Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tom Field's Next Contribution

This is another contribution from Tom Field. The comments are based on the most recent "Odds and Ends 7", "Tom Field's Letter and Contribution," and "Tom Field's Proposal.

I am moving all three previous posts to be above this post to help guide the discussion and debate.

I wanted to make a new post of an entirely different side of the debate which I think would be good to examine. Mark has been gracious enough to give me some space. This idea came from the following comments from "Another Post Contribution from Tom" originally posted Saturday, March 31, 2007

Anonymous said...
What is the current zoning tom?
8:29 PM

tom said...
ahh, anonymous 8:29pm -
another one of you R-1 now and forever folks. no change, no compromise, no progress. just repeat the same mantra over and over. I guess you din't get my analogy to Marky Maypo. what a pity. but unfortunately yours is the type of mentality that everyone else in this town has to deal with. if people thought like you, women and blacks wouldn't be able to vote, we'd still have Prohibition, heck we'd probably still be reading in textbooks that the earth was flat.
things change. the world moves on. get used to it.
7:51 AM

Anonymous said...
And some things move toward the worse direction, Tom. How about pollution and global warming? That is a direct result of "things changing" and "the world moving on". Anything other than R1 is moving in the wrong direction. Prevention Tom. That's what we need. You want to pollute this town with Ponte Vista and I want to control and prevent the pollution.
8:35 AM

Which brings up the new points...

So according to you Anonymous 8:29pm, the best way to protect San Pedro is to control and forbid anything other than R-1. Isn't that the same idea they tried during Prohibition? How well did that work? What did Prohibition accomplish except to create organized crime, and make a lot of people who were willing to skirt the law rich? Did it stop anyone who really wanted alcohol from getting it?

Of course these are rhetorical questions because we know Prohibition was a complete disaster. And of course you won't admit there is any correlation between prohibiting alcohol and prohibiting anything other than single-family detached houses. However, it demonstrates, once again, the short-sightedness of the R-1 group.

For example - all that needs to happen is for Bisno to sell off the property piecemeal. Then suddenly you've got a half dozen or so different developers each putting up two or three hundred units. (look at this new project on Palos Verdes St. for example). Then do the math. Easily 1,500 to 1,800 units, probably more. Except now each individual developer has lower hurdles to get over for approval. And then you really will have a "Playa Vista" scenario because they will all be putting up their own ideas of what they want their project to look like.

Your "control" for our own good will have the same effects Prohibition did on booze. It accomplished exactly the opposite. A few vocal people who thought they knew what was best for everyone ended up making it worse. Molly Hatchet all over again. R Neighborhoods Are 1 know what is better for me than I do and can impose their will on me? NOT!

In addition to just the old naval property, what do you think is going to happen on every piece of property with an old home on it? Exactly what has happened up and down the coast from Malibu to San Diego. They call them "scrapers". Someone will buy a 5,000 sq.ft. lot and drop a fourplex on it. And the hurdles for this type of variance is even lower than anything else.

What no one is looking at is right now we've got ONE GUY we can hold responsible for mitigation with Ponte Vista. Instead of talking to him and trying to compromise to reach an optimal solution, you R-1 now and forever people are turning it into a civil war.

Any way you classify it, a fanatic is a fanatic. By definition that means you arm yourselves with half-truths and misinterpretations, then scare the bejesus out of the rest of the population. Like blaming pollution and global warming on Ponte Vista. Goodness gracious that is a stretch. What next, polar bear extinction? Keep it real, please?

Who are you to think you can decide for everyone what is best? Who among you can claim actual certified expertise in this area? Please come forward. I'd love to hear from you.

But before you do, perhaps you should pick up some light reading. There is an organization called ULI - the Urban Land Institute. They are a non-profit research and education organization that promotes responsible leadership in the use of land in order to enhance the total environment. They are recognized by government and private developers alike as providing impartial expertise for issues such as development. In short, they are the real deal.

They recommend more housing for San Pedro. And I quote (from their study) "...The development of market-rate infill housing in quantities large enough to counter the disproportionate share of low-income and special needs housing that has been allocated to San Pedro can happen only if there are parcels large enough to create an impact..."

This sure sounds like a description of Ponte Vista to me. I guess this is what Mayor Villaraigosa had in mind with his administration's support of more housing. Councilwoman Hahn has also publicly supported their recommendations. But lest you get me wrong, I do not advocate accepting the Bisno DEIR as it is, whole and unadulterated. I've taken the time to think out modifications I thought made sense. Why can't any of you?

Oh yeah, they also have a section addressing "the character of the town". Something, it seems, no one on the R-1 group can put into words.

So let's hear what you guys have to say. But please, no more slogans, or name-calling, or propaganda. Let's have some discussion based upon facts and supported by some expertise.

Now, for some of my points.

Tom Field and I do not agree on what the numbers should be in terms of numbers of units to be built at Ponte Vista. We do not have to agree on anything, and nobody has to agree with me to have their opinions expressed in post form on this blog.

I am now thinking that his proposed number of units in the Senior Housing section might be much better than my original 920 units. After having to deal with Bob's advertisement in More San Pedro, I am not feeling too good about giving Bob much of what he wants.

Tom is suggesting some condos and town homes along with Patio-style homes. I am getting a bit warmer to the idea of some patio-style homes, in place of a few R1 zoned lots.

I also like Tom's remarks, in his original proposal, about some type of assistance for folks to buy their first home at Ponte Vista. It is what many of the folks surveyed wanted, and I think that could be arranged.

The community should get what the community wants. If Bob told us that there will be "single-family housing", and everybody believes that means detached homes, then there should be that type of housing built at Ponte Vista, no matter what Bob really feels.

I would have to disagree on Tom's thinking that R Neighborhoods Are 1 is only made up of a very few individuals. The steering committee grows in numbers with every meeting. I won't and don't get signatures on R1 petitions, but I do know they are still coming in and new ones are going out, all the time.

It is surprising to me just how many folks in this area support keeping R1 at Ponte Vista. That particular demand is something I had thought would be impossible to keep, for many months now. Looking at the actual numbers of signed petitions, and seeing how many folks are still willing to circulate them, I have begun to wonder if R1 might just be achievable, in the future. I have long claimed that it would be easier for Bob to build 2,300 units that it would be to keep Ponte Vista R1, but this may be a really, really big error in judgement on my part.

Tom, myself, and other still call for compromise. We may be the few folks in the middle of the boiling pot. I hope not. I think there are numbers for types of housing that will let some seniors find a new home in a secure spot at Ponte Vista. I would like to see the rest of the housing be detached, single-family residences, but I would also like to find a way for some folks to be able to purchase their first home at Ponte Vista.

Let's let the debate continue civilly. We can disagree strongly with each other without resorting to curse words, cuss words, or personal attacks.

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