traffic congestion on local roads 64% 34% 2%
The availability of homes that working class families can afford 57% 34% 8%
The cost to rent an apartment or home 55% 35% 10%
Traffic on Western Avenue 54% 42% 4%
The amount people have to pay in property taxes 50% 36% 14%
Pollution from the Port of Los Angeles 48% 51% 2%
Air pollution 42% 54% 3%
Crime including drugs dealing and abuse 36% 58% 6%
Sinkholes and potholes on local streets and roads 34% 64% 2%
Crime such as gang violence 33% 66% 1%
The rate of growth and development 32% 63% 6%
Cuts in funding for city services such as police and fire protection 32% 55% 14%
The quality of local public schools 32% 52% 16%
The availability of open space for recreation 31% 65% 4%
The availability of adequate public transportation 31% 58% 11%
The availability of recreation areas and/or parks 28% 71% 2%
The availability of good jobs close to home 28% 60% 14%
The need for senior citizen housing in the area 27% 57% 15%
The availability of funds to pay for local services and programs 27% 48% 25%
The quality of police services in your area 23% 71% 5%
Students from outside the community attending neighborhood public schools 19% 56% 25%
Abandoned and blighted property in your area 13% 82% 6%

Perceptions of growth and development in the survey area

Figure 4 reports that large percentages of survey area voters agree with statements that more residential and commercial development can be expected in the local area, revitalizing abandoned and blighted property improves the local economy and quality of life, and that there is a shortage of housing for the area’s growing senior population. On a separate note, more than eight in ten (84 percent) agree that more funding is needed for anti-gang programs.

Figure 4
Agreement with Statements About Growth and Development
(“I am going to read you some statements about growth and development in your area. After hearing each one, please tell me whether you agree with it or not?”)

Total Agree Total Disagree DK/NA
We need more funding for anti-gang programs to keep kids out of gangs 84% 13% 3%
In general, revitalizing abandoned and blighted property improves the local economy and residents’ quality of life 79% 14% 7%
There is not enough housing for the growing population of seniors in our area 76% 20% 5%
It is inevitable that there will be a lot of residential and commercial development in San Pedro and the Palos Verdes Peninsula because Los Angeles continues to grow and more people want to live here 73% 23% 4%

Respondents were asked whether they personally consider each one of the factual statements provided in Figure 5 to be serious concerns or not. As Figure 5 reports, three-quarters consider the fact that housing prices in California are the most expensive in the nation to be an extremely or very serious concern. Seven in ten express a similar degree of concern over the fact that fewer than one in five Californians can afford to own the home in which they currently live.

Figure 5
Concern About Housing in California
(“I am going to mention some facts about housing in California and your area of the state. After hearing each one, please tell me whether you consider that fact to be a concern for people living in your area?”)
Extremely/Very Serious Concern S.W./Not A Concern DK/NACalifornia’s housing prices are the most expensive in the nation 75% 22% 2%
Fewer than one in five Californians can afford to own the home in which they currently live 70% 29% 1%
The Los Angeles area ranks second to last in home ownership rates in the nation, with only New York City having a lower rate of home ownership 47% 47% 7%
Census data shows that San Pedro and the entire Harbor community have produced too few new housing units over the past several years to accommodate the area’s population growth 43% 51% 6%
In the last five years only about eleven hundred new housing units have been built or are under construction in the San Pedro and Wilmington communities 27% 69% 5%

When asked to assume that a new residential development could be proposed somewhere in the survey area and to name the one or two features most desired for that development, survey area voters volunteered the responses captured in Figure 6.

Figure 6
Volunteered Responses About Desirable Characteristics for Future Residential Developments.(“Suppose a new residential development project was proposed for your area. In a few words of your own, what are the one or two characteristics or features you would most want the project to have?”)

I would not want a new residential development project in my area - 16%
Affordable - 15%
Replacing trailer parks with homes/single family spaces - 15%
Adequate traffic control/parking - 13%
Parks/recreation areas - 9%
Security - 5%
Senior citizen center/housing - 3%
Build new roads - 3%
Family oriented - 2%
Attractive homes - 2%
Offer public transportation - 2%
Better air quality/water - 1%
Needs to be around shopping outlets - 1%
Don't know - 23%


As Figure 7 shows, overall, 59 percent of survey area voters say they are aware of the Ponte Vista residential project. However, slightly less than a third of all survey area voters (31 percent) claim “to have heard or seen a lot” it. The remaining 28 percent say they only have heard or seen “a little.” The largest percentage of voters (41 percent) says they have not heard about the project.
Figure 7

Seen/Heard About Ponte Vista Residential Project
(“I would like to ask you about a specific project in your area. Have you seen or heard anything about the Ponte Vista residential project?”)
Yes, a lot - 31%
Yes, a little - 28%
No, have not heard about it/ Don't know / NA - 41%

Voters in the survey area who are fifty years of age or older are somewhat more likely to be aware of the Ponte Vista project (64 percent) compared to voters under fifty (58 percent), as are White Anglo voters (69 percent), Republicans (65 percent) and Rancho Palos Verdes residents (75 percent) in the survey area. Familiarity with the project (66 percent) is greater among those living within 1.5 miles of Ponte Vista and substantially less (49 percent) among those living 1.6 miles or more from the proposed project site.

After respondents were asked how aware they may be of the Ponte Vista project, they were asked, “In general terms, based on what you already know or my just mentioning it, do you favor or oppose the Ponte Vista project,” with no further description or information other than the project name. As Figure 8 illustrates, the largest percentage (40 percent) said they needed more information or did not have an opinion.

Survey respondents were then provided the following basic descriptive facts about the Ponte Vista residential project and, after hearing them, were asked, “Having heard this description, does the Ponte Vista project sound like something that you would favor or oppose?”

· The project would have 2,300 new homes, with a mix of single-family housing, condominiums and town homes affordable for middle-income families and first-time home buyers;

· The project reserves twenty-five percent of the homes for residents over the age of fifty-five;

· The project’s homes would be built on a vacant 61.5 acre plot known as the Old Navy Housing site on Western Avenue and Green Hills Drive in San Pedro;

· The project plan preserves forty percent of the land as open-space, which includes parks, gardens, waterscapes, hiking and biking trails, and public recreational areas including two new Little League fields.

More than three in five voters (63 percent) in the survey area, as Figure 8 shows, said they would favor the Ponte Vista residential project -- more than double the “before information” support level -- while opposition slightly diminished. In FMM&A’s experience, this level of support for a major urban residential project is exceptional and illustrates the potential for broad acceptance and support for the project within the survey area.

Figure 8
Support for Ponte Vista

Before information:
Favor - 30%
Oppose - 30%
Need more information/ Don't know - 40%

After Project Description
Favor - 63%
Oppose - 28%
Need more information/ Don't know - 9%

With basic information in hand, women (66 percent) are more favorable to the Ponte Vista project than men (59 percent) who are somewhat more undecided. Those under age 50 are more supportive (77 percent) compared to those who are 50 years of age or more (48 percent). Republicans and independent voters favor the project more than Democrats, 65, 69 and 59 percent respectively. However, opposition percentages according to party registration are nearly the same as Democrats have a larger number of undecideds (14 percent) compared to Republicans and independents (4 and 6 percent each). Support is greater in the San Pedro and Lomita portions of the survey area – 67 and 62 percent respectively – while a plurality of 46 to 38 percent favor the project in the Rancho Palos Verdes section of the survey zone. Distance from the project -- initially important for basic awareness of the project -- is not a factor in support or opposition once the project’s basic description is provided to survey respondents.

The primary reason volunteered by respondents to explain their support for the project is the need for more housing for middle and low income families, including the elderly. Additional reasons for support include the Ponte Vista residential project cleaning up the degraded Old Navy Housing site and providing open space and recreational amenities that would benefit the surrounding community as well as Ponte Vista residents. (See Figure 9) These volunteered reasons for supporting the Ponte Vista project strongly echo the sentiments of survey area voters when respondents were asked whether they agree or disagree with general statements about growth and development in the San Pedro/Palos Verdes Peninsula area as presented previously in Figure 4.

Figure 9
Reasons for Supporting/Opposing Ponte Vista Project
(“In a few words of your own, why would you (Support/Oppose) the Ponte Vista project?”)

Reasons for Support % Reasons to Oppose %
The area needs more housing for middle/low income families 41% It will increase vehicle traffic/congestion 48%
It benefits the whole community 17%
There are too many people already/Area is already over populated 26%
It offers affordable housing for seniors 16%
There is a lack of space /Too many houses already built 16%
It created public recreation areas 9% There are no plans for additional roads 6%
It preserves open space/parks 8%
There is no need for project 6%
It will fix up the Navy base 3%
The housing is not affordable 3%
It will improve traffic 3%
It is a poor location 1%
It will provide additional off road parking 1%
The land should be for homeless people 1%
It includes a new public school 1%
Seniors/55 and over should have their own houses 1%
Don't know 16% Don't know 12%

The primary reasons volunteered by those opposed to the Ponte Vista project are 1) concern that the project with increase traffic in the local area and 2) general opposition to additional population growth in the area. However, as figure 10 illustrates, voter support for the Project reduced only slightly – remaining twice as great as opposition – even after respondents heard the following statement voicing these traffic concerns, as well as two other opposition statements:

§ “Ponte Vista will generate thousands more daily vehicle trips in and around San Pedro resulting in major gridlock, damage to our roads and highways and to our quality of life”

§ “Ponte Vista is too large for San Pedro and the surrounding communities. The Ponte Vista developer wants to build 2,300 homes on land zoned for only 500 or so homes.”

§ “Ponte Vista does not set aside enough land as open space and parks that can be used by the public. Less than ten percent of the property would be open to the public if this project is built.”

Figure 10
Overall Support/Opposition for Ponte Vista Project

☼ Support Before Information
Favor - 30%
Oppose - 30%
Need more information/ Don't know - 40%

☼ Support After Project Description
Favor - 63%
Oppose - 28%
Need more information / Don't know - 9%

☼ Support After Positive Statements
Favor - 65%
Oppose - 24%
Need more information / Don't know - 10%

☼Support After Negative Statements
Favor - 59%
Oppose - 30%
Need more information / Don't know - 11%


Figure 11 shows the percentages expressing support for and opposition to the number of potential housing units that might be included in the Ponte Vista project.

Figure 11
Assuming Number of Residential Units, Favor/Oppose Ponte Vista Project
(“Would you favor or oppose the Ponte Vista Project if ____ residential units were included in the project?)

☼ 2,300 residential units
Favor - 38%
Oppose - 48%
Don't know - 14%

☼ 1,900 residential units
Favor - 44%
Oppose - 42%
Don't know - 14%

☼ 1,700 residential units
Favor - 50%
Oppose - 37%
Don't know - 13%

Figure 12 shows the rank order of importance assigned by survey area voters to community amenities that could be provided to the local area by the Ponte Vista project’s developer.

Figure 12
Importance of Funding Specific Community Amenities
(“Let me name some amenities that could receive funds from the Ponte Vista project. After hearing each one, please tell me if you think it is important or not for that benefit or amenity to receive funds from the Ponte Vista project.”)

Very/S.W. Important Not Too/Not At All Important
A free community shuttle service in and around San Pedro 81% 17%
A little league baseball park 80% 19%
Community center with facilities for seniors and youth 77% 22%
A new library in north San Pedro 74% 24%
A road connecting Western Avenue and Gaffey Street 74% 21%
A community swimming pool 49% 49%
A dog park 48% 50%

Figure 13 provides a list of Ponte Vista Project features or effects where, after hearing each one, 65 percent or more of the survey’s respondents said that having that feature or effect would make them more inclined to support the project.

Figure 13
Impact of Ponte Vista’s Specific Features, Elements or Effects on Project Support
(“I’m going to read you a list of specific features, elements or effects associates with the Ponte Vista project. After I mention each one, please tell me whether that aspect of the project makes you more likely or less likely to support Ponte Vista?”)

Total More Likely to Support Total Less Likely to Support No Difference/ DK/NA
The developer will pay for synchronizing traffic signals and installation of computers and sensors to reduce traffic congestion at 23 intersections over 5 miles on Western Avenue 72% 12% 16%
Ponte Vista will pay for a six-acre public park with picnic areas and other community amenities, including parking 70% 13% 16%
Ponte Vista will contribute fund to smooth out traffic flow at Five Points 70% 11% 18%
Purchases by Ponte Vista homeowners will contribute more than one hundred million dollars to the local economy each year and provide hundreds of family-supporting jobs for local residents 69% 11% 21%
Ponte Vista will permanently protect almost 25 acres, or forty percent of the land, as open space, which includes recreational centers and acres of streams and lakes 69% 8% 23%
Ponte Vista will contribute funding to upgrade local traffic intersections and widen roads to improve traffic flow throughout the area 67% 9% 24%
Ponte Vista would build a permanent access road for the new Mary Star of the Sea High School Campus to prevent traffic congestion in the Taper Avenue neighborhood 66% 12% 23%

Figure 13, Continued
Impact of Ponte Vista’s Specific Features, Elements or Effects on Project Support

Total More Likely to Support Total Less Likely to Support No Difference/ DK/NA
Ponte Vista will be located on approximately sixty-two acres of abandoned and blighted vacant land in San Pedro on Western Avenue 66% 12% 22%
Ponte Vista will require that at least twenty-five percent of the homes sold are for residents over the age of fifty-five 66% 9% 24%
The Ponte Vista community will include a seniors only community of at least 575 homes, which requires all residents to be over the age of fifty five 65% 17% 18%
Ponte Vista will generate more than eight million dollars in new tax revenue every year to fund local police and fire services, hospitals, schools, street repair and other critical local services 65% 16% 19%
Ponte Vista will contribute funds to improve the Anaheim and Pacific Coast Highway on-ramps to the 110 freeway 65% 9% 26%

Thank you again, anonymous 1:00 PM for providing the infomation to this blog.

It is up to each reader to determing whether this survey means anything to him or her. It should be repeated that Mr. Bisno's staff, according to Mr. Bisno himself dissapproved of this survey in the first place.

I would also feel that I would be remiss if I didn't also repeat one "error" which is a quote Mr. Bisno himself used to describe the first attribution when the project was described to respondents to the survey:

"Survey respondents were then provided the following basic descriptives facts about the Ponte Vista residential project and, and after hearing them, were asked, "Having heard this description, does the Ponte Vista porject sound like something that you would favor or oppose"

-The project would have 2,300 new homes, with a mix of single-family housing, condominiums and town homes affordable for middle-income families and first time homebuyers."

This description is a factual error, according to Mr. Bisno, the pollster and many folks in the room. The description lends folks to believe that "single-family homes" would be apart from "condominiums and town homes" and leads people to picture detached residences instead of homes inside larger buildings.

This error is eggregous because it is factually incorrect and included as the first descriptive, and therefore, the most important descriptive concerning the project.

When I asked Mr. Bisno if this "error" was deliberate, he replied directly to me and the audience, "That is a very fair question." He did not continue to answer the question.

It is my belief and opinon that Mr. Bisno, a lawyer himself and credited with being the sole author of this descriptive sentence used it deliberately to make respondents believe that there would be single-family detached homes at Ponte Vista, when in fact, none are planned.

To many supporters, it seems that this is just a very small issue, but to many folks interested in continuing to seek the truth and realistic outcome for the property, it serves no one to deliberately distort the truth as much as Mr. Bisno apparently did with this description.

Both Mr. Bisno and I were surprised to see the 41% number of respondents who thought workforce and first time homes seemed more important than senior housing at Ponte Vista. both he and I support the idea of senior housing at a number higher than 575, at this time.

I think it is troubling to supporters and those interested folks who oppose the construction of 2,300 homes at Ponte Vista, that so few members of the community know much about the project or even care about it. I guess all sides have their work cut out for them to find more folks interested in what becomes of the property and traffic in our area.

1 comment:

mellonhead said...

In no way can any poll make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.