Sunday, April 01, 2007

What Ponte Vista Might Look Like With R1 Lots

The illustration below is taken from the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project.

It is an illustration created by the engineering company hired to produce the DEIR and can be found in the area of Alternatives to Mr. Bisno's current plan. This illustration reflects what the site might look like with 429 lots for R1 zoned housing sites and is considered to be included in the "no project" area of the DEIR.

This illustration shows no public access road to the new high school now under construction just east of the Ponte Vista Site.

As you can note by looking at the illustration, there are no park lands, no retail spaces, and no other amenities, other than lots for single-family, detached housing. There is an area to the north and northeast sides of the site that have a line through the lots to suggest the very steep hilly portion of the site that includes the approximately 15 acres of open space that is currently zoned for the site.

Is this illustration something you would want to see for the lots that housing can be built on, at Ponte Vista?

If Bob Bisno builds only R1 housing, he will probably not be legally liable to provide and access road to the new high school, so where might the access to the new school be? The folks in the Westmont area, and especially near Taper Avenue fought very hard to make sure that once Mary Star was completed, no vehicle traffic to and from the school would use Taper Avenue.
What should happen to those folks' concerns about traffic if not public road to Western is built?
Would they, could they, and should they be compensated by the City of L.A. if Taper must be used as the access to the new school?

It appears by not compromising on the zoning, the City of L.A. may face a series of law suits for approving the plans for the new school without fully realizing what would happen if the Ponte Vista site remains R1 and not public road to the new school is provided by the developer. Bob Bisno can also place a real wrench in the gears if he goes with R1 and refuses any new access to Mary Star.

The good folks who support the new school, and you can count me as one who wants to see Mary Star of the Sea High School move to their new location, are caught between a rock and a hard place. They got approval to build the school when S. John Montgomery was determined to be the access once construction was completed. But when the Navy sold the property S. John Montgomery sits on, the sale ended the requirement that the street be used, and Bob Bisno doesn't have to build a new access road unless he is given at least some zoning changes.

I think it is only fair that the folks who want R1 now and forever at Ponte Vista, tell all of us how to mitigate the Mary Star of the Sea High School problem. Both the supporters of and the folks who want compromise to the issues concerning Ponte Vista, have some pretty good ideas on how to help the new school out, but I am afraid even I don't know how the R1 folks would deal with this problem.

I do like all the trees in the illustration of the all R1 site. Perhaps we could even make them all non-fruit bearing olive trees or jacaranda trees that can grow over the streets in time and provide a beautiful canopy of colors. Of course everyone there would have to deal with the same problem jacarandas bring to all of us who have them in our front yards. Just don't park under them when their flowers shed.


mellonhead said...

Right now there's one way in and out of the Mary Star property and that's Taper Ave. How could the Taper Housing Reuse Committee and the City of LA GUARANTEE that an access road would be built be built for them through the John Montgomery property to Western? Mary Star has every right in the world to use the Taper Ave. entrance to their property. This is a red herring and should not be used as an excuse to change the R-1 zoning of the John Montgomery property.

mellonhead said...

Above should read "be built" not "be built be built" I get so passionate about this subject I start to stutter.

M Richards said...

Howdy Mellonhead,

I wish it were that simple.

I guess nobody forsaw somebody spending 252% of the opening bid price for the land that S. John Montgomery sits on.

The folks in the Westmont and Highlands neighborhoods were told that Taper would not be used once the school was opened.

I don't know all the particulars but I have been told that as long as the Navy owned S. John Montgomery, access would be given to Western, thereby allowing Taper to be closed at the property line for vehicle traffic once the school was completed.

It looks likel no matter what, somebody is going to be suing sombody or many somebodies.

The folks around the Taper area have a good lawsuit against the City if they are forced to have Taper kept open.

Bob Bisno has a good lawsuit available to him if R1 is kept and the city demands he allow for access through his development to Mary Star. The current zoning on private property does not now require access to the campus site.

I hope some way can be found for the, apparently growing number of folks who demand R1 being kept at Ponte Vista and still allow for access to the school site.

No matter what any one says, there are still plans for a 2,025 seat senior high school on the Ponte Vista site, and that matter will have a whole lot of debate and probable lawsuits on tap, as that moves farther forward.

Should a school of any size be built at Ponte Vista if it is still kept with R1 residential zoning?

We all have a lot more to think about beyond how many housing units are built on the 61.53 acres, I feel.

tom said...

mellonhead -

Get a clue and do some reading before you spout off. Even the R-1 folks will tell you this is a reality. The City issued Mary Star a Conditional Use Permit containing the clause that they have to get an access road to Western. This is because the people in the Taper neighborhood did not want the traffic flowing through their streets. The Planning Department agreed.

It is gullible folks like you that make the job of the R Neighborhoods Are 1 gang easier. You believe whatever propaganda they spout.

Mark is exactly correct. There is NO obligation by Bisno, or any other developer, to build Mary Star an access road. There are certainly a lot of prickly legal questions which could wind up in litigation if the City backs away from their signaled intent to allow a Specific Plan for the Ponte Vista property IF Ponte Vista (Bisno) agreed to provide the road. No Specific Plan, no road. It is pretty black-and-white. Then Pandora's box really opens.

Oh, and by-the-way. Seaport Village will need another point of access. As Mark has written, Bisno has indicated he might be willing to consider a right-of-way through Ponte Vista so that the one (1) entrance at Fitness Drive for all the condos there doesn't become yet another parking lot.

The R-1, now and forever, gang sure didn't think any of this through very clearly. Or if they did they aren't telling anyone. Neither did you it seems.

So much for paid petition gatherers being biased. It now becomes obvious the R-1 petition people are telling only the facts they want you to hear in order to get your signature.

mellonhead said...

Or whomever? You don't like the message so you attack the messenger. An old trick, but I don't care. I stand by what I say-access to Mary Star of the Sea High School should not dictate a change in the zoning of the John Montgomery property. Change Mary Star's Conditional use permit if need be, not the John Montgomery R-1 zoning.

Another way is to design the R-1 configuration with the street open to the Mary Star property. Similar to the way it is now. The main thing is to design with R-1 zoning in mind. AND HAVE A CAN-DO ATTITUDE!

M Richards said...

O.K. Mellonhead, using your own "can-do-attitude", please let all of us know how the conditional use permit for Mary Star can be changed to allow for access to Taper Avenue and not find the folks sponsoring the high school to be held liable for changing the conditional use permit.

I am sure the City of Los Angeles has much deeper pockets than the folks sponsoring the high school have. Who should the residents of the Taper area go after for changing the conditional use permit?

I am all for a can-do-attitude and that is why I am considering a compromise that would allow seniors to have some housing they want, folks to live in an R1 area, and still have all the mitigation that would be mandatory for any zoning changes.

I do not see anything too particularly wrong with having Ponte Vista built with only R1 housing, but I feel we all can come up with something that just might appeal to the largest number of members of the community and not create so many logjams that nothing will ever get done on the site.

Of course on the otherhand, absolutely nothing being done on the site in the future might not be such a very bad idea, afterall.

tom said...


You just don't get it, do you? You are swallowing every piece of tripe the R-1 folks throw out.

I am not attacking you because of the message. I am being sarcastic towards you because you do not have the common sense to do some basic research before spouting off.

As far as the message, I can debate that all day long without having to bring you into it at all. So don't flatter yourself.

Changing the Conditional Use Permit would be pretty much impossible, for all intents and purposes. It is now part of the Municipal Code. It could be done but it would take years and a new EIR and new public hearings, etc. Mary Star is already being built if you haven't noticed. If the City attempted to stop construction now, the litigation would go on forever. The language is very clear, Mary Star has to get an access road to Western. Bisno's agreement to provide said access road is based on a Specific Plan being adopted for Ponte Vista. No Specific Plan means no road means Mary Star cannot open. It isn't rocket science.

Besides that, R Neighborhoods Are 1 CLAIMS to want to protect our San Pedro way of life. What is going to happen to the way of life for the people in the Taper neighborhood if hundreds of cars per day are routed through their streets? Their HOA will file a lawsuit in a heartbeat if the City does this.

Or do they not count? Are they the sacrificial lamb?

This entire issue is extremely complex and multi-faceted. Yet R Neighborhoods Are 1 are trying to pigeonhole it into a few sentence blurb. Shame on them, and shame on you for falling for it.