Thursday, April 26, 2007

The RoadS, as in two, to Mary Star

I learned tonight that there will be not one, but two accesses to the new Mary Star of the Sea High School in northwest San Pedro.

Here is how it was described to us at the CAC meeting, tonight.

When construction is completed, the school is opened, and a "public" road through the Ponte Vista project is completed, there will be two routes that SOME folks will be able to use as ingress and egress to the campus.

For the faculty, staff, delivery persons, and visitors, the more experienced drivers, if you will, they will be allowed to use the public road OR Taper Avenue. Now this is very important. this fact means that these folks will be able to access the campus without necessarily having to drive one inch along Western Avenue.

The students, you know, the more reckless and least experienced drivers will be REQUIRED to use ONLY the public road to go to and from Mary Star. That means the least experienced and most reckless drivers must travel along at least a portion of Western Avenue to go to and from school. Parents driving their children to and from Mary Star would use Western as well.

Does this seem fair? I don't think so.

Apparently Mary Star and the homeowners association down near Taper and Westmont created a deal that would allow certain folks to use the public Taper Avenue, Westmont, Barrywood, and Gaffey to access the campus. These folks would drive along Taper Avenue until it connected to the PRIVATE road on the Mary Star Campus.

There are a whole lot of problems with the scheme, in my opinion.

Parents living in Ponte Vista who wish to drive their children to Taper Avenue Elementary School would not be allowed to take the safer, closer route to the school, around the Mary Star campus, to Taper Avenue. All of these parents would be required to travel along Western until they made a left turn, east on Westmont.

Would children attempting to travel by walking, bikes, skateboards, or scooter be allowed to transit the private roadway around Mary Star to gain access to Taper.

How would folks be kept from traveling east on the public road, then along the private road, and back onto Taper Avenue?

If folks are allowed to save time, and trouble using Taper, then why can't everyone use Taper for ingress and egress? I know the answer to this one, but it stinks, IMHO.

It looks like the people who regularly have to use Western will be again slapped in the face by homeowners who are only willing to accept a certain number of cars through their neighborhood.

Mandating a public road through Ponte Vista would make it that much harder to keep the site exclusively R1. Betsy, the planning person is of the opinion that Bob could be required to provide the road, even if the current zoning remains the same. Bob disagrees with her and he believes he bought all the land he bought and unless he gets zoning changes, he is under no obligation to provide a public road anywhere at Ponte Vista.

This last point is probably the most important point that needs to be settled. We already are going to get the ATSAC system Bob tauts as being the be all end all to traffic mitigation. We are going to get ATSAC whether there is one house 429 houses, zero houses, or some number higher than 500 built at Ponte Vista. It is not up to Bob for us to get ATSAC, so that mitigation is null and void in his attempts to build according to his current plans.

I am also of the opinion that IF a public road is built at Ponte Vista, Bob would have to have some zoning relief, or he doesn't have to build it. This all could end up in yet another court battle and that is not all that bad, if you think about it.

For the R Neighborhoods Are 1 supporters, this information is yet another feather in your cap, in my opinion. If Bob doesn't build the road, that is just one more "community benefit" that won't need to be fought over and no compromise to keeping the site with its current zoning is required at all.

I just feel that this, seemingly, sweetheart deal Mary Star made with the homeowners near Taper, makes the rest of us have to deal with MORE young drivers along Western that we shouldn't have to.

No public road, no compromise, no problem!

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