Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stuff and a comment

On March 23, 2007, Councilwoman Janice Hahn's office received 3,096 signatures on R1 petitions.

During tonight's steering committee meeting, it was revealed that there have been a total of 8,266 signatures gathered on R1 petitions. 5,170 signatures gathered in 2 months and 8 days deserves a pat on the backs of everyone who took the time and showed their interest in keeping the current zoning at Ponte Vista with NO COMPROMISE!

Update on June 2, 2007. Folks I screwed up, again. I counted as new a number of signatures that were actually copies of signatures intended for delivery to the Lomita City Council.
The actual total number of signatures gathered as of June 2, 2007 at 3:22 PM, and tabluated by the steering committee's own Bruce Horton, is 7,816 total signatures. This means that since March 23, 4,720 signatures have been added. I apologize for my unintentional error and in the furure, I will check with Bruce and only Bruce before I publish any new signature count.

It appears that in the last 71 days, 4,720 signatures were added to the R1 petitions. There seem to be, on average, nearly 66.5 signatures added each day in the drive to demand that Ponte Vista at San Pedro, remain with its current zoning. We need about 33 more days to collect the first 10,000 signatures.

The members of the steering committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 thank everyone who has already signed the R1 petition and look forward to counting all the folks who have not yet had the opportunity to sign the petition.

The next petition signing event will this Saturday and Sunday from Noon till Three at the Albertson's in Northwest San Pedro.
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The next meeting for supporters of R1 at the Ponte Vista site is going to be Monday, June 4, at 7:00 PM, at the Peck Park Community Center. All supporters of R1 at Ponte Vista are welcome and encouraged to become a bigger part in this growing movement.
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On a sad note, Tom Field continues to attack me personally and this blog by using misstatements and untruths. He claimed that all the members of the steering committee and all the folks who are supporting R1 are doing so because they already own their own homes, and his implication is that we don't care about anyone else.

I wrote a comment on Tom's blog that he may choose not to use (censorship in my book) so I will include it here so as to not allow it to go unnoticed:

Tom,
Please stop misstating facts.

Not every member of the steering committee "owns" their own home. I know this is fact because I do not "own" the home I am living in.

I know at least one other member of the steering committee who does not "own" the home he is living in.

Homeowners Associations like the Crestwood HOA may have some members who do not "own" their condominium units they live in at the corner of Western Avenue and Summerland Drive.

I do not believe you know the rate of ownership versus rental at other condominium developments along Western that have HOAs, and at this point, neither do I.

Have you checked the HOAs of The Tennis Club, or Casa Verde Estates for example to see if their HOAs contain members who do not "own" the units they live in?

I did not want to have to write any more comments on this blog, but when you misstate facts and use my name, it seems you are continuing to attack me and/or my blog.

Tom, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! The kindness and courtesy shown to you, by me goes way beyond what many folks would do, and you know exactly what I mean!

Mark R. Wells

As I suspected Tom Field censored this comment from his post. Does anybody reading this comment see any threat in it? I don't. If someone could please tell me where any threat is, I'll take a deep look at it.

Tom got a really big jump in readership today. There may be a very good and simple reason for this large jump. My blog has never seen the numbers posted in one day than was posted on Tom's blog.

Well, if this means that my blog is dying, I think I predicted that early Tuesday morning. but if one person remains to visit this blog each day, I will continue to create posts.


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Many supporters of R1 do own their own home, just like many of Bob's supporters. Whether home ownership is a qualification to support any side is ridiculous, in my book. Our home is our home, and your home is your home. To allow an out of town developer to come into OUR community and thrust his giant development on all of us is more than we should allow. There are enough new developments going up in other parts of OUR community and everyone knows it.

Believe in OUR community. Believe that we all have the strength to deal with our differences without having to misstate the facts, or the truth. We are better than that, I feel.

San Pedro is San Pedro. Like an island in a sea of over development, we have the power and the duty to keep this area from becoming like west Los Angeles already is. We have the need to provide for ourselves and our families the best traditions we had when we were growing up in this area. Let Bob build in another that already is gridlocked, but do not gridlock us so you can make a profit.

Somebody asked a friend of my what benefit he would receive from having a development that Bob Bisno proposes. My friend said he would get no benefit from anything Bob Bisno could build. My friend thought that leaving the zoning just the way it is, may not be the best, but it certainly is the not the worst that could happen. He said he thought if he couldn't have open space there, the he could only imagine R1.

All of you reading this might want to think about how any development at Ponte Vista would affect YOUR life and the lives of your loved ones. Unless you are very seriously planning on buying something at Ponte Vista, I don't see how anyone could benefit from anything other that complete open space or R1.

For those of you seriously planning on moving into Ponte Vista, it looks like your chances are going to get much slimmer now that Bob is going to make a new proposal. How does that make you feel?

What Do YOU Think Bob's New Proposal Will Look Like?

Here is your chance to weigh in and become a member of the "What the heck is Bob's new proposal going to look like?" club.

I think we have all been given two clues we can start our guessing with: There will probably be more than 575 Senior Housing units proposed, with a side clue that they will probably be in a gated and guarded portion of the development.

Another clue is that there will probably be to fewer number of total units.

Bob MAY bow to pressure to have the non-age restricted portion of the site left as open/public access. It is something many folks think is important.

So with those two big clues, what do you think Bob's new proposal will look like.

Oh, and another big clue, well actually is a really, really big clue: "There will be no single-family housing at Ponte Vista! Does that help you, Chuck?" This is what Bob said, somewhat loudly at a CAC meeting to one of its members.

But Bob MAY include some "Patio" style single-family condominiums that do not share walls with other units. This may be to get Janice Hahn and the CAC to allow for a compromise and to silence some members of the R1 "riff-raff."

Might Bob change is vision of retail space at Ponte Vista?

To start this "game" of wondering what Bob may make as his proposal, I will give you my example of what I imagine Bob MIGHT do. I have absolutely no knowledge of what his new proposal might be, but you get to guess, I get to guess, and we all get to guess. Isn't this going to be fun?

I think we need some fun right about now, and I am sorry if it hasn't been fun, lately.

So here, without further Ado, or adon't, is my guess for what Bob may propose.

1500 total units.
700 Senior Housing units
70-100 Patio style single-family units on small lots and in a separate section than the shared-walled units.
The remainder of the residential units may be comprised of some connected row houses and smaller 1-2 story condominium buildings with 12-16 units per building. There may also be, as the remainder of the units, larger buildings like ones illustrated with his current proposal.

This is just my guess and I hope everyone is willing to create their own guesses. No body will probably be dead-on Bob's proposal, but why not have fun trying your own guess work out?

Tom Field's proposal is on this blog, and it calls for 1,700 total units. His proposal is not really a guess, but it is imaginative to look at and think about, as a guess.

I have heard that some folks believe a total unit count of 1100 might be what Bob will ultimately come up with, but their guess is as good as every ones' I believe.

There is absolutely no prize for your guess being the closest to Bob's new proposal, because we all will probably lose because of that new proposal.

But it is worth giving it our best shot, I suppose. Maybe some of us will agree on what others may comment on. We may even find one particular guess to have some real support from the community. It is already a given that thousands of folks in OUR community demand R1, so I don't think that it needs to be included, especially when it won't be part of Bob's new proposal.

Please make this fun for you to think about. We will all know on or about June 18, what Bob has as his new proposal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Long and Deeply Considered Post

Bob Bisno will change his current proposal for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Development. That proposal was studied, considered, discussed, debated, while all the time, Janice Hahn, the Councilmember of the 15th District of the City of Los Angeles, which Ponte Vista is a part of, has stated her belief that Bob’s original call for 2,300 condominium was too large.

Mr. Bisno and Ms. Hahn used the volunteer efforts of the Community Advisory Committee for their own benefit; I realized that when I accepted a position as a member of that group. I knew the Committee would provide Ms. Hahn with a means to cover her thoughts and actions by political means and as she is a politician first and foremost, I/we knew what we were getting in to.

Bob Bisno, as required by the processes of creating a “specific plan” for his project, needed a larger amount of public input than developers using other types of plans to get their projects through the system. Bob’s use of the Community Advisory Committee to further his goals was clearly evident as he and his development company did their best to control the actions, activities, and the issues the Committee was dealing with. Bob’s and others efforts to bring back Victor Griego, in my opinion, to hasten the processes along and get the Committee to finalize their work as quickly as possible, further made my opinion that the Committee was still being controlled by Bob and others to further their ends and not for the benefit of OUR community.

As it appears with this writing, the Community Advisory Committee members may be forced to end their terms just about the time Mr. Bisno’s new proposal sees the light of day and therefore, there will be much less scrutiny, oversight, public input, and questioning of his new plans. Mr. Bisno apparently has satisfied his requirements for public input with his current plans and I have heard nothing regarding continuing public input by the Community Advisory Committee extending its term to look at Bob’s new plans.

On his blog, Tom Field has written his proposal that he shared earlier, on this blog. Mr. Field also alluded to the facts that there are apparently 1,400 condominium units either proposed for, or currently under construction, or even newly built, in downtown San Pedro. Mr. Field also acknowledged that many condominium developments have units that become rentals or are leased out by their owners.

The proposal that Mr. Field currently has on his blog, along with other numbers he has produced, have actually made more concrete my new proposal. I don’t think Mr. Field would consider his views as something I am going to use as reasons for my new position, but his knowledge of the area, along with information he has produced, helped me finally decide on some more reasoning for my new proposal.

The ongoing debate about the Traffic and Transportation study’s use of ITE trip generation, as found in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, went only so far in setting my new proposal to “pen and ink”.

Because many condominium units, whether in a high-rise development or not, become rentals or are leased out, using any ITE trip generation tables for condominium and/or town house developments will seriously undercut the real projected traffic count for a project as large as Ponte Vista.

For many months, I really, truly, and genuinely wished for a separate Senior Housing section at Ponte Vista, just like Bob wanted. Even though there are many critics for this type of housing, I do believe every single person, and there were many of them, who came before the Community Advisory Committee with their wish to move into that type of new home.

Bob Bisno even had a Senior Board of Advisors to help him with this type of housing at Ponte Vista.

Unfortunately, the growing weight of what I have learned up to this point has now caused me to abandon my wish for a separate Senior Housing section at Ponte Vista.

My new proposal is one that I have held in the past, but is now one that I have concretely cemented into by thoughts, reasoning, and realization.

The 61.53 acre site in Northwest San Pedro, known to many as Ponte Vista at San Pedro, must remain with its current zoning of R1-1XL and O1-1XL. The maximum number of single-family, detached houses must be 429-units, or if the developer wishes for and is granted a “density bonus” as described by governmental agencies, he may build up to 536 units.

Why must the site known as Ponte Vista at San Pedro remain with its current zoning?

I believe Mr. Bisno used his current plans, with the appropriate requirements being met, to try and achieve the goals he set out for in the beginning, though he probably was well prepared to actually have a second, fewer total count proposal, from the beginning. I feel that since Ms Hahn stated at the first meeting of the Community Advisory Committee, that she opposed 2,300 units from the very beginning, Mr. Bisno has had more than enough time to alter a plan that seemed “dead on arrival.”

Mr. Bisno continued to state, as fact, everything that was going to be included at Ponte Vista, with its 2,300-unit proposal. Now it appears many of those “facts” weren’t true at all. Trust is something I have some real difficulty dealing with, from Mr. Bisno.

In a survey and advertisement paid for by Mr. Bisno’s development company, the words “single-family housing” was used in an attempt, I believe, to sway the population reading or listening to the material, towards favoring the project. Mr. Bisno had stated to Mr. Chuck Hart, a member of the Community Advisory Committee that there “will be no single-family housing at Ponte Vista. Does that satisfy you Chuck?”

Mr. Bisno told all of us attending that meeting that there will be no single-family housing at Ponte Vista, but he included it in the survey and in paid advertisements for his project. This obvious disrespect of the intelligence of OUR community further creates the atmosphere that Bob Bisno has continuing trust issues. Bob Bisno was directly questioned about the use of the words and He and the survey taker admitted it was an error to use that term. When I asked Bob Bisno directly if his use of those words were a deliberate error, he replied, “That’s a good question, Mark.” Bob then changed the subject.

In recent posts, I have been very serious in my comments about condominiums becoming rentals or leased out. I have also stated that I will not compromise on the idea of allowing any attached housing, shared-walled units, duplexes, row houses, multi story connected residences, or any other type of non-age restricted housing at Ponte Vista that has at least two units sharing any single wall.

Shared-walled units are more likely to bring rentals and leases than single-family, detached housing; (SFRs) might bring to OUR community.

A project the size of the Ponte Vista site and having shared-walled units will lower the property values of everyone in the area, including those who live directly across the street, in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Condominium owners along Fitness Drive and along Western Avenue, along with the many condominium owners in The Gardens and elsewhere will also see the value of their homes diminish as more supply becomes available.

In San Pedro and surrounding local areas, there are many, many condominium units in medium to large-sized developments. Currently there are zero SFR’s on R1 sized lots between OUR community and, probably, Westchester, California.

Ponte Vista is just about the last large area to build new housing. Opportunities should be afforded those who wish to purchase a new home on an R1 lot, no matter what price they may have to pay.

Traffic will increase along Western. If you read the Daily Breeze on Monday May 28, you might have seen the piece about traffic delays along Western Avenue, between P.V. Drive North and Summerland. “Intelligent Signaling” is what the paper calls the ATSACC system already under construction on the Caltrans section of Western Avenue. OUR community will get the system whether Bob Bisno attempts to build even one new house.

4,106 more daily trips along portions of Western Avenue is what the Ponte Vista Draft Environmental Impact Report predicts for a development of 429 single-family, detached houses on R1 lots.

Keeping the current zoning at the Ponte Vista site almost certainly means that no public road from Western Avenue will be built to the new Mary Star of the Sea High School campus. That school had planned to allow faculty, staff, visitors, and deliveries to continue using Taper Avenue, after any public road to Western was constructed, and was going to require students and parents to travel along a portion of Western Avenue to reach the school. Unfortunately for the school and the neighborhood near Westmont and Taper Avenues, they will probably have to deal with a situation they may not have fully considered when the school and all accesses were considered. It is true, that had Bob not purchased the site from the Navy, S. John Montgomery was to be the public access from Western Avenue.

Keeping Ponte Vista with its current zoning will cost many people time, energy and money for lawyers and court fees, but I believe it is in the best interest of OUR community to not have a public road from Western to Mary Star, considering the potential costs to all of us.

Supporters of the Mary Star campus may have the opportunity to buy several adjoining R1 lots near the school’s parking lot. They may use these lots to get the City Council to change the zoning on those few lots to accommodate a public access from the roadways constructed throughout the Ponte Vista site, and create a connecting road to the campus.

This post, I believe has been considerate to all. I know there will be attacks from folks who want more development at Ponte Vista than I do. I hope to remain as civil on future posts as I feel I have been on this and many, many prior posts.

But and However, this new proposal by me comes with a cost to me. I feel I have the experience, knowledge, credibility, visitor count, and local input from some members of OUR community, so I can rely on what I know and how I feel, to best express my opinion and knowledge.

The cost I am ready to bare may kill this blog. I am going to continue to criticize Bob Bisno’s proposal, whatever it is, unless it conforms to my proposal. I will also continue to use facts and figures to back up my proposal and will now become a more vocal supporter of any person who favors keeping the site with its current zoning.

I will continue to be as “nice” as I can and keep the “4Rs” always in mind; responsible, reasonable, realistic, and respectful. I will also be more forceful in my posts and more unforgiving of those who continue to attack me and my personal views.

Bob Bisno had more than enough time to reconsider his proposal. All of his supporters had plenty of time to plead with him to alter his plans. The Community Advisory Committee now looks to be calling for a compromise proposal as they were directed to do by Bob, Victor, the Planning Department, and others. They did FANTASTIC jobs learning about Bob’s current plans and how flawed they are.

Janice Hahn has recently stated that she sees no reason, at this time, to call for anything other than R1. I don’t think Bob could propose anything that Ms. Hahn should consider because, as she said, Bob had ten months to come up with a different proposal but he didn’t do it.

As this post is placed on this blog, I have already, and for the first time, signed the R1 petition.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tom Field's Reaction From His Blog

Well I guess I should have expected this from Tom Field:


3 Comments Close this window

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KM said...

Thank you for pointing out that no one on Central has ever threatened to take over another board simply because they did not agree with us.Kara McLeod Member, CSNPC

May 29, 2007 9:02 AM

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

May 29, 2007 10:57 AM

Tom said...
The deleted comment was from Mark Wells. It was deleted because it was a rambling diatribe that was not even close to being on-topic.Tom Field

This is what appeared as comments to his post. I copied it directly from his blog.
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And this is what Tom censored:

Mr. Tom Field,

I will try to do as you have challenged me to do.

Mr. Field, I am Mark Wells, a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, a former member of Janice Hahn's CAC a producer of a blog that has stated where ALL of my children live and their circumstances, and have been as open and caring as I can be.

Mr. Tom Field, who are you, really?

I will continue to read your blog and comment on it as I see fit, but I am Mark Wells and you have seen fit to "hide" behind "Tom Field" for whatever reasons you have and that makes your blog, less credible to many folks I have talked to or written to, whether they supported R1 or like me until early this morning, supported something else.

About negotiation, I feel you have probably the greatest amount of information that I have been calling for, pleading for, and would welcome negotiation. I even created Emails to you it trying to negotiate both of us to somewhere we both could live with, BUT YOUR PROPOSAL ON THIS BLOG AND THE ONE YOU FINALLY HAD POSTED ON MY BLOG CALLS FOR THE SAME TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS! That doesn't seem like negotiating, in my book.

As I read you post, you continue to attack me personally and continue to do what so many supporters of a large Ponte Vista do, call names and belittle their opponents. "Rabid" is just one word that comes to mind.

In criticizing Central, I do that in connection that it is one of three N.C.s that are supposed to serve SAN PEDRO. Harbor City and Wilmington serve their areas, but because SAN PEDRO has THREE N.C.s I feel that all THREE of those N.C. should serve all of SAN PEDRO in like manner and that ALL THREE of them serve their stakeholders more equally.

I will not become a member of any of the three N.C.s, and I would probably approve of stricter guidelines for membership, because if they are going to serve SAN PEDRO and SAN PEDRANS, then they should do it, and do it to the best of their abilities.

Mr Field, I wrote you late last week and tried (in vain) to read something from you that even suggested that you would consider my earlier proposal and try to negotiate with me toward finding something that we both could continue to negotiate on, as far as the two of us go. After not reading a single word from you about whether you would think about amending your personal thoughts about your proposal, I feel that you are not willing to negotiate from what you have proposed, even to me in private.

That saddened me and helped bring me to where my new position is.
I gave you opportunities to communicate with me and all you continued to do was write on this blog. I am very sorry that you didn't respect me enough to even write back, but now since my change, you used my name several times, (and it is my real name), and continued to attack me, personally, I feel.

Tom, your own writings about the number of new units that may go in and the ratios I was able to find while reading your blog gave me more reason to consider R1 as the best result. I do and did appreciate many of the parts of your proposal and I wrote that in several places.

1,700 units, even with all the amenities you offered is still way too high a total number of units. If you can't realize that, please don't blame me for anything. If you had commented in a more positive way about my earlier thoughts for 960 Senior Housing units and up to 187 SFR's on R1 lots, then we could have negotiated more. But still you cling to the 1,700 unit project you published months ago and don't seem to be willing to continue to negotiate with me on.

From the beginning when I was an R1 supporter, (a weak one, I now admit), to a blogger that presented many views and change my positions several time, I did FINALLY receive your proposal and published it. Because your proposal has not significantly changed from then till now, while I have considered several proposals begs the question; Who really is the one not willing to negotiate? I think I will construct a post to demonstrate who is the more negotiable.

Tom, I tried. I tried to find whether you are credible by trying to learn who you really are.

Tom, I tried. I posted many contributions not of my creation for everyone who wished to be read.

Tom, I tried. You and I Emailed each other and I really wished we could have come to a better understanding. I liked many of your insights and I told you so.

Tom, I tried. I included your exact proposal for a 700-unit Senior Housing section, as part of my former proposal.

Tom, I tried. I learned things from you and I used that learning in considering Ponte Vista.

Tom, I tried. I kept my own rhetoric to what many folks may feel as being "too nice" to those who attack me, like you do.

Tom, I tried. And I will continue to try my best to be "nice" to you.

But I clearly don't approve of a 1,700-unit Ponte Vista and all my efforts to negotiate your numbers toward a set of numbers I could live with, failed. Perhaps it is my lack of education or something else. I had an 1,147-unit Ponte Vista proposal on my table at one time, yet still you would not negotiate your numbers lower.

Time ran out. It ran out first for Bob Bisno and his supporters, all of whom had plenty of time to get him to change his current plans, but for reasons we may never know, they chose to stick by Bob publicly and call for his 2,300.

Perhaps some influence finally came from his supporters to get him to change his proposal, but you wouldn't know that from any recent information.

Time ran out. It ran out for me and my attempts to negotiate with Tom Field and others to consider a compromise that could have been comfortable for all of us.

Time ran out. Bob, possibly Victor Griego, members of the Planning Department, and probably Gordon Teuber want the CAC ended and ended near the time Bob is presenting his new plan that won't get the scrutiny and consideration his current plan received.

Time ran out. Our community is still to divided and the impact of R Neighborhoods Are 1 is continuing to grow.

Time ran out. As much as I tried to work with Tom Field, it seems to me that he is not willing to negotiate off of his 1,700 unit proposal, with me or perhaps, anyone else.

Time ran out. It ran out for me to try and sell my proposal for what I truly believed in. No one, other than me really considered my plan or was willing to negotiate with me on an open, credible level, not even, I now feel, Tom Field.

Today is the day I start answering a flood of Emails and get prepared for the upcoming attack comments.

Mr. Field has used moderation in the past and I hope my attackers are civil enough that I won't have to turn on moderation to remove extremely offensive attacks on me.

I hope Mr. Field is kind enough to post something on this blog to encourage folk to not use vial words and phrases when they attack me on this blog and my blog.

Thank you, Mr. Field for allowing this comment to be posted to your blog.
MW
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I am wondering where Tom Fields believes I have veered off of the topic of Ponte Vista.

Do I need to turn on moderation on this blog just to take out comments from Tom Field that he previously wrote he would not write anymore of?

I think I will look back at the two blogs and bring to this blog Tom's statement that he would no longer make comments on this blog, but as folks can witness for recent posts, Mr. Field has chosen to ignore his own statement.

Many folks have said to me that they don't bother reading anything Tom writes on his blog. I think that is unfortunate. I would like to know from others if they feel that Tom exhibits a rage concerning the issues and if he has a "my way or the highway" attitude as it refers to his opinions.

Mr. Fields going back to "moderation" which is another form is censoring certainly doesn't seem to be in the best interests of a free an open communications stream.

But his blog is his blog and he will do what he will do. My blog will always try to keep from censoring folks, but having seen and read so many comments from Bob's supporters on this site, I can't guarantee I will be able to keep overly offensive material off of this blog.

Let's Play Create an Excuse Game

Bob is going to change his proposal.

There are thousands of his supporters who might need a new excuse to continue to support whatever he comes up with.

Do you think we should help them by creating excuses they may need to use with neighbors and friends because they chose to support a developer who FINALLY, after 10 months of leading them on, decided to change his plans now?

I am going to put some very obvious excuses up because it is my blog and I needed to have a little fun after two days of living heck after I change my own proposal.

If you see any of my ideas that you may want to tell your Bisno-supporting neighbor, friend, of family member about, please use them.

You are encouraged to provide this blog with your idea of excuses so they might be used by Bisno supporters as the case may be.

Here are my ideas for excuses:

"I really didn't like his 2300 number, and I am glad he changed it."

"I was afraid if I said something about that high number, somebody would get mad at me."

"I was hoping I could get a break on the price of a new place at Ponte Vista, so I said I was a supporter even though his number was always too high."

"I didn't have a chance to get Bob to change his numbers sooner, so I am glad he finally did."

" I feel I got caught up in his plans and I couldn't find a way out. Now with his new numbers, I feel more comfortable."

" I was pressured by the folks at Bisno Development to support his plans even though I always thought they were for too many units."

"I was afraid that if I spoke to any other of Bob's supporters, it would get back to him and I was afraid of what might happen."

"I never liked the numbers from the beginning but I felt trapped. Now Bob gave me an excuse."


Now folks, you are left to your own imagination to think of excuses Bob's supporters are going to try and use. Should we believe any of them? That is up to each individual who hears the excuse.

Excuses will come and there is no doubt about that.

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day, 2007.

Today is a day to remember the Americans and others who have paid with their lives for us to continue to have all the opportunities and events in our own lives that we will cherish forever.

Too many men and women have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and our ability to debate, discuss, and deal with all we deal with today and into the future.

Honoring the memories of these souls may not be enough. We owe their families and their memories the best we have. They fought and died so we can live our lives as we choose, and not how it is chosen for us.

Whether or not you are a veteran like me and many others concerned with what happens at Ponte Vista, we must all never forget the sacrifices so many men and women made so we can simply write our opinions about issues.

Today and every other day, please look west from the Ponte Vista site. On this Memorial Day, Green Hills Memorial Park will have The Colors flying all over and especially near the headstones of OUR veterans. Many of those souls lived on after their service to all of us, but too many of those souls perished to give us all the freedom we enjoy.

The sacrifices of the members of OUR military continue today, all over the world.

On this day, I choose to honor all of our fallen brothers and sisters who gave to all of us, all that they could.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

What I Believe About Central's Recent Actions

Here is a post that will probably unleash venom like no other on this blog. It is written as a direct result of actions, or inactions taken by the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council CSPNC) in regards to a recent resolution they passed concerning the Ponte Vista development.

Elections to the board of CSPNC are coming and I feel there needs to be a great change in the makeup of that board and many changes made in the way that group deals with its affairs.

For the record, I have never attended a single meeting of Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, but I don't believe attending any of them would do any good. I have attended meetings of both Northwest and Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Councils.

Now, technically I can be considered a stakeholder in all three Neighborhood Councils in San Pedro, my residency in R.P.V. make me feel a bit uncomfortable becoming a board member on any of the three N.C. boards, if I could get elected.

But Central needs help. I feel they need lots of help. After considering my options and the overwhelming needs that Central has to overcome, I don't think that attempting to get onto the board of that group is in my best interests, but I do believe there should be a great number of folks who should consider running for spots on their board.

To get a handle on some of the problems that Central faces, all anyone has to do is compare their Web site to to both Northwest's and Coastal's sites. After reading through all the pages of those three site, you can't help but find that Central's site is sorely lacking, not being kept up to date and flawed in so many ways.

Look for recent meeting minutes as required by the Brown Act. Can you find any on Central's site? Good luck!

Did you read the newsletters linked on Northwest's and Coastal's sites? They both come out in print form, too. What did you think of Central's newsletter and the money that used to create it?

Oh yeah, they don't have a newsletter, either on their site or in print that I could find. What do you imagine they do with the money the City gives them. If Northwest and Coastal can fund newsletters, where's Central's money going?

Because of the sources and resources I have gathered for over a year now, it looks to me that Central may be spinning out of control with its communications, finances, secretarial functions, and overall control.

Their adoption of the resolution they passed recently and the workings of how that resolution was debated bring into full view some serious problems with their organization. Unfortunately for them, their agenda for their "Special meeting" was in error and provided evidence that somebody, somewhere in that organization is not doing their job.

Can or should Central's board get an overhaul of new blood and organization? It sure looks to me like they should. Who should do that? first, I would ask Kara McLeod to run again for a spot on the board. I strongly believe that members of R Neighborhoods Are 1 should seek seats on their board, too. Like the name of the group implies, bringing all of our neighborhoods together, especially on the big issues like development in OUR community, would also align Central with the other two N.C.s in San Pedro more than they are now.

I have been told that the three N.C.s in San Pedro have a fairly good working relationship, but I feel that with big changes to Central's board, the three N.C.s could become even more alligned.

Central is going to deal with issues that deeply involve Northwest's and Coastal's interests as well, and having all three more closely aligned with the needs and wants of the folks all over San Pedro can't be a bad thing.

So if you are of a mind to want to help Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council deal with the issues of the day and into the future, please consider running for election to their board. It is my opinion, and the opinion of many others both in San Pedro and elsewhere, that they need help, they need help now, and maybe you can help them achieve the greatness I am sure the current board members want for their organization, but just can't seem to accomplish.

Tom Field Restates His Proposal

Tom Field's blog, Ponte Vista-Common Sense has his 1,700-unit proposal restated on his blog.

Also I feel my comments back to Tom deserve that same look. I think Tom has some good ideas, but I would like him to reconsider having 800 non-age restricted condominium units that have at least one shared wall. These are the easiest and cheapest types of condos to become rentals and leases and I think any of these types of units are best kept out of Ponte Vista.

Tom's idea for 200 "Patio" style homes is something Bob did not consider in his original, and I wish Tom would have all of his non-age restricted units of this type, and hopefully fewer of them, to boot.

I like many of the things Tom calls for with his post. I am quite certain he will face ridicule from some nasty and thoughtless R1 folks and I suggest to any of you who wish to be mean, nasty, or attack Mr. Field, to think that it is an insult to folks who have worked so hard for R Neighborhoods Are 1 and others strongly supporting R1, that attacking Tom in any bad manner, discredits all of the efforts of so many others. Please use caution and courtesy when writing or commenting on Mr. Field's blog.

If you feel you need to attack, this blog is a great place to do your attacking, name calling, character assassination, and other thoughtless writing. After all, this blog has been around long enough to have witnesses the meanness that comes from some of Bob's supporters as well as supporters of R1. I can take it, and yes, sometimes I can dish it out, when I feel like it.

It is extremely allowable to be critical of Tom's proposal, and I have my own criticism of parts of it. I hope when you do offer criticism of Tom's proposal, you are thoughtful enough to offer counter proposals like I do. That is the best way to debate and discuss a subject, IMHO.

One Particular R1 Petition Signer

Bruce, Gabriel, and I were near the eastern end of Vons market at 25th and Western when along came a gentleman going into the Market.

"Would you like to sign a petition concerning the Ponte Vista project?" asked Bruce as Gabriel and I remained silent.

As the man passed Bruce and headed into the market he said, "I'm for the project."

I said to the man as he continued into the store, "You know Bob is not going to build 2,300 homes." The man turned around and said that he didn't want that many homes in the first place.

At the exact same time, Bruce, Gabriel and I blurted out, "Neither do we!"

The man then came out of the market's entrance and over to Bruce and asked how many home he favored. Bruce told the man that the petition was for keeping the site with its current zoning of "R1".

The man took the clip board from Bruce and began filling it out. He said during his writing process that he is looking forward to moving into one of Bob's Senior units when they are built and that he had sold his single-family home and moved into "The Gardens."

I asked the gentleman if he was renting or did he buy the place in The Gardens. He told us that he bought his unit, there.

I went on to ask him what he would do when the Senior unit he wants built for him at Ponte Vista, is completed. He told me that he would probably move into Ponte Vista and rent out his place in The Gardens.
________________________________________________

Driving home from Vons today, I took Miraleste Drive because Western Avenue is always too crowded for me and I do have the fortunate opportunity of being able to avoid Western Avenue beginning at 9th Street.

Driving along Miraleste Drive, I noticed all the cars parked along just about every available parking place on both sides of Miraleste Drive, near Miraleste Canyon Estates.

The Traffic Safety Commission of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes gets lots of complaints from homeowners who live in R.P.V., but directly across Miraleste Drive, from Miraleste Canyon Estates, which is located in San Pedro.

There seems to be little R.P.V. can do to keep cars belonging to residents of Miraleste Canyon Estates from parking on the R.P.V. side of Miraleste Drive, except create and enforce restricted parking along the R.P.V. side of Miraleste Drive, to those residents who own homes in the area.

This is an example of a condominium development having many rentals or leases. Miraleste Canyon Estates probably charges a fee for parking in their lot, if residents have more than one or two vehicles or there are multiple families living in individual units.

As Miraleste Canyon Estates goes, why should we not expect a development of condominiums at Ponte Vista might go?

It would not be unexpected to see a long row of vehicles parked along Western Avenue, once a large condominium development such as Ponte Vista is built. It won't matter how many condos Bob builds, there still will be vehicles parked outside the fences of the development, and there is not a single condominium development of any large size, in San Pedro, that doesn't have the same issue as Miraleste Canyon Estates has.

Supporters of Bob's plan(s) may state that if R.P.V. residents don't like living where vehicles of residents of Miraleste Canyon Estates park, then they should move.

I state that if a condominium development is a condominium development, then there should be no rentals, renters, or leases, unless the CC&R's allow for it and I didn't see anything in the Miraleste Canyon Estates CC&Rs that allowed for this.

Bisno supporters who support Bob's call for condominiums at Ponte Vista must also realize they are also supporting rentals and leases at Ponte Vista and there is nothing they can do to stop that.

Gabriel Rivas: The Strength of One Gentle Man

Gabriel Rivas is a gentle man and most certainly a gentleman, in my book and in the books of hundreds of others. Gabriel is one of the best R1 petition signature gatherers the R1 group could possible have.

Many, and I mean many of you and hundreds upon hundreds of folks have witnessed this very polite and thoughtful man gather signatures at the many sites around OUR community the petition gathering table has been set up. Mr. Rivas has donated many weekends helping the R1 group gather petition signatures to keep Ponte Vista with its current zoning.

One of the things I admire about Gabriel is that he also is continuing to learn about the proposed development and how the City of Los Angeles and its officials deal with development.

It was Mr. Rivas who alerted all of us to a Web site calling for the recall of Councilman Jack Weiss due to Mr. Weiss' involvement with so many developments and developers on the west side of Los Angeles. Gabriel gave us the address of the recall Web site as: http://www.recalljackweiss.com/.

Gabriel has now found for all of us, another site with a video on Youtube dealing with Mr. Weiss, development and traffic issues on the west side, particularly in Century City.

Please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNc0D84UHkQ and take a look at that news report.

Having worked for so many years in the area of town that the video was concerned with, I have particular knowledge of the roads I recognize on the video. Motor Drive is shown numerous times and the portion that goes through residential neighborhoods is and has been in great trouble for many years.

But getting back to Gabriel, he not only shows up just about every single weekend to gather petition signatures at the various sites, he also is the organizer of the weekends where signatures are collected. I think Gabriel is proud of his service as a steering committee member, (did you get that, Tom?) and everyone connected with R Neighborhoods Are 1 is fortunate for having Gabriel doing the many jobs he does for that group, OUR community and for the future of his family, and yours, too.

We live in a community that have a large number of truly great men, women, students, and children. So many of these folks are left to do their great works for all of us without seeking or needing any acknowledge from any of us.

I wish there would be a foundation set up to recognize people like Mr. Gabriel Rivas. Of course and quite naturally it would probably hand out the John Olguin award of service, because there is no greater person in OUR community, as far as myself and many thousands of others that know John, think he is the best and to be anything like John, as Gabriel surely is, is something to be honored. Nobody in my lifetime can truly approach the service, kindness, and wonderfulness that is John Olguin, but Gabriel Rivas is one of the many souls who follows in John's footsteps and works for OUR community as John Olguin still does.

To be more like John is something Gabriel Rivas doesn't realize he is doing, and that is the way most folks who might be nominated for that award, are. Humble, caring, thoughtful, considerate, intelligent, loving, and trying his best for OUR community makes Mr. Gabriel Rivas more like John than most folks are, in my opinion, and something I will always try to be.

There are not thanks enough on this planet for what we owe to John Olguin, but I want to say "thanks" to Gabriel, who is helping to carry the torch that John lit, has carried for generations, and still helps carry, today.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thanks So Much For Visiting and Other Stuff

Thank you, whoever you are from aol.com, who visited at 5:20:22 PM today, you are number 9,000 as a visitor. Thanks to the other 8,999 folks who visited this blog. Whether you stayed one second or have visited multiple times and stayed around a bit to read this blog, I appreciate you visits and I continue to hope I can keep this blog interesting enough for you to return, learn more about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Development, and make comments and create posts of what you would like to see built on the 61.53 acre site.

In reading the latest Random Lengths News, I found no advertisement for Ponte Vista. I bet Bob's "new" plans were already being addressed as to their rollout and I think Bob didn't want to pay for an ad for a development proposal that is now dead.

I continue to read and make comments on Tom Field's blog: Ponte Vista...Common Sense. I hope everyone who visits: www.pontevistatruth.blogspot.com is courteous and do not resort to name calling and meaness towards anyone.

Tom and I still have major differences, but I can engage him and others in discussion and debate that is sometimes different on his blog than it is on mine. He does lean towards his proposal for a 1700-unit development, and we will see how close Bob's "new" plan is to Tom's proposal which can still only be read on this blog.

If folks think attacking is the method they wish to use when debating or discussing the Ponte Vista project, please do that on this blog and not Tom's. As of this date, Tom or whoever he really is has not told me his real identity, but I believe he or she or them, do know quite a bit about the Ponte Vista project and he seems somewhat reasonable (except for my thought that 1,700 units is still unreasonable in my book) as someone that discussions may be accomplished with and he has stopped using name calling or attacks as too many of Bob's supporters of 2,300 units still continue to do, it seems.

Illustrations and Resources You May Not Remember

This blog has many posts. This post may be the 248th post, or there abouts. Within the posts, which are way to long for some readers, are illustrations and resources that sometimes should probably be brought back for review.

The first illustration and resource is the illustration Bob provided to us for what seems like forever, for his current plans for a 2,300-unit development.

The resource for that plan included a predicted number of bedrooms, according to Bob himself that he gave to me in early January of this year.

The illustration if of what appears to be a now-dead plan, and the number of bedrooms were Bob's predictions and will also go away, perhaps


Now here is the resource numbers Bob gave me during a January CAC meeting:

These numbers were given to me by Mr. Bisno as an "off the top of his head" type of disclosure and, by no means, are the official totals that may be in line if he is successful in having an ordinance adopted allowing him to actually build 2,300 homes within the Ponte Vista area.

There will be two sections to the project.

Here are the numbers generated for the Senior Housing section of Ponte Vista at San Pedro, according to Mr. Bisno's personal thoughts:
575 total units.
30%, or about 173 homes would be studio or 1-bedroom type units
60%, or about 345 homes would be two-bedroom units.
10%, or about 57 homes would be three-bedroom units.
Adding the number of bedrooms together would give you a total of a about 1,034 bedrooms within the 575-home Senior Housing section.

(In the DEIR you may remember that it predicted a permanent population of this section to be approximately 1,038 persons.)

Now I will move to the non-age restricted section of the development:

1,725 total units
Approximately 16%, or about 276 homes would be "lofts" and have no walls between sleeping areas and living areas, or be a one-bedroom unit, with walls that separate the sleeping area from the other living area. The "loft" could have the sleeping area above the living area.
44%, or about 759 homes would be two-bedroom units.
30%, or about 518 homes would be three-bedroom units.
10%, or about 172 homes would be four-bedroom units.
Adding the number of bedrooms together would give you a total of 4,036 bedrooms in the non age-restricted section of the development.

(You may also remember the DEIR's stated prediction that this section would have a projected permanent population of 3,275 persons.)

This brings brings the total numbers of bedrooms that MIGHT be at a 2,300-home Ponte Vista development to:

5,070 possible total bedrooms or sleeping areas within Ponte Vista.

(Bob's DEIR estimated that the total population of Ponte Vista would be 4,313 permanent residents. These figures estimate that 757 sleeping areas, at least, would never have anyone sleeping in them and that is not counting the numbers of folks who will be sleeping at least two to a bed.)

During the late May, 2007 CAC meeting, Bob had an illustration passed around and shown to the CAC members of what the lot illustration would be for an R1 or single-family, detached housing project with lots measuring at least 5,000 square feet, might look like.

Below is the illustration Bob had passed around and the CAC members got to look at. The illustration is a part of the DEIR and is what Bob's illustrators believe an "all R1" Ponte Vista might look like, as far as they are concerned.




It appears now, according to Bob, that neither illustration will provide an illustration of his "new" plans. If and when that illustration becomes available, I will post it on this blog.

What is interesting to me to note is the number of bedrooms Bob included in his current plans and what someone commented about on a previous post. The "anonymous" person wrote that Bob may attempt to cram more bedrooms into fewer units. If this is the case, we all need to know the projected number of bedrooms as soon as Bob reveals his "new" plan. we also might look at the ratios and numbers of bedrooms Bob speculated would be in his current plans.

Now that I have reviewed the number of projected bedrooms in Bob's current plans, it look very likely that there will be a higher population at Ponte Vista, than Bob may admit to, with the "new" plan. If 757 sleeping spaces were going to be built for nobody, according to Bob's population projection, might that mean that perhaps renters, sub-lets, leases, and non-family roommates may come to any "new" site that Bob is allowed to build?

If you would like any more help in finding resources that are within this blog, please Email me and I will do my best to help you out.

Friday, May 25, 2007

What About the Supporters of 2,300 Units?

Some folks may be hopping mad right now. They were told that Bob was going to build for them a beautiful 2,300-unit development that was going to meet the needs and wants of everybody.

Has Bob abandoned his most ardent supporters? Or perhaps, there weren't that many folks supporting his 2,300-unit in the first place, after all.

Could it be that many "supporters" actually wanted less than 2,300 units at Ponte Vista built, but were afraid to go against Bob's wishes?

Who should now support a developer who pulls the rug out from many supporters, by changing the plans?

Could it be that many supporters supported a false plan in the first place? There are a number of folks in OUR community that think Bob's "new" proposal is actually the one he has been hiding since the beginning and he was just "trying the waters" to see if his 2,300-unit plan might work. Might the supporters of 2,300 feel duped into supporting a plan Bob never intended to build in the first place?

The CAC and OUR community had to endure months and months of supporters' calls for Bob's 2,300 unit plan. How might we now react to those who spoke out in favor of 2,300 units? Should we be mad at them for supporting a giant development that had no real chance of being approved of? Should we feel sorry that our neighbors and friends were so taken by this developer to repeat whatever he said? How to you think those supporters of 2,300 units be thought of if and when that speak of their support for whatever Bob's "new" proposal is?

Hey supporters, do you feel a bit silly now? I know a number of supporters who wanted compromise and thought that 2,300 units were far too many. What will they do to communicate that fact in the future? I can just bet that thousands of Bob's supporters will now come out and claim that they were always thinking that 2,300 units were to many and they all privately held that the numbers should be lower.

What do you think would happen to Bob's local support if he completely removed the Senior Housing section with his "new" plan? I doubt highly that there will be fewer Senior Housing units in the "new" plan than Bob's original 575 units, but don't you think that most all of Bob's real supporters are the ones calling for the Senior Housing section. I think if he removes Senior Housing from his "new" proposal, we will be able to watch him being run out of town on rails by a whole bunch of seniors, or those over 55-years of age.

This is a mostly satirical post as I am quite sure you all know. But in reality, Bob's changing of his plans as such a late date might just be too late for Bob. With my earlier posts which you can read, the ever increasing number of signatures on the R1 petitions, the comments by Ms. Hahn that Bob should have made the "new" proposal ten months ago, the learning curve all of us have done regarding development in northwest San Pedro and elsewhere, our seeming contempt for many departments within the City of Los Angeles, our assessment of the governance of that city, our findings about other large development projects in the area and the troubles found with many of them, the real arrogance, in my opinion by Bob and his staff to deal with all of us in OUR community who questioned his current plans, make it quite possible that whatever Bob sets forth as his "new" proposal will be considered dead on arrival.

I have been writing for months now that Bob had plenty of chances to negotiate and reconsider his plans. I feel this blog and many other persons warned Bob that he had more than enough time to change his proposal before it was too late. Now he says his "new" plan will be revealed at the end of the CAC's term, means that the oversight and questioning by the CAC might not be there for this "new" plan and that Bob has deliberately done this to lessen the amount of scrutiny the "new" plan should have. All of these factors point more clearly than ever that the goal of R Neighborhoods Are 1 and all of the R1 supporters have enough ammunition and strength to state once, for all, and nothing more that R1 NO COMPROMISE.

There was more than plenty of warning to Bob and he didn't listen and he didn't seem to care about OUR community. I think his time is up, we know a whole lot more than we did months ago and Bob Bisno blew his chances for his development, whether it was his current plans or his "new" plans.

Once bitten, twice shy. "Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice.......you won't get fooled again." Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you!

If Bob's "new" plans call for a Senior Housing section and non-age restricted condominiums of any kind, that idea and whatever numbers he comes up with should be fought at least as hard as his current plans have been fought. I'd like a Senior Housing section, but no non-age restricted condos should be allowed at Ponte Vista and I won't compromise on that.

And if Bob threatens to sell off his land, we will still be here, waiting for any new owners. But with our increased knowledge and a real base of folks who want a very limited amount of development at Ponte Vista, then Bob, good-bye and bring on the new developers!

Rentals and Leases at Ponte Vista

Bob Bisno, with his current plans and I suspect with his new plan, will continue to call for the construction of "owner-occupied" condominiums and town houses. While this is a loft goal on Bob's part, it simply will not be in the future for all of Ponte Vista.

Owner-occupied condominium developments bring renters and leases into the picture as a matter of fact. If you don't believe me, please check out all of the local condominium developments that had in their particular CC&Rs' restrictions limiting rentals and leases. Count on how many of those developments and their management companies actually enforce the rules. If you find one such development, you would be fortunate. Don't expect to find much more than five in a 20-25 complex search.

Rentals and leases bring increased traffic and lowered values of housing within the complex and in nearby neighborhoods. This is also a fact.

Having rentals and leases in a complex developed as exclusively owner-occupied housing, means that there is little control of how many people and cars might be at these complexes.

The DEIR for the current Ponte Vista at San Pedro plans were constructed for owner-occupied dwellings throughout the entire development. Since there will be rentals and leases at Ponte Vista, and Bob Bisno cannot guarantee that there won't be, it would be more prudent to write many of the predictions for whatever is going to be in the new plan as if the development was an apartment complex of similar size. That way, the worst case scenarios would be published and mitigated and if those numbers never are reached, it looks like we all may win.

Of course the way to make sure we all win, it to keep the current zoning as it is, no matter what Bob's new plans include. This does not mean I am abandoning my wish for some Senior Housing section, but my proposal/wish is for the least amount of specific type condominiums for the most mitigation from Bob and his company.

We won't know until it is far too late to see what management company is finally chosen to run Ponte Vista, I think. If we knew there was going to be a contract written before approval of any ordinances concerning Ponte Vista, which management company is chosen, then we have the chance to look carefully at that management company and the complexes they manage. If we find out that the management company has little control of rentals and leases in the complexes it manages, then we have another opportunity to really question whether the site must remain with its current zoning.

I would suggest to Ms. Hahn and Mr. Bisno, that they both consider the reliability of the management company chosen to run Ponte Vista and make sure that company meets the highest standards and has the lowest number of complexes with renters and leases.

On Tom Field's blog we learn that he invested in condominiums. He lived in one of them and when he moved out, he continued to own it and either rented it out, or leased it out. Tom has every right to do that, even if it appears to go against the CC&R's of the developments he purchased units at. But if Tom can do that, just think of how many investors my want to do the same at Ponte Vista.

When dealing with issues, it is best, in my opinion to go with the worst cases that may happen, and be fortunate if those cases never happen.

Another Post From Pat Nave

Pat Nave is a strong opponent of Bob Bisno's current plans. He has been informed, That Bob is going to come out with a new proposal on June 18 and he wishes this post be published at this time.

Pat created this post using a turkish charactered keyboard while on vacation with his wife, Diana, who is the President of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

Here is Mr. Nave's post, translated by me to be much more easily read:

PROPOSAL FOR PEAK HOUR COUNT

I have a proposal that will give a better picture of what we can expect in the way of peak hour trip generation based on what we already know about driver behavior.

It appears that the City may have thrown in the towel on that absurd High Rise Condominium classification that Bisno has been using and the City told him to use. That alone increases his average daily traffic from 9212 cars to over 13000 cars. The average now is about 37000.

What remains now is to get an accurate peak hour count because that is what tells what mitigation is needed.

Peak hour count is fact based. It tells us both number and direction. Unfortunately the City does no thinking of its own. Instead it adopts the average peak hour number submitted by the developer rather than look at the RANGE of numbers in the ITE handbook.

Right now Bisno and the City are trying to pass off a Playa Vista post-construction count as an accurate predictor for San Pedro. It says a lot about DOT that they are going along with this.

Instead why don’t we do something else?

My proposal is based on the following premises:

Premise No. 1. Peak hour numbers are what determine mitigation.

Premise No. 2. There are two components to peak hour numbers,

(a) amounts, i.e. numbers. This has to do with the configuration of the project etc.

(b) direction, are the cars going north or south when they come or go from the project?

This is a behavior question. In the case of Ponte Vista, they estimate that the split will be 1/3 southbound in the AM peak and 2/3 northbound.

Premise No 3. The ITE Guidelines say to develop a local trip generation number, but Bisno is trying to get the City to use post-construction numbers from Playa Vista as a local data count. [By the way, without circulating them for comment, yet another CEQA violation] That is inappropriate for a bunch of reasons but the City is buying it for some reasons. Perhaps they are overworked.

Premise No. 4. The City uses ITE peak rate AVERAGE numbers rather than evaluate where in the range of peak gen numbers the project being considered should fall.

Premise No. 5. City Planning already issued a memo showing that project residents would NOT be filling local job needs, meaning that they will be on the freeway just like most of the workers are now.

Based on these premises, it seems to me that all of San Pedro can be used as a local data count project. We are unique. Everyone going or coming home from work either leaves town or works in town. We know how many work from Census numbers. We also know how many leave or come back into town by looking at the numbers at just six locations:

a) Harbor Blvd. onto the 47 or the 110

b) Gibson Blvd. on ramp

c) Channel Street on and off ramp

d) Gaffey St at Five Points

e) Western Avenue at PV Drive North

f) Gaffey Street 110 on and off ramp

By comparing the number of cars and number of occupants in them during peak hours with the number of people working, we should be able to tell how many are going north or east to work and what hours they are going. We should from that, be able to predict what people in Ponte Vista will do. After all, they won’t be working on site like they can at Playa Vista because Bob isn’t providing any offices etc. at his project, like they have at Playa Vista. We also know that people will have to drive to work because there isn’t really any mass transit to speak of.

Lastly, watch out for the peak hour numbers in the ITE classifications. There is a range because facts matter. Just remember the characteristics of this project, i.e. no mass transit, high cost, high household income meaning multiple wage earner households, and the need to drive to everything due to lack of on-site amenities. There are only four data samples for high rise condos but several thousand for regular condo classifications. The peak hour data range is broader for that classification so the City should take into account those factors when deciding where in the peak hour range their EIR analysis should fall. If they don't do some analysis of it, it is difficult to see how they could sustain a finding of adequacy when it comes time to adopt it.
__________________________________________________

Publisher's opinion:

I would like everyone, including Mr. Nave to remember that the vast majority of "owner-occupied" condominium developments have as least some percentage of units housing renters or leasees. This is confirmed by my inquiries and by Mr. Tom Field's comments that, as an investment, he owned condominuim units that were eventually rented or leased out by him.

It is my belief, for a project that may contain as many as 1,700 condominium units, it would be more prudent to use ITE trip generation tables based on apartment complexes of a similar size as a "worst case" scenario for predicted trip generation.

Rental units have heavier traffic loads and tend to lower property values in the nearby area. For Bob Bisno to continue to contend that his development will utilize only "owner-occupied" units during the period the units are standing, is at best dillusional, in my opinion. If fact, I believe he is intelligent enough to know that some, if not many of the units any non-age restricted condominium development, will become rentals or leased out, especially if some of the first units sold are bought by investors, or turned around after the minimum ownership time has passed.

Gerry Gaines, along with the other members of the CAC are doing lots and lots of work on trip generation numbers that probably have absolutely no bearing on reality, I feel. Using exclusively owner-occupied numbers is probably accounting for much too low of probable traffic counts than what I think will become true, no matter what number of units Bob comes up with in his new proposal.

O.K., I'm done with this post. I hope I have made my points and published Pat's comments correctly.

Odds and Ends 14

I guess we have entered a period of time between Bob's current plan and the one he is going to present on June 18th.

My feelings about what Bob MAY come up with is an enlarged Senior Housing section and some varying types of non-age restricted condominiums, with a total unit count of between 1,200 and 1,700. He may even throw in some single-family, detached "Patio" or "Courtyard" styled condominium housing. Single-family homes, in some cases also fall within the "condominium" guidelines. Two such examples of these types of homes are "The Cape" and "The Enclave", both in San Pedro.

Trivia time:

Before Miraleste Canyon Estates came into being, The Laurel Tree Apartments were made up of the same buildings that became condominiums. The Hacienda Hotel and Golf Course occupied the site from the early 1960's until it was torn down to make way for the apartments.

A local woman won $100.00 in a naming contest for The Hacienda Hotel and that was a lot of money back in those days, especially for the playmates of the woman's son, Jimmy Cochran.

Terri wants me to remind everyone of what Janice Hahn was quoted as saying in yesterday's Daily Breeze article by Donna Littlejohn, concerning Bob's new plans.

"So far I have not been persuaded to change the zoning from R-1." Janice Hahn made that statement on Wednesday in the article.

Nothing has been written as comments so far to my thoughts about an all-Senior and/or assisted living Ponte Vista. I have been in "conversations" via Emails about the thought, and have found little interest in the idea. I just threw it out there to see what folks might consider and viewing their apathy and reading Emails suggest to me that the thought will always remain a thought. Thank Tom, for planting the seed, but it looks like there isn't enough fertilizer and water to get the thing to sprout.

In this lull period, we all get more chances to suggest what should be built at Ponte Vista. Whether you wish to create a post for this blog, comment on existing posts, write your opinion as a letter to the editor of a newspaper, or join with R Neighborhoods Are 1 at their next two meetings, every voice has another chance to be heard before we all get to review Bob's new plans.

In Thursday's Breeze article, by Donna Littlejohn, she mentioned "competing blogs". If she is referring to this blog and Tom Field's blog, I think she misunderstands. It is true that the first few days Tom had his blog running, I had problems with its name and some other issues I don't want to get back into, but I have been a constant commenter on his blog and I find it interesting and informational as well.

Tom writes his posts the way he wants to, just like I do, and we both continue to comment on each other's blog. Tom brings up interesting issues to debate and discuss and we both agree to disagree on many things, but I don't think our blogs are "competing" with each other. I think it is more correct to think they complement each other by providing everyone with different sources of information in different ways and sometimes we both agree on things.

Tom's current proposal for 1,700 units, with 700 Senior Housing units and 1,000 non-age restricted units might be just about exactly what Bob will propose, perhaps. I would continue to contend that Tom's current proposal for having any non-age restricted condominiums would be calling for too much, but he and I do seem to agree on the number of Senior Housing units, at this time.

I will be writing posts during this lull time that will hopefully continue the debate of what should be built at Ponte Vista, and why. I hope you all join in the debate and the discussion.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Some Nerves Seem Too Sensitive to Touch

It appears with my recently withdrawn post about some Neighborhood Councils in San Pedro, which I put back into "draft" form is a bit to touchy for OUR community to reasonably discuss, debate, and/or comment on.

That post also brought out a familiar commenter who again attacked me without clearly reading this blog.

I would like to ask anyone who has been Emailed the resolution passed by Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, to Email me a copy to mrichards2@hotmail.com.

Living in R.P.V. appears to not give me the right, as some believe, to comment on any or all of the three Neighborhood Councils serving San Pedro. Perhaps folks forget that the home I live in was part of "San Pedro" from the time the foundation was poured until the area was annexed into R.P.V. Still others seem to forget that many residents of this portion of R.P.V. consider themselves more aligned with San Pedro than to R.P.V.

If M.M. didn't take the opportunity to read my comment back to him in the post that is now a draft, I explained to him that I left the CAC to assist the folks or Rancho Palos Verdes with traffic safety issues that includes Western Avenue. I also stated that I feel that eastern R.P.V is under represented on committees, commissions, and boards within R.P.V. and we easterners need to include ourselves in the governance we are under.

From the quick reaction to the prior post, stakeholders in their respective Neighborhood Councils, especially board members seem very sensitive and defensive of their particular group and seem to have little trouble condemning other stakeholders from other N.C.s.

The motto of "Can't we all just get along" does not appear to be something members of some N.C.s wish to have, as their own. This doesn't seem to help all of the residents of San Pedro and I got an eyeful from folks who did not like what I wrote.

It doesn't seem very democratic, but it does seem very Taliban, to not allow for comment by anyone and everyone. I have always tried to keep communication lines open and not censured. I had to censure myself because I don't like censoring others. If folks who commented on the prior post wish to have their comments places on this post, please Email me or let me know and I will post them so as to not be criticized for censoring others.

Now folks, I have 52 years and 21 days since I first came to this community. I have been there and done that, many, many times. If you don't feel that my opinions may have some validity, then kindly stop reading this blog and start one of your own. But I would contend that I have a longevity and connectivity with OUR community that is longer and more in depth than most others reading this blog. I have communicated information, comment, opinion, debate and discussion without resorting to using the moderation capability I have always had, and if you think this blog is still relevant, then perhaps, you will continue reading it.

Striking the apparently extremely sensitive nerves of folks regarding their own Neighborhood Councils, may not have been the smartest thing to do. But watching the quick and furious reaction to my prior post indicates to me that there exists some real problems between the three Neighborhood Councils and that does nobody any good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ponte Vista, a Place for Seniors

I am going to continue to float an expanded proposal for a different Ponte Vista than Bob has imagined. I am not going to abandon my wish for having a Senior Housing section along with the rest of the site being made up of single-family, detached houses, but I want to explore a different proposal, with some reasoning behind some of the issues and see what folks think.

The seed of the idea came from Tom Field and he still won't shake my hand and won't tell me who he really is, but I like the idea and I thought about watering it and placing fertilizer on it and see if it grows.

We start with a Senior Housing section pretty much like what Bob Bisno currently proposes, but if Tom likes 700 of those units, I think that can be considered. This would be the only "Senior only" section of the complex

Then we move to assisted-living apartments or condominiums where residents can have their meals prepared for them and more of their personal issues taken care of. In my mind, this would be at least as wonderful as The Canterbury is. Residents with challenges can be cared for in a semi-private environment, with plenty of care-givers available.

We move next to a fully staffed, brand new, convalescent or retirement home or hospital, where patients have the best care and in a wonderful surrounding.

The Wallgreen's that the Wallgreen's company is looking to possibly be built at Trudie and Western, could find a welcome home at Ponte Vista in a public setting. folks living in all areas of Ponte Vista will have to make a short walk or roll to the pharmacy or to buy essentials they may need.

Open spaces, designed for all ages older than 55-years of age or persons with disabilities, will be placed throughout the complex. More adaptive open spaces would be most welcome.

Recreational activities could include tennis, basketball, swimming, lawn bowling, bocce ball, and a beautiful 5 acre, par 144, 18-hole golf coarse where the longest drive is 75 yards.

On the site and possibly attached to the convalescent hospital, would be an urgent care facility and possibly a paramedic ambulance associated with the development. The urgent care facility could have an attending nurse practitioner along with a certified Paramedic to work in the urgent care facility and the convalescent hospital, at the same time.

There would be a public senior citizen center, with regular bus trips to gambling areas if that is chosen. There would be plenty of van pools, buses and other means of community transportation to get folks to the nearby hospitals and doctors offices in San Pedro and elsewhere.

This proposal would create many jobs in the health care fields, caregiver fields, administration jobs, and many other job categories needed to this specialized complex.

There are those in OUR community who don't believe there is a real need for housing and care for seniors. I don't believe them. Folks born before 1960 are getting more prevalent in OUR community and surrounding communities in the greater L.A. and South Bay areas. If there are not enough seniors from San Pedro or R.P.V. who wouldn't want to move into a state-of-the-art complex specifically designed for their needs, I am sure there are many folks currently living in other places who would be interested in living at a place this post is proposing.

Perhaps there are elders who want to take one of the many cruises leaving our port. If an elder hostel was built at Ponte Vista, they could stay a few days, spend their tourist dollars in the area, before or after they take their cruise.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. An all inclusive complex for seniors and others requiring specialized care, that is new, wonderful, and close to the many families that want to keep their older loved ones closer to them.

It is no problem for my sister and I to visit our dad at Los Palos and our mom at Palos Verdes Villas. They are both very close and we can visit them easily. Why shouldn't all kids have the same opportunities to have their parents in a great, caring, safe, and close by environment. It is is good enough for Ruth and Mark, it is good enough for everyone else, I think.

Please just think about this proposal. then if you wish, comment on this post or create a post of your own for publication on this blog.

You are also most welcome to create your own proposal for what you want to see at Ponte Vista.

!!!!!!!! FINALLY !!!!!!!!

At tonight's CAC meeting, Bob Bisno addressed the members of the committee and members of the audience and told everyone that on June 18, 2007 he and his development company will unveil a new proposal for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development.

If you are cynical, who might contend that he is going to give us all what his original plans were and he was trying to get his much larger development approved of, if folks would have allowed him to do so.

At this point I am too tired and my hips hurt to much to really question why is in revealing his new proposal just before he jets off to Europe, but I think I have some suspicions as to why he is coming forward with a new set of proposals.

During the CAC's meeting tonight, the members began discussing density and many of the ten members out of the thirteen members present at the meeting gave their early impressions on how they were leaning.

Unfortunately, there are too many members of the CAC who are leaning towards a development that would include non-age restricted condos, duplexes, row houses or other shared walled housing. This must not be allowed to be considered, at this point, in my opinion.

condos become rentals at too high of a percentage to guarantee any and all predictions that any DEIR for owner-occupied units would have in print. There should be NO COMPROMISE on this particular matter no matter what Bob proposes on June 18.

Community members who demand R1 for the entire complex should continue all of their efforts by protesting, gathering R1 petition signatures and anything and everything else that is needed to get through to Councilwoman Janice Hahn that, if Bob Bisno makes any new proposal for any type, size or numbers of owner-occupied condo, town houses, row houses, duplexes, or any other shared wall structures, she must tell Bob that those types of non-age restricted units are off the table as soon as they are revealed.

Lucie Thorsen, the CAC member from the Rolling Hills Riviera area of Rancho Palos Verdes has stated that she will only call for R1, keeping the current zoning as it is for the property. She represents the closest single-family homeowners to anything that will be built at Ponte Vista, and she represents a community that also includes Palo de Encino. The folks who live in the two neighborhoods have overwhelmingly come out opposed to Bob's current plans and demanding, in the strongest terms possible, that the current zoning at Ponte Vista remains.

Elise Swanson read a statement from Central San Pedro neighborhood Council stating that they opposed keeping the Ponte Vista site with its current zoning. I guess all the building in their area is not good enough for them, so they want to force the rest of San Pedro to suffer the consequences of their approvals of so many condo projects. Way to go to try and bring San Pedro back together, Central S.P.N.C.!

If Bob really had a change of heart and not kept his soon-to-be-released proposal hidden until now, then there are a whole bunch of folks that I am going to have to thank. I will start doing that after we all find out what the new proposals are and whether we need to fight them, which we probably will. If OUR community really had a hand in getting Bob to change his current plans, that says a whole lot about the spirit of OUR community and what we can do if we are faced with a problem too many folks seem to think is unsolvable. We'll see.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Zero is Best

There are at least twenty three condominiums for sale at the one of the largest condominium developments currently housing humans in San Pedro. If you visit the site below, you can choose which one of the twenty three condos currently listed on that site, might be one you would like to live in.


This development, along with the two developments pictured in a previous post are the three best reasons why there must be ZERO non-age restricted condos, town houses, row houses, duplexes, or any other type of units where at least two owners share a common wall, built at Ponte Vista.

There are also listings for units for sale on Capitol Drive, but I could only find a few at "The Gardens" listed for sale.

Whether or not there are lots of condos for sale in San Pedro doesn't alter the fact that absolutely no human living yesterday, today, or tomorrow can guarantee that condominium unit owners won't lease or rent their units out.
Why might this be important? Thanks for thinking that question. Bob Bisno and his group have published a Draft Environmental Impact Report stating that all of the units at his Ponte Vista at San Pedro development would be "owner-occupied" Every traffic calculation, table, forecast, prediction, as well as every other prediction related to the Ponte Vista project is based on the written assumption that each and every unit built at Ponte Vista would be occupied by the owner and there would be zero units lived in by renters and lease holders.

In a perfect utopian world of owner-occupied condominium developers, no units would be rented or leased out. Unfortunately for those who build them and fly away, there is absolutley no proof that this scenario exists in real life, especially in OUR community.

Having even a small percentage of rental units in an otherwise owner-occupied complex, changes every trip generation fact or prediction. It also changes the overall population forecast as well as the student generation projection.

Since Bob or anyone else can't guarantee that there won't be any rental units, or leased out units at Ponte Vista, we must simply not allow him to build any of these types of units, in the first place.

Ann's Newest Comment

Ann is a resident of R.P.V and lives directly across the street from existing housing in San Pedro. She is one of the many volunteers working with R Neighborhoods Are 1 and I am posting an Email comment she made to me.

Here it is:

"Please tell everyone to download a couple of pages of petitions and keep it with them at all times. I sat in a hair dresser-Supercuts and collected one full page of signatures while waiting for my daughter to get her hair cut."

(The easiest way to download copies of the petition is to go visit www.rneighborhoodsare1.org)

"I went to the Post Office on Western Friday afternoon and collected 2 pages of signatures. Almost everyone there wanted to sign especially after fighting traffic with one lane closed. Friday afternoon, and Bisno Property isn't even developed yet, and we have traffic delays due to maintenance/road work. Pretty good for just standing in line somewhere."
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This is exactly what I would like to see grow on this blog. I don't need to prop up the R1 group any longer, by postings I create on my own. The group's members, along with anyone else is encouraged to provide this blog with original posts and comments that can be used to support the group and what they are calling for.

I would like to engage folks with other posts and comments, not necessarily pertaining to the R1 group.
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One note about the petition-gathering work some of the members of the R1 group are involved with, includes setting up a table at a local market or store and attempting to collect signatures of the lowering numbers of folks within OUR community who have not already signed the R1 petition. Yesterday, nine individuals on a ten signature petition, walked up to the table that was set up outside of Trader Joe's and without any comment from the petition gatherer, picked up a pen and filled out their own lines. Some of them were asked to take a button and/or a sticker because the fellow sitting by the table (me) felt almost embarrassed that it is becoming so easy to collect petitions, and I wanted to at least provide buttons to make it look like I supplied some effort in getting their signatures.

I still have not signed the R1 petition, but I do assist anyone who favors keeping Ponte Vista with the current zoning it has, all the reasons they want to have them make their own decision whether they sign the petition or not. Gabriel Rivas and the many others who gather petition signatures are very polite and we all say "Thank you" whether somebody signs the petition or at least gives any of us a few seconds of their time to listen to us.
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Tom Field seems to have some pretty nasty folks making comments on his blog. He has had to turn his moderation (censorship) on and off several times. None of us may agree with anything Tom writes, but we need to be a bit more courteous to folks who create a blog we don't agree with. R1 supporters are better than that. Mr. Field has had a few hecklers who do not wish to have decent discussions, he believes, and that hurts all of us who are trying to persuade Tom that he would be better off coming away from "The Dark Side" (folks who wants a large Ponte Vista development) and into the brilliant, shining, gleaming light of getting Bob Bisno off his high horse and into some realistic view of the site he bought.

I enjoy "debating" Tom Field, even though I have no clue who he/she or even they really are. Whoever is writing that blog wants to continue to provide some sorts of reasoning why a large development is better than keeping the current zoning at Ponte Vista. It is up to me and the rest of the reasonable folks in the R1/lower sized development to work on Tom and bring him over to our side using reasonable, realistic, responsible and respectful arguments.

I do want to commend "Tom's" blog for adopting the Initial Study's projected number of residents to be 7,343 before Tom adjusted his proposal to reflect his estimate of 5,517 residents. It is still WAY, WAY to high in my opinion, but I give him credit for acknowledging that Bob's DEIR count of a projected population of 4,313, it just not probable.

Now if I can just get Tom off of his proposal for some number other than ZERO (I know it's a place holder) as far as non-age restricted housing other than single-family, detached housing, I would be very happy. How about it, Tom?

Another Idea for Ponte Vista

This idea is not mine, but a combination of ideas from an "anonymous" comment contributor, a bit from me, and comments made by a few folks I have met during my sit-downs by the table full of petitions.

What about making Ponte Vista an exclusively senior development with a wonderful assisted living establishment, right there?

Long before "That MONSTER", Seaport Luxury Homes, began construction, a 164 bed assisted living project was planned for the Fitness Drive site. I don't know why those plans never came to be, but maybe, something like it could be considered for Ponte Vista.

My dad lives at Los Palos Convalescent Hospital, on 6th. Street. Los Palos is next door to Seacreast and there are very few convalescent hospitals and homes in our area, I feel.

There are some really nice homes for senior citizens needing at least some assistance in the greater South Bay area, but there doesn't seem to be many places in our local area to find safe, nearby, and comfortable homes for our aging population, I believe. When Dad needed to find a "retirement" home, we were lucky enough to find that Los Palos had improved over the years to be a place we could feel comfortable with having dad well cared for, Los Palos didn't always fare to well in some folks mind over the many years it has been in the unincorporated area of L.A. County.

How about a Canterbury type of assisted-living development on part of the 61.53 acres of Ponte Vista? How about a less expensive type of assisted-living home right next door to it? How about a full-service convalescent hospital next door to that, all having a large common parking area and far enough away from Western Avenue to not have folks living in any of those three businesses/homes having to listen to the noise along Western.

There could be a larger Senior Housing section than what Bob is currently planning for at the site and a really nice senior community center could be centrally located on the site to be accessible to everyone living or being cared for at Ponte Vista, to be able to easily get to.

There does seem to be a number of senior citizens in the area that do want some kind of a Senior Housing development right along the lines of what Bob wants to build. There doesn't seem to be a large enough amount of assisted-living places to live at, in San Pedro, it seems like many of our more well-to-do elders have to go to the Canterbury to find the closest up-scale living arrangement near OUR community, There doesn't seem to ever be enough room at the Palos Verdes Villa on Summerland at Western for the many local residents who need assistance in caring for themselves in their daily lives, like my mother, it appears like Los Palos, Seacrest and other places like that are almost bursting at the seams, why can't we think of a place where all of our senior citizens can live in a place that is comfortable, has plenty of amenities and living choices, and is still near enough to their families to not have lots of folks drive many miles to visit their loved ones.

Nothing has officially been decided for what will be approved of being built at Ponte Vista. I am floating this idea on this blog to see what kind of reaction we all might see. I didn't come up with this plan and it would take quite a bit of doing to even get it into the site office of Ponte Vista.

What do you think about this idea?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Recall of an L.A. City Councilman

I got a link to this site, http://www.recalljackweiss.com/ today. Interesting?

"I don't see how you can be in public service when you have a fundamental disdain for the public, and he has disdain for the public," said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who has scrapped with Weiss over the years. "He's clearly annoyed by public comment. He gets upset when they go on for more that two minutes. He has no patience for the people he governs."

L.A. Weekly March 13, 2007