Saturday, April 28, 2007

Group Thanks You For Your Signatures

R Neighborhoods Are 1 wants to thank the approximately 5,500 folks who have joined the call for R1, NO COMPROMISE, to keep the current zoning at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

By thanking all of the folks who have listened to the truth about Ponte Vista and have determined, on their own, that 2,300 homes are just too many, and keeping the current zoning is better for OUR community, some members of the steering committee want all to know that it still is a great beginning!

The signature collection if far from over. It appears that the surface has only been scratched and the more members of OUR community who learn about Bob's current plans, are willing to state by their signatures, that they will not tolerate a developer coming into THEIR community and attempting to shove an overly large project down OUR throats.

Bob and his group have not been able to honestly demonstrate that any zoning change is needed at Ponte Vista, according to many members of R Neighborhoods Are 1, or folks who support that group.

On March 23, 2007, Councilwoman Janice Hahn was presented with petitions totaling 3,096 signatures calling for keeping the Ponte Vista site R1, its current zoning. Since then, signatures have been collected at a rate of over 65 per day, and the rate appears to be increasing.

It is absolutely true that Bob has gathered more signatures on his petitions than have been collected demanding R1 be kept at Ponte Vista, so far. It is absolutely true, that paid petition gatherers for Bob have used wording that has been condemned by employees of Mr. Bisno's. So we know that many of the signatures gathered by Bisno's paid gatherers were collected under questionable conditions. I know, for a fact, that a petition gatherer for Bob use language that was factually incorrect. My memory is pretty good, and I remember what the gatherer asked me to do.

There is still much to be done in collecting more signatures on petitions. R Neighborhoods Are 1 needs to get the word out that signatures on the R1 petitions are vital in its attempts to demand that Ponte Vista remain with its current zoning.

In politics, signatures can mean votes. For a politician to ignore the increasing rate of signatures being gathered, demanding the zoning remain as it is at Ponte Vista, might mean troubles when re-election time comes around. Even though folks may feel their signature on the R1 petitions means very little, each signature adds to the total, and the total counts very, very much.

Would an elected political figure thinking about being re-elected or seeking higher office, ignore 15,000 signatures? I don't think they would.

The time for being nice and asking for something is over. Bob Bisno had plenty of chances to sit down with elected and selected members of OUR community and discuss a development that had fewer numbers of units. Bob waited too long, probably thinking he wasn't going to have to deal with OUR community. He is wrong!

Since the new slogan; "R1, NO COMPROMISE" was issued, the time for negotiation is over! The thought of compromise is finished, and the time Bob squandered, not dealing with OUR community, has passed. Bob had his chance, and he let it slip away.

Now it is time to start important meetings and demonstrations that states, R Neighborhoods Are 1 means business and means what it says.

I will be giving out details of the first meeting of supporters of R1 at Ponte Vista, hopefully by Tuesday evening. An event is almost completely planned where supporters of R1 can gather to meet, share ideas, learn more about the goals of R Neighborhoods Are 1, and really go forward with a strong campaign demanding R1, NO COMPROMISE.

This meeting will be entertaining, informative, open to all who support R1 at Ponte Vista, and will introduce OUR community to the folks helping R Neighborhoods Are 1 work for OUR community's benefit. The meeting will be short enough to enjoy, without leaving attendees feeling they didn't get the information they needed. It will also be a meeting where folks interested in helping R Neighborhoods Are 1 do the tasks required of a growing movement, can volunteer for tasks like demonstrating, phone banking, petition gathering, and whatever else the group needs volunteers to do.

The movement need you. It needs you now. It needs you now and into the future, if it is going to achieve the goal of keeping Ponte Vista with its current zoning.

On a personal note, I realize that the Ponte Vista issue has been the most divisive issue to come to OUR community in a very, very long time. Not only are we struggling with a developer who want to build too many homes in OUR community, we are also struggling with the problems are kids and their parents are having with the Eastview Little League issue. Sometimes it seems OUR community is being overwhelmed by development of large residential projects, commercial building, and Port of L.A. issues.

But I am also encouraged when I witness the banding together of community members who seem to increasingly be coming together to keep Ponte Vista R1. I am also pleased to be able to support Eastview Little League's effort at finding a permanent home.

I am also very encouraged when I see folks walking up to the R1 petition table and without any call from me for support, they simply pick up a pen and begin the petition process. It is amazing to me to see that folks who gather petition signatures and can get around without crutches, only have to mention Ponte Vista and many of the members of OUR community just grab the clipboards out of their hands and start filling them out. It means the information if finally getting out there and many more members of OUR community are learning about the TRUE issues surrounding Ponte Vista.

Whenever I am asked a question about Ponte Vista, I answer all questions truthfully, or as truthfully as you believe the DEIR is. I need to go no further than the information provided in the DEIR, Initial Study, and other public-source documentation to provide the true answers.

When folks are provided the truth and the more they learn about Bob's current plans, the easier it is to get signatures on R1 petitions. When I hear an R1 petition gatherer make a comment that is not as accurate as it should be, I advise them of the correct answer and that is all I need to do.

When anyone tells you that R1 means 500 homes at Ponte Vista, they are factually incorrect. R1-1XL means that up to 429 single-family, detached housing units, of no higher than 30 feet tall can be built on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet, within the boundaries of Ponte Vista at San Pedro.


Anonymous said...

reading your blog is like trying to figure out which personality of Sybil one is talking to.

first you say you say you are open for all proposals; then you say you are for R-1 No Compromise; then you say at the CAC meeting you support Bisno's senior housing; you also try to say you are the odd-man-out in the R-1 gang because you want compromise; then you erroneously try to present that the R Neighborhoods Are 1 website prints letters in opposition to their stance when in reality they are just hand-picked from the many letters which are FOR Bisno in the Daily Beeze and More San Pedro and not really "backlash" lettters at all.

you claim to want everyone to conduct a civil discussion, yet your own comments are mean-spirited with the obvious intent of damaging people's credibility and reputation. there is not a single comment that is pro-Ponte Vista that you don't rip apart. you obviously have an agenda and too much time. if you spent a little more time researching, anda little less time just putting empty words on the screen, you might actually make some sense.

you wrote about your medical condition and I wish you luck in its resolution. but in the meanwhile dude, take it easy on the medications.

M Richards said...

Anonymous 10:28,

I can understand your confusion. I think if you read the post again, you should be able to read that I am writing about the group more like reporting on them rather than actually including myself as a complete follower of the group.

As I have written several times before, I have NOT signed the R1 petition because I do not necessarily agree that the entire site remain with its current zoning.
What I do advocate strongly is that folks who do believe the site must remain R1, need to state that clearly, convincingly, and without compromise.

Like being a member of a particular political party, each and every member should not be required to support all of the planks of that party's platform, if they truly don't feel it is right for them to do so. There are plenty of Democrats and Rebublics who don't necessarily agree with all of their party's leadership, but feel their party represents most of their beliefs over the other party.

I am like that in a way. If Ponte Vista remains R1, then I will learn to live with that. It is most certainly better for the community I am a member of, than 2,300, 1,700, 1,500, or any other number that I feel is too high, in terms of units.

Yes, I call for compromise and that riles other members of the steering committee who wish I would fully commit to all of the R1 group's points.

I have corresponded many times with Tom Field. Both he and I do not share the total views of the R1 group, on my side, and Bisno's current plans, on Tom's side. We both have acknowledged to each other that we seek compromise within groups that do not.

There was a period of time that I did call for keeping Ponte Vista with its current zoning throughout the site, but I have listened to enough seniors to believe, no matter what anyone else may say, that it looks like there is a large enough population of seniors in the community to allow for the type of housing they wish to have at Ponte Vista.

It may be very true that I "rip apart" folks who are more pro Bisno, but I don't believe I am mean-spirited at all. The facts I am using come straight out of public documents like the DEIR and the Initial Study, along with other documents provided to me and many others from Mr. Bisno's organization. I try not to relate facts and figures like Pat Nave does, because he uses some different methods to analysis facts than I do, and his fact-finding is quite a bit different than mine.

I do conduct what many folks may deem an attack on a Bisno supporter when I repeatedly quote her comments she repeated during a CAC meeting, and I include that as part of her name. She used the words, and I feel that if she said them, then it is not only fair game to repeat them, she and others who believe what she said should not whine if her words are used.

I think if your re-read many of my latest posts and comments, I attack identified falsehoods and "intentional" misleading statements made via the survey, in advertisements supported by the Bisno organization, and by Bob Bisno, himself. When someone make a written statement that he later acknowledges to be an "error", but continues to use that "error" in public and with advertisements, it should not only be noted, but it should be attacked for what it is.

You may think I have a multiple personality disorder, but I think the proposals I have created in my mind, make sense, whether anyone on the R1 side or the Bisno side agree with them, or not.

What is wrong with a gated, guarded, and wonderful Senior Housing section at Ponte Vista? What is so wrong about calling for the remainder of the residential lots be used for R1-type units and other single-family, detached units of a slightly higher density?

I know absolutely perfectly well that that goes against the folks who have signed the R1 petition, but if I signed the R1 petition, I would have to consider myself a hypocrit, and that is something I will not do.

When I write about R1, NO COMPROMISE, I know full well that I am addressing that stance for folks who have signed the R1 petition, or wish to sign it. Bob Bisno has had numerous chances to alter his current plans to better meet wishes for a smaller sized project, yet he has steadfastly, seemingly ignored numerous calls by many individuals to sit down and negotiate. Why should supporters of R Neighborhoods Are 1, who have signed the petition do anything until Bob moves on the numbers?

Like Tom Field, there are many folks who would like to see a development of a larger size than I would like to see. Many of those individuals "support" Bob Bisno's current plans, but may also wish that Bob negotiates with Janice Hahn, the CAC and City Planning on a more suitable number. I have heard or read from two members of the Ponte Vista Board of Advisors who have called for compromise, and since their calls, neither of them have suggested a number, and one of the individuals hasn't been to another CAC meeting since she wrote her comments in the Daily Breeze.

I have called for compromise many, many times from Mr. Bisno, only to find his consistant demonstration that he is moving forward with his current plans, no matter what.

If supporters of a larger sized development really wish to help everyone out with this very divisive issue, then perhaps, they should join Tom Field and come out for fewer units, different types of housing, and steer away from what I feel is blind support of Bob Bisno's current plans.

When I wrote about the Web site, I mentioned the backlash portion. I know there are letters condemning Bob's plans, but everyone is also to read information that decents from the views of R1 supporters. I have found no such items critical of Mr. Bisno's current plans on the Ponte Vista Web site. There is no requirement to acknowledge opinions that differ from the ones supported by various Web sites, but I appreciated the backlash option that the R1 Web site gives.

This blog has always sought contributions of posts on all sides of the Ponte Vista issue. I have posted contributions from Tom Field, a person who has very strong opinions on the R1 group. While Tom and I disagree about numbers and types, he has brought to all of us a worthwhile debate.

I would encourage you, anonymous 10:28 PM to contribute a post of your own, to this blog. You are encouraged to spell out what you would like to see built at Ponte Vista and why you want your recommendations to be followed. It is free to everyone, and IF there is any editing to be done, I always work with the contributor before I publish a post contribution, to make sure I post exactly what that contributor wishes posted.

In fairness, I believe this is the only blog or Web site, concerning the Ponte Vista project that welcomes views from all sides.

There are several things I completely agree with Bob on, but when I feel he is wrong, I take the opportunity as the editor and creator of this blog to write what I feel.

Thank you for your comments about my medical condition. Most folks who have seen me at CAC meetings now see me with crutches. I have avascular necrosis in both hips and I am waiting for the surgeon to have some free hours to get a graft on my right hip. I will be fine, but for the next several months, I will be hobbling aroung on those darned crutches. Nothing real serious, but it hurts like heck!

I know the Webmaster of the R1 Web site, but I don't "contribute" to it. I allow the Webmaster to take from my blog what he wishes and I do not make editorial choices for that site.

There is no requirement on this blog to be unbiased.

Anonymous said... can senior units be built in an R-1 zone? You can't have it both ways unless Bisno's property is designated as a mixed-zone use. Is this the compromise you seek? "mixed zoning"? Is there such a beast?

tom said...

Anonymous 11:29am

It is very confusing at best. But what you refer to as "mixed zoning" is in effect what a Specific Plan does. A "Specific Plan" mixes and matches differnet zone type to fit a project. Such as the proposal to have some light retail on the property to reduce trips down to Albertsons. Normally this would require some type of commercial zoning. And you are correct in pointing out that 700 senior units would require something more than R-1. Stir in whatever gets built for therest of the non-age restricted housing and you have the "mixed zone" Specific Plan. This is what Janice Hahn asked her CAC to come up with recommendations for.

Tom Field

M Richards said...

Howdy Anonymous 11:29 AM and Tom,

I know it is confusing writing so much in support of R Neighborhoods Are 1's call for keeping the current zoning as it is, at Ponte Vista. That is why I consider myself, and many others do to, to be the "oddball" of the group.

Tom is absolutely correct in his description for the mixes of types of housing in a specific plan.

It is also true that my support for a separate Senior Housing Section, in and of itself, recommendations a zoning change for Ponte Vista to a Specific Plan zone for residential development.

I did, for some time advocate for keeping the zoning at Ponte Vista as it currently is, but to endorse a separate Senior Housing section means that I had to change by stance.

I do believe that any other residential construction at Ponte Vista, other than the Senior Housing section, MUST be of single-family, detached residences. These units should have a majority of them constucted on lots of not less than 5,00 square feet in area. I also think they should have up to two storys or up to 30 feet in height.

Tom and I share the problem that both of us call for compromise proposals that differ from what both Bob Bisno currently plans to build and what R Neighborhoods Are 1 support. I feel Bob, as the applicant, has the responsibility to either stand by his current plans and have The R1 group continue to challenge those plans, or recommend something else that may force the R1 group to rethink it's position, IF IT IS NOT TOO LATE, ALREADY!.

Bob has had repeated chances to block the movement of the R1 group, but he has chosen to not alter his current plans in writing and he has had to spend money with his flyer/postcard campaign, probably of the growth of the R1 movement, in my opinion.

It may be too late for Bob to reconsider his position, when the rate of signatures gathered by folks supporting R1 continues to increase, week by week, it becomes apparent that the more residents learn about the Ponte Vista plans, the more they dislike it.

I have come to the opinion that no matter what I think should be done at Ponte Vista, the voices calling for R1 to remain at the site are growing stronger, louder, and much more clearer.

I have to continue to support folks who believe as strongly as they do, which is closer to what I may want at Ponte Vista, except for the Senior Housing.

Also, there is more "anger" by many folks R1 petition gatherers are hearing from who are increasingly upset with Janice Hahn.

With the Ponte Vista project, the Eastview Little League issue, the ever changing Port of L.A.'s plans for a waterfront development, Ms. Hahn has entered a hornet's nest of issues.The pressure is growing for her, as a politician, to firmly swing one way or the other on the issues.

For me, Ponte Vista is still an issue of process as far as what I feel should eventually be built. I am very troubled by Bob's lack of real understanding by the growing number of folks who call for R1. Yet he continues his current plans, no matter what OUR community really feels. This seeming arrogance by Bob demonstrates to me and many others that, he would not listen to the recommendations by the CAC, or continue to listen to the Planning Department. I believe he will fight to keep his current plans alive until he is confronted by the Planning Commission, and even then, he may take the matters to court.

All the while, or for at least the present time, Tom and I will continue to plod along, demanding and/or encouraging Bob to change his current plans, so all of us can find the best results for OUR community.

Anonymous said...

MW says: "This seeming arrogance by Bob demonstrates to me and many others that, he would not listen to the recommendations by the CAC..."

Absolutely right! (although I would omit the word "seeming")

michael.meacher said...

While it is easy to get on Bisno's case for not altering his plans in writing, I might point out that he is not alone in doing this. Despite LAUSD's fancy new plans for changing how they want to build their schools, they have not put anything in writing either. It was almost a year ago at one of the first CAC meetings that Rod Hamilton got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Betsy called him out that despite all his presentations, and fancy graphics, and verbal representations of where they wanted to put their school on Ponte Vista, they had not put it into writing to the Planning Department. Almost a year ago, they were designating the entire61.53 acres as a "preferred site". They still have not changed a single thing with the Planning Department. Despite their proposals, they have yet to amend their requests with the Planning Department to delineate the location they claim to want on the Ponte Vista property. This is equivalent to asking Bisno to write a blank check. Despite what anyone might think of Bisno, who would write a blank check? Especially to someone as devious as LAUSD.

Michael Meacher

M Richards said...

Howdy Michael,

At the meeting presenting the updated plans for SRHS #14 on the Ponte Vista site, and for the new SRHS #15 at Angels Gate, a presentation was given with the "preferred sites" illustrated using a PowerPoint format. There was also a multi-page handout that most people did not get. It seemed to me that Rod and the gang were semi-reluctant to pass it out and they used the excuse of not providing enough copies of the documents.

After the program ended, I saw that Rod was carrying copies of the handout and I asked him for one. He handed me the handout.

One of the PowerPoint slides is duplicated in the handout and it shows the "preferred site" as being all of Ponte Vista, but there is a shaded area, right about where it has always been, on that particular slide.

In the Initial Study, the "Study Area" within the "preferred site" is on up to 24 acres of the Ponte Vista site. The illustration provided on April 19 looks almost exactly like illustrations from the Initial Study, which was for a much larger campus.

One of the many reasons I do not want an LAUSD campus at Ponte Vista is because it mucks up all discussions and debates about the residential development of the project.

Bob Bisno wants to build the Senior Housing section on the northern end of his property. I spoke at the last CAC meeting in favor of this particular section being recommended for Ponte Vista.

To have both the Senior Housing section and the "Study Area" for any school at Ponte Vista occupying the same pieces of land, makes the issues much more complicated.

You are absolutely correct in your writing that there is really nothing new in writing concerning the newer plans for the smaller school. The illustrations have only been altered to state the size of the new proposed campus, but the illustrations remain the same as before. It seemed to many of us that LAUSD rushed to get this new proposal out, but they haven't really taken the time to think of better sites, closer to Narbonne.

Betsy is also at fault for diminishing the actual prospects of what LAUSD is attempting to do and she outright told the CAC at its first meeting to avoid consideration of any school. She seemed to actively suggest that City Planning was not interested in getting involved with LAUSD. I think both Rod and Betsy should have at least talked a bit before the issues escalated.

With the space required to build a new school shrunken from 15.03 acres to between 6-8 acres, there are several sites, with industrial or commercial businesses on them that should be looked at before they go forward with the approval processes for trying to get the land at Ponte Vista.

I have written to Brian Eamer, Development Team Manager, LAUSD Facilities Services Division, and Don Lancaster, Development Manager, Special Assistand Consultant, LAUSD Facilities Services Division, with two very different set of ideas about where to put schools other than at Ponte Vista.

Their two Email addresses are: and

I think, no matter what we all might believe should be built at Ponte Vista, concerning residential development, should not impair our combined fight to keep any school out of Ponte Vista.

I have written to Elise Swanson, too. I hope folks on all sides of the residential development discussions can band together quickly and strongly to demand that LAUSD consider three very good alternative sites to build SRHS #14, closer to the Narbonne campus, and most definitely, not in San Pedro.