Friday, June 29, 2007
I received a copy of the letter not from any member of the committee, but it is a genuine copy of the letter.
I am going to copy a portion of the letter that suggests to me that Bob is still attempting to manipulate the committee members and is seeming to "threaten" that some amenities might not be included if committee members choose to recommend "1,200 to1,300 units".
I will copy portions of Page 3 and 4 of the letter Bob sent to committee members and cc to Ms. Janice Hahn:
B. The Committee's Recommendation on Project Size
At the June 18th meeting where we presented our revised proposal, the Committee took a straw poll regarding the number of units in the project, and I understand that you will be discussing the issue further at this evening's meeting. I recognize that the majority of the Committee expressed interest in supporting a project with approximately 1,200 to 1,300 units. There are compelling reasons, however, for providing a higher density that it is important for the Committee to consider before it makes any final recommendation. I would also comment that the factors that make any project viable and beneficial to a community go beyond simple unit count.
To begin with, a density of 1,200 total units would not support the broad range of housing prices that is possible with the density of our revised proposal (which is approximately 32 units per acre). Lower density housing consumes greater land area per unit, resulting in higher sales prices and association fees. Therefore, the unit prices targeted at "workforce" households would not be possible with a 1,200 unit project. Similarly, dramatically reducing the density of the project while retaining the public benefits and amenities desired by the Committee and the community, would place the price of senior units beyond the reach of all but the most affluent senior households. We have added 100 lower density, 3-story townhomes to Ponte Vista in response to the Committee's interest in lower density home ownership opportunities, but these will be among the most expensive units at Ponte Vista. Lower density units also increase - not decrease - trip generation as acknowledged by the ULI and ITE.
Second, a 1,200 unit project would not support the community amenities and community benefits that are one of the hallmarks of Ponte Vista. Because lower density housing consumes greater area, less land would be available ro common amenities and open space. In addition, the cost of amenities and public benefits (such as the road to Mary Star, public park, and community trust fund) would need to be spread out among a smaller number of families, resulting in significant surcharges on both sales prices and homeowner association fees. Units laden with such surcharges would not be competitive in the housing market, and would not be a realistic option for any developer. That this is a reality and not merely my opinion was demonstrated by your tours of other actual projects in the area. All of the lower density developments visited, such at the Cape, Enclave, Bay Harbor, or Stonehaven, provide little in the way of common amenities and open space for their residents, and none of them provide any public amenities or community benefits.
While individuals may prefer varying levels of density, the density proposed by the revised proposal is necessary to achieve three of the key goals of many on the Committee and in the community: 1) a diverse range of home ownership opportunities, including options for seniors and workforce housing; 2) premium amenities and open spaces that will provide these diverse households with a unique and highly desirable community; and 3) significant public benefits that go beyond the mitigation of the project's impacts.
For all these reasons, I respectfully request that before the Committee takes any final action it give fair and serious consideration to our revised proposal, and that it consider the need for an adequate density that will actually support the inclusion of workforce housing, senior housing, and the many amenities and benefits the community desires. I also ask that any report the Committee issues acknowledge the work we have done together, and the many changes we have made in a good faith effort to address concerns you have raised. A fair, thoughtful and balanced process is the best assurance we have for a viable and beneficial project at Ponte Vista.
Thank you again for your time and effort.
Very truly yours,
(signed) Robert H. Bisno
Where oh where should we begin?
I guess some folks will read what Bob wrote and suggest that for the past ten months and on into the future it was always and will continue to be Bob's way or no way, no matter what the CAC recommends.
Others may remind Bob about whether he can spell "speculation".
As far as I read these portions of the letter, it looks like no matter what the Committee's majority or minority report recommends, Bob wasn't going to use either of them, anyway.
It looks like Bob is threatening to pull amenities and public benefits if he doesn't get what he wants.
He also tries to claim that he was respectful and realistic when he lowered his total unit count by 350 units. That sure didn't sound respectful or realistic to his opponents and many of his own supporters, does it?
Build it my way or else, seems to be what Bob is instructing the members of the CAC to recommend. This must be because he knows so much more about OUR community than the thirteen members who live in OUR community, some for all of their lives. How respectful is that?
Bob's letter is providing even more reasons not to change the current zoning at Ponte Vista, I believe. He seems to be attempting to manipulate recommendations that haven't even been made yet, and continue to control the actions of the CAC.
So many people claim there is a need for housing in our area, yet the only housing Bob seems willing to build is what he wants to build and not what may truly be needed in OUR community.
If housing is needed so badly, then why didn't he propose bare-bones housing types, with more reasonable pricing to a greater number of potential residents? Why is he trying to build a premium development when so many folks believe there is such a need for more housing in the area, that there should be a development of less than premium housing and amenities built?
He still want to build Cadillacs for folks who think we really need Chevrolets, it seems to me.
I hope you read what Bob wrote, both the lines written and your thoughts of what Bob really meant between the lines.
32 units per acre with his revised proposal is still about 2-1/2 times the density of The Gardens and I believe it is greater that the Apartment development he is modeling Ponte Vista like, which is in Newport Beach.
Bob's attempts to dismiss proposals made by Jerry Gaines (1,225-units) and John Greenwood (893-units) demonstrate that Bob will not be willing to accept any recommendation that the CAC makes. He seems to be broadcasting that fact even before the CAC has voted on a recommendation concerning density.
Bob wants the Committee to review his new proposal as much as possible, but still be finished with their work by July 24, I feel. How can the CAC review and make realistic, reasonable, and responsible comments on his proposal and at the same time come up with their own recommendations concerning density.
The bath water has grown cold over these last ten months. It became apparent early on that Bob was most probably going to throw the baby out with the bath water and his letter seems to prove that. At least he should have respected the family that is the Committee enough to throw out the baby with warm bath water instead of waiting until the poor baby died of hypothermia , so long ago.
Mr. Donato collected over $106,000.00 for the charity of his choice, the Harbor Interfaith Shelter. Mr. Donato is also on an advisory board for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I wonder how much was donated by Bob Bisno, his organization, and supporters of Ponte Vista to Mr. Donato's campaign. It will probably be taken as a feather in the cap for Bob to have one of his biggest supporters also installed as the Honorary Mayor of San Pedro for the next two years.
We will probably know more if and when the Bisno organization tauts Mr. Donato's election in upcoming advertisements or newsletters.
I do think it is good that all the charities candidates worked hard to collect for, received donations. They are all worthy.
In today's Daily Breeze, there was what I feel is a great trivial insert. It is the Los Angeles County Almanac. It contains lots of trivia, including Lomita's claim that it is the former celery capital. The Almanac lists all the incorporated cities in the county and gives trivial information about each, including population, income, ethnicity, and types of housing. Many of the facts are based on information gathered in 2000 and 2001.
I have no idea, at this time, where folks who don't subscribe or buy today's Daily Breeze can go an find their own copy, but the almanac was produced for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group so it may be in other newspapers.
Without quoting anyone from last night's CAC meeting, it appears nothing was recommended or approved of, at the closed-door affair.
As it was reported to me, there is still great division between members of the CAC as far as what size of development members would like to consider. To be sure, there is a group of members who are solid in their support of keeping the site with its current zoning of R1, and it is true that those members are still a minority group.
There is at least one member who seems to want to see a development that is larger than many others who are considering compromise numbers less than 1,226-units.
There appears to be a member who is seeking compromise but when quizzed whether they would favor 1,950 units or R1, that member seemed to indicate that if 1,950 units was the number Bob continues to go with, that member would call for R1.
I have heard that there were some passionate moments during the meeting and according to my source, things did get a little heated, at times.
What is most possitive to report is that there was nothing decided at the meeting. No matters were settled out of the public eye and no recommendations were concidered or voted on. That is something both supporters and opponents of Bob's current plan should be happy about.
It seems that what happened last night was something one or more members, and a former member of the CAC wished had been done several months ago. Now that all members of the CAC know where each stand on the size issue, perhaps things will progress towards a set of recommendations with a majority opinion report and a minority opinion report.
There still are less than seven members of the CAC who are currently supporting R1. That was to be expected and will probably insure that there will be two reports issued by the CAC, to Ms. Hahn.
The next CAC meeting is scheduled for July 24, 2007 and is expected to be an open meeting.
KB Homes posted a second quarter loss of income, due to the inventory of units left unsold. This problem is due to the housing slump the area is in.
If people need housing, and/or want new housing as supporters of Ponte Vista currently believe, then it should stand to reason that home builders would be making profits instead of reporting losses, it seems to me.
The other blogger has turned moderation (censorship) back on, according to what I have read. I still can't figure out why I can receive all kinds of criticism, name calling, attacks, foul comments, and leave moderation off, when the other fellow needs to control what appears on his blog to the extent that some folks might find his blog more like blogs in dictatorial countries.
I continue to forbid myself from making any comments on that other blog, but I continue to read attacks and misinformation about supporters of R1.
The other fellow seems to believe he has a lot of negative information about persons supporting R1 and he seems to be threatening to publish some information, which is my take on what I have read recently, on his blog.
His readership is far below the readers of this blog, but I am sure he knows ways of getting the number of readers of his blog to increase, sometimes dramatically, whenever he wishes.
I must admit, his knowledge of the blogging world and the Internet far surpasses mine. Unfortunately for all of us, he is unwilling to engage us with openness, honesty, (nobody still knows his true identity) and using a measure of control just slightly lower that Mr. Kim of Korea, in my opinion........watch for attacks from a few folks on this one.
I have read that McCowan's Market is having a Grand Re-Opening of its remodeled store this weekend. If you don't know where the store is located then you are not a "Real San Pedran". Of course many other folks know where it is and you should ask them for directions.
There will be R1 petition signature gatherers at the store from Noon until 3:00 PM this Saturday and Sunday.
During the last Supermarket strike, McCowan's was an oasis of wonderfulness, as it always has been. The store is the last of the three similarly named stores in San Pedro. I grew up going to the First and Bandini store even after Von's was built at Park Plaza. Adrian McCowan was a great person for us kids to get to know back then.
McCowan's still has great produce and some of the best breads from local bakeries. Everyone in OUR community should make pilgrimages to McCowan's from time to time and remember how Supermarkets looked like when we were all younger. It is not a mega-market, but it is mega-great, Terri and I feel.
For those of you who are alumni of San Pedro High School and graduated or attended between 1970-1975, and any other year, the fifth annual A Gathering of "The Crowd" and Friends Picnic is scheduled for Sunday August 26, 2007 at the Wilder Addition of Point Fermin Park. This bring-your-own-everything picnic is being held on the same day as the Lions Club Soapbox Derby and Car Show, at the main park, so we are moving our picnic farther west.
If you were photographed for a senior photo between the years of 1970-1976 and would like a photo name tag so you can be recognized at the picnic, please Email me at the address on the top of this blog and I will have a photo name tag for you when you looked much younger than you do now.
More information about the picnic can be found by visiting one of my other blogs:
It is a free picnic. We will supply some water and chips. You are encouraged to come and enjoy the picnic beginning at 9:30 AM. On Saturday August 25, 2007, the Mystics, San Pedro High School Class of 1972 will be holding their 35-year reunion. If you would like more information about that event, please Email me.
I would like the picnic to be a Ponte Vista free event where all of us can gather in comfort and not allow such a divisive issue to invade the picnic.
Shakespeare by the Sea is preforming The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice Thursdays through Saturdays during several more weekends at Point Fermin Park. It is the tenth anniversary season of this free event.
Music by the Sea begins its run on Sundays, beginning this Sunday at Point Ferming Park as well. The free concert features two acts each Sunday beginning at Noon.
Taste of San Pedro is scheduled for August 4-5, again at Point Fermin Park. This is NOT a free event, but it is a great event for all of us to enjoy. Music, food, fun, and shopping are the mainstays of this event. Everyone is encouraged to attend and if you can be a volunteer, that is great!
Come see my best friend Joe fire a canon on July 4th at Cabrillo Beach. Join thousands of others celebrating our nation's independence from almost all dictators. The Golden State Pops Orchestra will be having a free concert in the evening and should finish off with the "1812 Overture, complete with canon fire, and of course lots of fireworks.
If you happen to see Mr. John Olguin around town between now and the fourth, please empty your pockets of as much money as you can and had it over to the great gentlemen. Mr. Olguin has been collecting money for his fireworks show for many, many years.
July 13, 14, and 15 has the Mary Star of the Sea Fiesta at its site. This is a real "home town" event that everyone should attend, at least from time to time. A very special attraction of this event are the dinners that can be purchased. If you want a great home town meal in San Pedro, there are great dinners to be enjoyed at this event.
Please buy some raffle tickets from the young women competing for the title: Queen of the Fiesta. Your donations helps programs of the High School.
I am not a member of the Catholic Church, but that has never stopped me from going and supporting the Fiesta and buying raffle tickets to support my choice for Queen. My particular choice for Queen this year is Ms. Loren Costa. I have met her dad and the rest of her family and they seem to be a great family. Ms. Costa was selling raffle tickets at Albertson's while several of us were collecting signatures for R1 petitions. We kept our distance from her greeting of customers of Albertson's and selling raffle tickets.
Folks, life in OUR community does not revolve around Ponte Vista. It is an important issue, but as you have read, there are other events, happenings, and things to be concerned about that have nothing to do with a greedy developer trying to market a far-to-large project into a community that can not take such a large development.
Let's enjoy what we can without debating the Ponte Vista issue at the events outlined above. There will be plenty of time to continue the debate, and plenty of ways to examine the issue.
We should all try to keep things separated if we can, to show everyone that we are still a community that has the character to look beyond our differences at certain times, and enjoy what has be built here and what we all hope remains here.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I was surprised to read Mr. Jerry Gaines' new proposal count for 1,225 total units at Ponte Vista.
John Greenwood's "under 900" unit count is actually for a total of 893 units, which include 93-single-family, detached houses on R1 sized lots.
I am not surprised that the members of the committee are going to meet once again in a closed session. When I was a member of the committee we met once at Ms. Hahn's office, and had a short closed meeting on the night when a regular meeting was also held.
No decisions about recommendations were made during the two closed meetings I attended. It was nice to read in the article that no recommendations will be made at Thursday's closed door meeting.
At the two closed meetings I attended, there were no representatives from the Bisno organization and no other folks from L.A. City other than Ms. Hahn and Gordon Teuber. I expect that Thursday's meeting will just have the committee members, Gordon Teuber, and Victor Griego in attendance.
NWSPNC Election 2007 Final Official Canvass of Votes 6/25/07
Check mark denotes person elected.
Frank Prieto 106
Phillip Nicolay 204 √
Andrew Mardesich 1
Ray H. Patricio 215 √
Ray Olsen 24
Chris Giordano 5
David Stanovich 77
Bonnie Easley 195 √
Larry Mersman 112
John Lauro, Jr. 100
Mollie Abbatiello 209 √
Jody James 0
Dan Dixon 239 √
John M. Mavar 220 √
Russell Etheridge 69
Craig Goldfarb 177 √
George Radovcich 68
Peter Burmeister 195 √
At Large Challenges
Number of ballots counted 344
Provisional ballots 0
Challenges Due 6/30/07
Stephen Box, IEA, Independent Election Administrator
It appears that the slate backed by Mr. Joe Gatlin and Eastview Little League faired badly, but the R1 group should not see the election as any type of mandate for their position, I believe.
The six incumbents that stayed in their races won reelection. Three of the eight seats were unopposed. Mollie Abbatiello and Craig Goldfarb won their seats without an incumbent running for those seats.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
It is not the first time the CAC has had a meeting where the public was not included. In the closed meetings I participated in, only the CAC members, Ms. Hahn and/or Gordon Teuber, her representative were in attendance.
If this upcoming meeting is like the previous closed meetings, there will be no representatives from the Bisno Organization at that meeting.
I have been informed by more than one current member of the CAC, that they will make no decisions or recommendations outside of the public view, which would have any impact as far as recommendation for what the CAC will bring to Ms. Hahn.
I don't like closed-door meetings. We found it necessary on only two occasions to have a member-meeting outside of the public' and Bisno's view. The two meetings dealt strictly with the functions and mission of the CAC and no decisions about Ponte Vista related items were made.
At this late stage though, I am leery of the need for a closed meeting. Perhaps it is just to get all CAC members more informed about the "tool box" for traffic. Perhaps they may discuss their path forward once they have made their recommendations to Ms. Hahn.
We have seen at recent CAC meetings, the Chairman, Mr. John Greenwood, and especially the facilitator, Mr. Victor Greigo, attempt to speed up the CAC's mission of creating recommendations. Even though we might not like to have to sit and listen to all CAC members speak their mind, watching Victor attempt to limit the speaking of any members of the CAC seems to me that he is trying to rush things along. Perhaps he was rehired for just that purpose.
Victor Griego and Bob Bisno do not live in this community. Any attempts by either person to speed the review and recommendation processes along should be frowned upon by everyone on all sides of the issue, I believe. Doing too quick of a job can mean a future nobody wan't to see.
I will try to have information posted about the closed meeting on Thursday night. Being that I was a member of the CAC, I still have contact with some of the members outside of the CAC meetings.
If the CAC decides anything or makes any recommendations for Ms. Hahn during any closed meeting, including this upcoming one, it would signal to all sides of the Ponte Vista issue that the CAC will become irrelevant and not in the best interest of OUR community.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
I have read the number "536" as being the number of units Alternative "A" of the DEIR suggests would be the number of units Bob could build in an R1 scenario, with a density bonus.
I have looked in the main document and throughout many, many pages of the Appendices, but I still cannot find any reference to "724 single-family, detached units"
I have heard Bob say, "There aren't going to be any single-family homes at Ponte Vista! Does that help you, Chuck!" I have never seen any inclusion of any single-family, detached housed in anything other than the alternative to what Bob plans on building, whether it is the original 2,300-unit plan, or the 1,950-unit plan.
In any event, the number of added daily trips on at least a portion of Western Avenue IF 724 single-family, detached units are built is 7,022.8 vehicles per day.
I doubt very highly that Bob would actually resort building an all R1 development with $1.5 Million Dollar houses, he think they would cost at that type of development, and sharing the neighborhood with folks who qualify for "low income housing" as mandated by the State of California, if Bob applied for a density bonus.
Unfortunately Bob seems to think that San Pedro also includes Wilmington, Harbor City, and Harbor Gateway, all three other areas withing Janice Hahn's district.
Bob leaves out one of his lobbyist's city of Lomita where Mark Waronek is the Mayor. Of course he also leaves out Rancho Palos Verdes folks because he probably feels those residents are "ranting elitists" anyway.
So in Bob's "San Pedro First" program, he is including other areas.
Let's say Bob gets to build a bunch of condos. He has stated that the first 100 units, whether they are in the Senior Housing Section and/or the non-age restricted section, will be reserved for folks who qualify to be in the "San Pedro First" category, which includes three more areas.
O.K. A bunch of folks want to sell the homes they are living in and buy at Ponte Vista, all at about the same time. What might happen to the value of the homes they are trying to sell if a whole bunch of units go onto the market at the same time.
Those folks will also have their homes competing in the sales arena with units being built at Ponte Vista, too, I would imagine.
Who is going to buy all the units being sold by folks trying to buy units at Ponte Vista? Might they get a better deal in buying their home because the owners want to sell quickly to get into Ponte Vista?
What happens to all the other folks who will have their homes up for sale in the San Pedro and other three areas, and are not trying to buy anything at Ponte Vista. Will the market prices be artificially depressed because of Bob's offer? It that fair to the rest of the San Pedro community members who will be trying to sell their homes at the same time.
Bob has stated that if the first 100 units are sold to San Pedrans (and from folks in the other three areas), he will put into reserve another 100 units for those qualifying folks.
Wouldn't that whole process put a damper on real estates sales and Realtors who are trying to market homes of folks who won't want to move into Ponte Vista.
It seems to me, and I am not very knowledgeable about real estate practices, that if a developer singles out groups of folks he his trying to get to buy his product by offering reserved units and money-saving schemes, it might depress the prices of homes not included in the scheme.
Does that sound like a developer who claims to know San Pedro, or care about the real estate market on the whole in our area.
If real estate folks are not going to be marketing units at Ponte Vista, might they be left out of the loop and have to watch the homes they are representing having to have their prices lowered because of what Bob wants to do?
Let's say Mr. and Mrs X want a senior unit at Ponte Vista. The home they have been living in for 30+ years is paid for and they can take their Prop 13 savings with them because of the grandfather clause they can have. They will have plenty of money to pay cash for their new unit at Ponte Vista because of the profit they will make when their house sales. Might Mr. and Mrs X want to lower the price of the home they are living in, just to get into Ponte Vista as one of the first 100 buyers? They will probably qualify for the 5% discount on the new unit, so there is an incentive to sell their old home quickly so they can move in sooner.
What might that do to the prices of the homes that are for sale in the neighborhood that Mr. and Mrs. X are abandoning? Mr. and Mrs. X get a new home, a discount on that home, a quicker sale on their older home because they can discount it for a faster sale. What does that say about the rest of the market?
This is all perfectly legal, what Bob is proposing to do, but is it right for the rest of the community? Real Estate agents might have to take less money because of the lowered sale prices on all the units in the area. Sellers who aren't going to move into Ponte Vista will see their income or profit drop because they will have to lower their price to compete with Mr. and Mrs. X.
Unless somebody can explain this differently, I think this plan might cause more pain to more folks in San Pedro and the three other areas, who will be trying to sell their homes, but not move into Ponte Vista.
One set of winners in this scenario, will be the folks selling units at Ponte Vista. The folks who leave their SFR and never had to pay association dues, homeowner fees, and maintenance fees will probably get a bit of a shock when those monthly bills come in, while living in a condominium community.
There may be some winners in the "back fill" area. Those are the folks buying the homes folks sell to move into Ponte Vista. Those buyers will probably have more leverage in having the price lowered because the sellers want to move into Ponte Vista sooner and may lower their price, even more.
Does Bob Bisno really care about San Pedro. He seems to care about the folks who will buy into his development and can't seem to bother with the rest.
Oh, and another thing. Bob stated and listed the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council as a supporter of his plans. They have not as yet endorsed Bob's plans, no matter what their President says. I have the documentation, the declaration from the chair of the Land use and Planning Committee, and a certain Vice President's acknowledgement that CSPNC did NOT endorse Ponte Vista.
We are still waiting for Bob's promise of supplying the breakdown as to the number of each type of unit he planned and plans on building, whether it was for the 2,300-unit project, or the 1,950-unit project. He wrote that the breakdown was being reviewed, but he has not published those breakdown(s) he promised in his development's newsletter.
Local residents who buy into Ponte Vista, first. Everyone else, he simply doesn't care about, it seems.
I can't imagine so many members of OUR community trusting this developer and not caring about his past, what he has claimed during the processes, and what he may do in the future.
Have many supporters decided to overlook some very questionable dealings involving Bob Bisno in other projects? What makes this developer someone so many folks fall lock-step behind.
What do supporters of Bob's really know about him and some of his dealings?
Have they looked at his High School transcripts?
Do they know what Bob did in Berkeley?
Have they examined the problems Bob caused at Lincoln Place in Santa Monica?
Don't they care that he has made factual misstatements about the Ponte Vista project, both with the survey and in other writings?
Don't they care he has promised breakdowns in writing but has not delivered what he has promised?
Do supporters really believe Bob will still use union workers if he is not allowed to build the number of units he currently wants to build?
Why are so many "real San Pedrans" not even skeptical about Bob's past and what he may do to San Pedro?
Don't supporters of his want to know the kind of person he really is?
Too many of Bob's supporters seem to have a blind eye when it comes to learning some real facts about the project and the developer, it seems to me.
There have been many individuals throughout history that seem to get support from folks who didn't take the time or effort to really learn about the people they were falling into line with. There have been some very, very bad outcomes in some of those cases.
I wish more folks were cautious about placing the future of San Pedro behind someone they choose not to really get to know. There have been some supporters of Bob's who have asked me to identify him at the start of CAC meetings. Shouldn't supporters want to know who they are staking some of their reputations behind.
When Bob showed all those names on the screen at the last CAC meeting, he was showing names of individuals who will probably need to come up with some excuse for supporting Bob if the project turns out to be a detriment to OUR Community.
There are some individuals within the community who seem to have placed their reputations into the hands of Bob Bisno. So far it seems, they have fallen behind a developer who thinks he knows more about San Pedro than they do. This is demonstrated by Bob's two proposals, both of which are for too many units, as many people, including many supporters, correctly believe.
Did supporters of Bob's know that he got into some hot water with his neighbors in Beverly Park because of some of the things on his property did not follow the CC&R rules set forth for all residents? If Bob can make trouble on his own property, what might he do for land he will try to develop and then abandon, once he gets what he wants?
I thought real San Pedrans were more intelligent than to follow someone and stake their future on someone they don't really know or want to know. I think that if you look up "Robert Bisno", "Robert H. Bisno", "Bob Bisno", or "Lincoln Place Santa Monica" on Google.com, you might get a better picture of the real Bob Bisno. There are sites that are both critical and supportive of Bob, so I am writing up front that not all of the sites are critical.
Folks should get to know the developer they are pinning their hopes, dreams, and futures on.
OUR community cannot afford any Monday Morning Quarterbacks on the Ponte Vista issue. We only have one chance to get it right, and I am not trusting the Quarterback on the supporting team, at all.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I will put the trivia first: Bob Bisno's new proposal for Ponte Vista at San Pedro!
This plan was roundly condemned by opponents, government leaders, bureaucrats, and even many supporters of Bob's Ms. Hahn thought so little of it that she apparently instructed the members of her advisory committee to come up with their own proposal and not even take the time to review Bob's plan before they came up with their own recommendations.
"Nineteen fifty is not too swifty!?
R1 petition signatures gatherers so far stands at 8,766 as of June 21. That is 5,670 signatures gathered in just short of three months! Every single signature received was collected at a cost of ZERO dollars and ZERO cents.
Every single signature collected on pro-Bisno petitions, survey cards, sign-up cards, interested buyers cards and forms, were touched by folks receiving paid compensation if one form or another to receive, collect, and process them.
I think it is becoming more obvious that all of the L.A. Area needs to stop for some time and rethink "smart growth" and higher density developments.
The Mayor of Redondo Beach has suggested a moratorium on any new building.
The City of Rolling Hills Estates has ended its "Overlay Zone"
Recall Jack Weiss is growing momentum
L.A. City Attorney Rocky D. seems to be in a bit of hot water.
Mayor V. of L.A. has been rumored that he will become a new father.
The developer of Ponte Vista at San Pedro is calling only for about a 15% reduction in the number of units he wants to build
Playa Vista has new lawsuits being issued the longer it continues to be built out.
The housing market is in a crunch.
Centre Street Lofts is offering a 2-year-no HOA dues and fees incentive to attract new buyers to a development that is not selling out fast enough.
None of these issues by themselves can make us rethink decisions about building higher density housing. Taken together they seem to paint a picture of a larger community that does not want higher density building, at least now and for the time being.
Politicians can't be trusted. Units are going unsold, communities are scaling back their outlook on developments, and there seems to be a growing call stating: "enough is enough."
The greater L.A. metropolitan area has a higher population density than New York City, I have been told. Why should the folks already living here accept more high density housing that will only increase the nightmares on everyone and decrease the quality of life for all of us?
We may "need" the housing, but an ever-growing number of us do not "want" higher density developments. We pay our taxes, we buy items in this area, why shouldn't we get what we want?
It is important to vote on June 25, for Board of Director seats on the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council. Making a statement that you support the candidates you support and coming out in numbers demonstrate to everyone that the Board can remain a strong Board and they can influence poloticos and bureaucrats. A large voter turnout means that the Board can use those turnout numbers to demonstrate its strength when confronting balking individuals they have to deal with.
For information on voting and candidates, please read other posts on this blog.
A wonderful person has come up with an interesting slogan that I printed on some buttons and it seems to be quite true:
"IF YOU DON'T VOTE, YOU DON'T COUNT!"
The petition signing table is scheduled to be at Trader Joe's from Noon until 3:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. There will not be any petition gathering at Peck Park on Monday June 25! The R1 group is not going to do what Bob and his gang attempted to do last year, and place anything in the park. If you want to qualify yourself to vote in the election by signing the R1 petition, you need to do it prior to June 25.
Tom Field has posted his thoughts about Bob's new plan, on his blog. We still agree to disagree about the size and scope of the project, but I was not as upset with his post as he thought I might be.
His criticism of Chuck Hart and Ray Patricio's comments that I too feel are racist, were fine by me. I think Joe Donato, who is running for honorary Mayor of San Pedro, was out of line and didn't understand that CAC members get to talk all they want, but the public only gets a limited time to comment. If Joe doesn't like what CAC members say, then he probably should not attend those meetings and find some other way to support Bob.
Thursday June 28, same time, same place, is the next CAC meeting.
A friend of mine was contacted by a person who knew Bob Bisno when they were both very young. I am trying to get confirmation on everything my friend told me before I publish what I learned. Stay tuned.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The voting will begin at 1:00 PM on Monday June 25, 2007 and last until 7:00 PM of the same day. The only polling place will be at the Peck Park Community Center.
All individuals who have signed the R1 petition to keep the Ponte Vista site with its current zoning of R1 are asked to vote in this very important election.
The members of the Steering Committee of R Neighborhoods Are 1 have made their recommendations and those recommendations are listed below.
I will identify each seat on the Board that is being considered for this election, the candidates, and the recommendation made by the Steering Committee.
For the Business Seat the candidates are: Russell Etheridge, Craig Goldfarb, and George Radosich. The Steering Committee endorses Mr. Craig Goldfarb.
For the Education Seat the candidates are the incumbent Bonnie Easley, and Larry Mersman. The Steering Committee endorses Mr. Larry Mersman.
For the Non-Profit Seat the candidates are Molly Abbatello, and John Lauro Jr. The Steering Committee endorses Ms. Molly Abbatello.
For the At-Large Seat, Mr. Peter Burmeister is running unopposed. The Steering Committee makes no recommendation for unopposed seats.
For Census Tract 2951 The candidates are the incumbent, Phil Nicolay and Frank Prieto. Mr. Andrew Mardesich apparently has withdrawn from this race, but had he remained in the race, the Steering Committee would have endorsed him. The Steering Committee now endorses Mr. Phil Nicolay for that seat.
For Census Tract 2963 the candidates are Dan Dixon and David Stanovich. The Steering Committee makes NO ENDORSEMENT of either candidate, for this seat.
For Census Tract 2964 the candidates are Chris Jourdano (sp?), Ray Olsen, and the incumbent, Ray Patricio. The Steering Committee endorses Mr. Ray Patricio.
For Census Tract 2970, John Mavar is running unopposed. The Steering Committee makes no endorsement in an unopposed race.
Every candidate did NOT pledge to demand R1 being kept at Ponte Vista to win endorsement from the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee believes that the candidates it endorses have the best interests of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and the community as a whole in their hearts and minds.
The steering committee did not use any particular special issue in determining which candidate to endorse. The committee has endorsed a candidate who represents Eastview Little League and supports that cause.
If you would like more information about the candidates, please visit: http://nwsanpedro.org/
and contact someone who can put you in touch with the candidate you want to learn more about.
This election is critical to form a solid group of Board members who will look out for the best interest of the community they represent. It should not be seen as an election based solely on Ponte Vista, but there needs to be a solid base of support for issues like Ponte Vista, working on environmental issues, dealing with Gaffey Street and the future Target Store, dealing with the Port of L.A., dealing with the Department of Sanitation to get them to move so more park space can be acquired, and many other issues.
It is true that the Steering Committee heartily endorses candidates like Mr. Craig Goldfarb and Mr. Ray Patricio for their demand to keep Ponte Vista with its current zoning of R1, but the committee also has endorsed others who want low density housing, but are not as open about their demand for R1 at Ponte Vista.
If I can help answering any questions I might know the answer to, regarding the candidates the Steering Committee endorses, please Email me.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The voting period, which begins at 1:00 PM at the Peck Park Community Center and lasts until 7:00 PM, will allow for voters who use "self affirmation" in belonging to the R1 group, to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
Any person over the age of 14-years old, who signed the "R1" petition, supporting that the Ponte Vista site remain with its current zoning, is a member of R Neighborhoods Are 1, and therefore eligible to vote in the election.
It is not necessary to actually live in the specific area which the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council covers. R Neighborhoods Are 1 members do not have to live in any particular city to be included as eligible voters.
No one needs to be a "registered voter" to vote in this election.
When you come to vote, you will be asked to fill out a form where you affirm that you are eligible to vote in this election. The form must be truthful and there is a statement that it is signed under penalty of perjury. Everyone needs to be honest and truthful when identifying themselves as being an eligible voter in this election.
Voters will be asked to vote after filling out the form, deposit their ballot, and then calmly and quietly leave the building. No campaigning may be done anywhere near the polling site.
If voters wish to return after 7:00 to wait for the preliminary results to be given out, that is something everyone can do.
There are three candidates I personally feel should be elected, at this time. I have written their names in a previous post.
I will post the recommendations that the Steering Committee of the R1 group makes on Thursday night for both this election and the July 10 election in the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council, where members of R Neighborhoods Are 1 also qualify to vote in.
You should vote according to the facts and opinions you learn about. Simply being recommended by R Neighborhoods Are 1, should not be the only factor in the choices you make and the votes you cast, I feel.
Doug Epperhart will have an article in Saturday's More San Pedro, which is an insert to the Daily Breeze. His column will provide many more facts about the candidates than this blog will post. I will provide a link to that column once it appears on Saturday. I will probably also "copy" it in its entirety for a post on this blog.
If you choose to be a one-issue voter, that is your choice. At least one group stacked the deck last year attempting to get pro-Bisno seats on the Board. There is a small slate of candidates heavily supporting Eastview Little League. I personally recommended one of those candidates be looked at favorably, but that is my own opinion.
The June 25 Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council election and the July 10 Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council election, are very important for all of us, I think. We need to work at beginning to heal some of the very open wounds Bob has created in this community and trying to bring all three Neighborhood Councils more together in their communications, working relationships, and their common goals for supporting San Pedro.
This is democracy in action at a basic community level. We may have little say in State and Federal issues, but helping to steer our local communities is something we all can do.
Please be concerned. Please be informed. Please vote on June 25.
Bob Bisno has stated that he will use numbers and figures used by Mr. Jerry Gaines and Mr. Pat Nave when working with his own traffic engineers, to create a more accurate picture of what traffic may be like in the future.
At this point I am believing Mr. Gaines and Mr. Nave with their traffic predictions than I am coming from everyone at Ponte Vista AND the L.A. City Department of Transportation.
Here is Mr. Nave's piece:
"Thanks for the update on the new iteration of Ponte Vista.
Unfortunately, the City and CAC seem to be continuing the basic mistake the City makes when it applies ITE trip data when they use the average for a land use designation. That does not comply with the City's own Guidelines.
Here's what I mean and why it matters.
The condo land use designation uses data from over 3000 projects nationwide. The average daily traffic per unit is 5.86, but the range is 1.83 to 11.79. As you can see, there are some condo projects in the data base that exceed the 9.57 average for single family projects.
It would be a misapplication of the data to assume that 429 single family units will generate as many trips per day as 1200 condominiums. The ITE Trip Generation chart shows that 1200 condos might well generate three or four times as many trips per day as 429 single family residences. Further, the City requires developers to use, and the City to apply, ITE Guidelines. The ITE Guidelines contain fitted curve equations that help tell you where in the range your project is likely to fall. When the City simply adopts the average it is not following the ITE Guidelines and is therefore violating its own rules.
The same problem extends to the peak hour trip generation numbers and is even more important there BECAUSE THE PEAK HOUR NUMBERS TELL YOU WHAT MITIGATION IS NEEDED AND WHAT INTERSECTIONS ARE AFFECTED.
The peak hour ranges are
AM .15 - 1.61 per unit, average of .44
For 1200 units, could be as high as 1,932 based on actual, observed projects.
PM .18 - 1.24 per unit, average of .52
For 1200 units, could be as high as 1,488 PM based on actual, observed projects."
This document was transmitted as an Email from Pat Nave to Mark Wells. The only editing I did was to “translate” letters from what was sent via a computer set for the Turkish characters, to standard lettering we use. Here is how the word "MITIGATION" appears in Mr. Nave's original Email: "MÝTÝGATÝON" Except that the little line at the top of the Y is actually a . in the middle of the two limbs of the Y.
I wrote to Mr. Nave concerning Bob's new 1,950-unit plan. Mr. Nave appears to be using a 1,200-unit scenerio. Mr. Nave also uses the 429-unit "R1" listing and not the "Bisno threatened" 724-unit count for his idea of R1, with a density bonus added.
Bob and I have talked about such a road for a long time, but I think it is fair to show everyone what some of the issues that would have to be contended with, if any such road is ever built.
Below is an overlapped illustration starting with an actual aerial photograph of Fitness Drive, the three condominium sites on that Drive, and an edge of The Gardens which have no access to either Fitness Drive or anything on the Ponte Vista site. It also includes a portion of the illustration of Bob's new proposal for Ponte Vista, scaled approximately along the correct lines.
Fitness Drive can be seen at the bottom of the photograph. The three condominium sites that share Fitness Drive are named and have their unit counts listed. The photograph was taken prior to any foundation construction of Seaport Luxury Homes, and so I mad that site plain.
Between The Tennis Club Condos and the Seaport Luxury Homes condo site, there is an alley. That alley provides access to parking for The Tennis Club and may provide access to Seaport's parking. That alley has balconies overhanging the alley and the south easternmost balcony has been damaged by tall vehicles that tried to use the alley.
On the far right of the picture you can see a portion of the driveway and garages for The Gardens. You should be able to see that Fitness Drive does not connect directly to any driveway or access to The Gardens and has a high retaining wall just to the south of Casa Verde Estates that is part of the Albertson's Parking lot.
Where does Bob or anyone else think an access road to fitness drive can be built, using just this illustration? It is possible to break through the garage-level wall of Seaport Luxury Homes to provide access to the public road. Would Seaport's developer have to pay for that? Would folks living at The Tennis Club and Casa Verde Estates be able to use such a road?
What do you think might happen to the 6-acre public park if the alley off of Fitness Drive was seriously considered to provide a link to the public road at Ponte Vista?
How might Bob provide access from Fitness Drive to any public road if there is a portion of The Gardens separating Fitness Drive to the boundary of Ponte Vista?
Could or should a wall be busted out of the parking structure underneath Casa Verde Estates to provide access? Who would pay? Would all the residents living along Fitness Drive have to create a special fund to finance the project?
If a new route were constructed allowing folks living along Fitness Drive access to a public road at Ponte Vista, would others seeking a shortcut or for some other reason use that access to get to Ponte Vista or Mary Star's new campus?
Here is the one idea I can come up with for fixing this thing. Build an "alley along the border of Ponte Vista and the buildings beginning at the alley off of Fitness Drive. The new alley would run past both Seaport Luxury Homes and Casa Verde Estates. Punch big holes in the walls of those two structures for vehicles to get from the back of thier buildings to the new alley that intersects with the "traffic circle" that can be viewed along the public road of Ponte Vista. There would have to be some public park land removed, but that should get folks happy. Unless kids going to Mary Star cut through the alleys to get to their parking lot quicker than waiting with the backup at Avenida Apprenda.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Might these "meetings" indicate that the new proposal is as dead on arrival as so many folks are already commenting to me it is.
I had a very influential supporter comment that he was not happy at all with the new proposal. I had another blogger state that he will have a post soon concerning the new plan.
Perhaps Bob has discovered that in fighting with Rod Hamiliton as much as he has been over the SRHS #14 project, the two are becoming more alike!
Monday, June 18, 2007
I will, of course, create an opinionated post sometime Tuesday, but this post just lists what I heard and didn't hear during Mr. Bisno's presentation.
Here are some of the basics of the new proposal:
Total number of units: 1,950
Number of Senior Housing units: 850
Mr. Bisno did advise about the types of units, but not the specific breakdown of the number of each type of unit.
Number of 2,3,and 4-bedroom Town house units, attached, but set apart from pedestal styled buildings: 100.
Mr. Bisno did not offer a breakdown as to the number of each type of unit in this section. Units like what was proposed did not appear in the original plan. These units will also have their own separate garages.
Number of unit in the podium or pedestal style buildings: 1,000.
Mr. Bisno did not offer a breakdown as to the number of each type of the several types that will be offered, but said the majority of these types will be of the 2-bedroom variety.
Mr. Bisno said that the Senior Housing section would remain with gates and be guarded, but the rest of the project would be accessible by the public.
Mr. Bisno said that the new proposal will create approximately 12 acres of park and open spaces that would be open to the public.
Mr. Bisno will be offering 5% discounts to folks currently living in San Pedro and possibly a few other areas, and offer the first 100 units to persons currently residing in San Pedro.
No statement was given about the projected population, including student population in the new proposal.
Mr. Bisno did not state the added number of vehicle trips that 1,950-unit project would create on Western Avenue. He did state facts about "PM peak hour trip generation" and that those numbers was lower than what he called the "R1" proposal, which I won't get into on this post. It will be covered very well in a subsequent post, though.
I asked Mr. David Shinder, Bob's consulting traffic engineer how many added vehicle trips the new proposal would create on Western Avenue and he could not give me an answer. I asked him again, to be sure I heard him correctly and he again stated he did not know what the number would be.
The least priced unit would cost approximately $330,000.00, and the most expensive unit would be in the $1.1 Million Dollar price range.
Mr. Bisno stated that the tallest building be have no more than 4 storeys, with many buildings being 2-3 storeys.
Bob still is going with approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space.
1,950 is 84.78% of 2,300
1,950 is 114.7% of 1,700.
If anybody heard any of these facts or numbers different than I heard them, please let me know.
I dropped the quotes around the word, new because it is a new plan that seems to include more total numbers that even many supporters thought Bob would use.
Tom Field made a proposal on this blog with a total of 1,700 units. Bob's new proposal is about 115% higher than what Mr. Field proposed. Mr. Jerry Gaines also had a proposal early on that called for approximately 1,700 units. I bet Bob even surprised him with his higher total.
Bob's main attack on having R1 remain at Ponte Vista, during the rollout meeting, was a well crafted smokescreen that even some CAC members couldn't understand.
Within the first two minutes of Bob's rollout of his new plan, he stated and repeated that there would be no "low income" housing built at Ponte Vista.
When he tried to attack R1, he came up with a 35% increase in the total number of units (429) that an all R1 Ponte Vista would have, using California State mandates for "low income" housing.
Bob said that he would have to built 724 single-family detached houses at Ponte Vista, because that what is required by the State when "low income" housing is provided for a specific percentages of houses. But Bob stated that there would be "no low income" housing at Ponte Vista, so his references to 724 instead of the number of 429, which he did not mention at last night's meeting, was a smokescreen to try and get folks thinking about 724 instead of 429.
It worked fairly well for those who didn't really get that it was a smokescreen.
Betsy Weisman seemed to know it was a smokescreen because she repeatedly responded that Bob could also apply for a "density bonus" with his 1,950-unit plan AND if approved, he could add 35% more units to that 1,950-unit plan.
Some members of the CAC had questions about Bob's "low density bonus" in an all R1 environment. They seemed not to hear the first two minutes of his presentation when he stated there would be "no low income" units at Ponte Vista.
R1 supporters like me want to keep the current zoning at the Ponte Vista site. Bob wants to use "specific plan zoning" to build whatever he builds there. A specific plan can include any number of housing units from zero to whatever he wants. R1 is a zoning that requires up to a certain maximum number of single-family, detached houses, whether there is a density bonus or not.
IF, and let me repeat IF Bob seeks any kind of density bonus he must do so prior to anything being approved of at his site. He can not have a project approved of and then apply for a density bonus. Any density bonus application would have to be done prior to any L.A. City Council action on changing any of the current zoning at Ponte Vista.
Bob may threaten to sell of parcels and/or larger pieces of the Ponte Vista site if he doesn't get his way. With the R1 movement continuing to grow, I feel that nobody in their correct mind would buy pieces or parcels to build anything other than single-family homes. Who would take the gamble that Bob finds himself in?
15%. 350. Those two figures represent how many fewer units Bob now proposes for his site, than in his original plans. It appears to me that Bob wouldn't even listen to many of his supporters who called for some real compromise. Don't you think 30%-50% fewer units that 2,300 would have been a reasonable compromise for Bob that many R1 folks would have possibly agreed to? With Bob's outrageous new plan, he not only help seal a new goal of getting 20,000 signatures on the R1 petition, he pushed aside his own supporters who now are going to have to contend with an even stronger R1 movement and more calls for abandoning "smart growth" because he is proving it wasn't "smart" to begin with.
Bob brought new blood and life into the R1 movement because his new proposal still is unreasonable, irresponsible, unrealistic, and disrespectful to so many members of OUR community.
His call for 1,950 units means that there may be zero Senior Housing units built because he stabbed even his own supporters in the back with such a high total number of units. He did not protect Senior Housing units, he basically set them up for a fall, IMHO. Please remember I called for 700 Senior Housing units until just this past May 29, so don't try to say that I never supported Senior Housing in San Pedro.
Please "stay tuned" for part 3.
He talked about all the amenities, including some new ones, but he still hasn't provided a breakdown as to the number of units with numbers of bedrooms each, in each of the three sections. He did state that the majority of the units in the non-age restricted section will be of the 2-bedroom variety, but he didn't give more details.
He did provide price ranges for each type of unit, but he did not tell any of us what the median price or average price for units at the site would be.
He talked about "PM peak hour" traffic numbers, but there are about 23 other hours he did not reveal anything about trip generation on.
Bob did state that he would put "$1 Million Dollars" into a fund to provide specific mitigation for 8 items the CAC's traffic mitigation sub-committee brought up, but he didn't go into further details on how much he would be willing to spend on other traffic mitigation.
He continues to place his "Senior Housing" proposal right where LAUSD wants to put an 810-seat Senior high school, but he won't move the section closer to the shops on Western.
Last August Ms. Hahn stated that she did not like the 2,300-unit plan initially brought ot my Bob. Bob has taken 10 months to come up with about a 15% reduction in total number of units.
Ms Hahn instructed her CAC to continue with its recommendations process, and I think that signalled that she is not willing to look at Bob's 1,950-unit plan as being something reasonable to look at.
As for my quote in today's Daily Breeze about "1,000 units". I am not a die-hard super-duper demander of R1, but I feel strongly that it is the only thing to work for now that Bob won't even get close to 1,500. I feel it is reasonable to feel that IF a 1,000-unit Ponte Vista development was truly proposed, it would be irresponsible for me to not consider that. I think there are many R1 supporters that might be able to live with 1,000 units, but at this time, and with what Bob continues to propose, there must be NO COMPROMISE to keeping the current zoning at Ponte Vista and ensuring that only up to 429 units can be built there.
Bob continues to provide me with folly and fodder. He himself has been one of the biggest contributors to this blog. He can't seem to see that there may be a city-wide movement started to look more closely at higher density projects and the failure of "smart growth", which has been proving to be not so smart at all.
Bob slapped all the faces of his supporters with his 1,950-unit proposal and I can't see why they still stick around. Perhaps they are looking for an 1,800-unit proposal in another 10 months.
Bob has done nothing more that slow all of us down and grow stronger in or efforts to keep Ponte Vista with its current zoning. a 350-unit reduction is silly and not bright. Bob seems to be his own worst enemy.
Thank Bob, for making my tasks easier. I was able to think "Nineteen fifty, not too swifty" before I got into the hotel for the meeting. Having fun at you, your staff, and your supporters expense has been made easier with your 1,950-unit proposal.
Bob, you didn't even talk about the parking lots at the shopping areas all your new folks will need to park at.
I found your development catering to San Pedro residents interesting in that you apparently didn't consider who might move into the units vacated by S.P. residents that might move into Ponte Vista. I suppose you don't care about that, and it showed.
Your disgust with those of us living in the "Eastview" area of R.P.V. shows that you don't understand that many of our folks have much stronger ties to San Pedro than many of the current San Pedro residents. Trudie Drive was considered to be part of San Pedro when I moved in 52 years ago and there is a couple living on our block who have lived about 58 years in their same home. Many of us didn't vote on becoming part of R.P.V., and your ignorance of that is showing. Not considering folks like the Trani, Kordic, and other prominent families who happen to live on the west side of Western is disingenuous to many "Eastview" residents. Of course it is quite obvious that many folks currently living in eastern R.P.V. would never buy something at Ponte Vista, unless you considered some of the seniors in our area that MIGHT want to buy a dwelling at Ponte Vista, but are now cut out of your discount program.
Bob, when you look at many folks living in the Rolling Hills Riviera, Palo de Encino, Mira Costa Terrace, and Mira Vista tracts, you are looking at many "Real San Pedrans" who just happened to get caught in a little issue they didn't plan on being in when our area was annexed.
It appears you have only one staffer who actually lives in San Pedro coming to your site trailer. I may be mistaken about that, but if you consider that San Pedrans get the jobs for your project, I think you might want to request that Ms. Swanson sell her new condo in Torrance and move her into someplace in San Pedro. I bet the security guards don't even live in San Pedro.
Do you have that stinging feeling in your back as if somebody has stabbed you?
Do you have a sticky feeling on your cheek as if somebody smashed a half of a grapefruit on the side of your face?
Do you have a sinking feeling because Bob has once again, let you down?
I don't blame you for feeling like you got kicked in the stomach last night by a developer who just won't listen to so many of you and can't seem to crack is addiction to greed.
1,950 total units might just spell the demise of having any Senior Housing units built at Ponte Vista. Couldn't any of you get Bob to understand that? Up until May 29, 2007 I wished for 700 Senior Housing units at Ponte Vista, but Bob's new totals look to be just too many for the site.
I must fight hard to keep Ponte Vista with its current zoning as long as we are all facing a developer who refuses to understand not only his opponents, but also, to many of his supporters. I can't trust Bob and I don't know how any of you can still trust Bob.
One of Bob's supporters was visibly crying to Ms. Hahn last night. I think he is almost desperate for Senior Housing, but with 1,950 total units, and only a 350-unit reduction from 2,300, I don't understand why we should continue to deal with Bob's charade.
You don't have to dive off of the bandwagon though. I think there is an opportunity forthcoming to simply change bandwagons.
Have you ever considered "San Pedro needs to be C.U.R.D.? C.U.R.D. stands for Citizens United for Reasonable Development. Perhaps some of you Bisno supporters might want to consider creating a group like that. It would come up with its own proposals for the Ponte Vista project and have no affiliation with anyone at Bisno Development Co.
I would not think that would stop our quest to keep the current zoning at Ponte Vista, but you might find some like minded folks to help you.
John Greenwood, the Chair of the CAC had a drawing of approximately a 853-unit Ponte Vista site that he says would have the same traffic impact as R1. Perhaps that is a model that you might want to look at.
I have never been the strongest of R1 supporters. I only crossed over on May 29, 2007 and just about everybody knows that and needs to live with that. I am not ready to abandon the fight to keep Ponte Vista with its current zoning because I don't trust Bob and his 1,950-unit plan is so completely bad for all of us that I will not consider at this time of being C.U.R.D.
But a new group is one way to signal to Bob that he still doesn't get it and that you no longer have to follow someone who won't even listen to many of his own supporters.
How can supporters come anywhere close to justifying continuing to support Bob with only a 350-unit reduction in total number of units. All the new and upgraded amenities can get beyond the 15% fewer number of units. Increasing senior drivers on Western by 150 more units that I was considering, smacks of a developer who won't consider safety over greed.
I feel the supporters' ship is listing badly and there are lifeboats available to get onto a brand new ship that may want to float all by itself. Why stick to a sinking ship with a very troubled Captain, when you can find yourself a competent Captain on your own new ship.
Supporters, you got had from the beginning it appears, by a slick developer that wants to change the very nature of your town and OUR community. I don't want you to have to look back on a Monday morning and lament on what you supported the week prior.
Unity for at least one time!
Ponte Vista----Common Sense never really supported Bob's plans for 2,300 units We were all together on that first issue. But to see all three blogs come out against Bob's new plans just one day after it was proposed means that something needs to be looked at, in the Bisno camp.
Tom Field did "stretch" to offer a 1,700-unit development, with he and I wishing for a 700-unit Senior Housing section. But on May 29, I went over to what Mr. Field might consider to be "the dark side". We gave compromise a shot, but it was not to be, back then.
To read on Mr. Field's blog that he was in "Shock and Awe" with Bob's new proposal might mean that there are real supporters of Bob's wishing to bail, right now! Tom never claimed to be a true "Bisno supporter", and I accept that and appreciate that.
I hope Mr. Field exhibits the same rage at Mr. Bisno's new plans that he has leveled towards me in the past and I hope we are now well beyond that issue.
Mr. Field may also comment on the "way-out" thing that I mentioned on the blog and in an Email to him, on one of his future posts.
To get Calamari, Banditos Yanquis, Tom Field, Mark Wells, and a growing number of other people mad at Bob for his new proposal is a teeny-tiny step in finding unity in OUR community and that ain't bad.
I had what turned out to be a very enjoyable day for me and I capped it off with by going to a forum for candidates to the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council's upcoming election on June 25.
Today saw many uses of the Internet, blogging, Emailing, article writing, and writing other thoughts and issues concerning Ponte Vista. I learned that Bob's new plan was dead on arrival in just about every one's opinion, even some supporters. Hearing and reading from many comments was very informative as to just how many people, with so many different opinions, all now feel that Bob's new plan was probably the worst thing he could have possible come up with.
I couldn't find one person who supported Bob's new plan and I looked hard to find at least one. None of the candidates at the forum for Northwest liked his new plan, even the ones put up by Joe Gatlin.
Did Bob's new plan rile you enough to finally get you more active in seeking what you really want to see at Ponte Vista? Are you willing to step up your efforts at snail mail writing, Emailing and calling Janice Hahn and others with your thoughts? Are you willing to now become more active in the R1 movement by spending some time helping that group achieve its primary goal? Might you now consider some type of alternative group participation other than supporting Bisno or the R1 group?
Getting very active right now might cement what may really happen at Ponte Vista. Your input is needed now more than ever and your efforts are required if you want what you want to be built or kept at the site.
At the forum for candidates for the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council, I found one individual who I want to write about and give my personal endorsement to, at this time.
I will be posting recommendations for seats that come from R Neighborhoods Are 1, as information in an upcoming post, but there is one seat that deserves my attention and concerns me on a personal level.
I think there are two candidates running for a seat in census tract 2963. The two candidates are the incumbent, Dan Dixon, and the challenger David Stanovich.
These two names are important to know and both of them have provided many hours of volunteer work for OUR community. Both gentlemen want the best for OUR community in their own ways, but only one of them can have the seat for the next two years.
Mr. Dixon has been on the Neighborhood Council and also is a member of Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista project. Mr. Dixon has worked hard on the Kinder Morgan issues and the reuse of that property.
David Stanovich is the President of Eastview Little League. I must state again that I have a certain bias towards Eastview as a former player (1964), but I have also raised questions about their strategies lately. Mr. Stanovich is passionate about aiding the youth of OUR community.
David Stanovich said during the forum that he is "pro R1" for Ponte Vista, but he would like to see some Senior Housing units and he may want to look at a much lower density project on the site, at some future date.
I am having continuing struggles with Mr. Dixon's views on the Ponte Vista issues. I feel he is not serving his Neighborhood Council with his current position on the Ponte Vista matters. He continues to not be a strong supporter of R1, and I think Mr. Stanovich leans more towards what I would prefer to see at the site, at this time.
Mr. Dixon has served the Neighborhood Council very well, up until his "waffling" on the Ponte Vista matter. He has donated time and efforts in service, but I feel there needs to be a change of seat in the 2963 census tract.
David Stanovich does carry some heavy baggage in this community with his interest in Eastview. he did state that he state tonight, concerning both Eastview Little League and the Dog Park that "both can exist in their own place. He doesn't seem to be too happy having to have the dog park moved, but he never said tonight what other candidates said when they stated "kids come first." I liked hearing from Mr. Stanovich even with his lofty position at Eastview Little League that he favors having a dog park someplace. He even said that one proposal was to have one field for Eastview on Knoll Hill temporarily and sharing the top of the hill with the dog park, while having a second Eastview field in another location.
I know perfectly well that Eastview Little League is a private business and needs to work harder at finding its own solution to their problems. I don't favor providing public spaces for private groups without compensation.
But for now, it is my personal endorsement to hope that voters find favor in electing Mr. David Stanovich to replace Mr. Dan Dixon on the census tract 2963 seat of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood council.
There are two other candidates I think you should also vote for, but I will cover more about them in a future post.
Ray Patricio needs to be reelected in census tract 2964. I'll provide lots of reasons later.
Craig Goldfarb is seeking a "business" seat on the Council. I feel very strongly that he deserves election to that seat, but I will write more about him in the future.
Was today a long day for you, too? We finally got our master bedroom re carpeted after a four-month wait filled with fiascoes and many problems. Now we are waiting on new curtain rods to hold up very heavy new curtains.
I don't know how many of those enjoying that dinner will even know what is happening tonight, or if they really care.
Bob is supposed to reveal his "new" plans for the Ponte Vista site.
Folks seem to want me to know what they feel the total number of units will be, or they offer it to lots of folks. I have heard that "Bob can make a profit with only 600 houses", to 1,950-units.
There are many folks who think somewhere from 1,500-1,700 units will be suggested. I don't know the total number at this time, but if it is too high, I think Bob will be shooting himself down with many of the "supporters" who have held on even though they didn't like 2,300 in the first place.
I wonder what the supporters' spin will be if Bob proposes more than 1,500 units, or even 1,700 units for that matter. I hope many of them will think harder before supporting unit totals that exceed 1,700, but I know that many supporters are looking at 1,700 as the highest reasonable number, even though lots of folks think even that is too high.
I am asking your forgiveness for my probable LOL during the meeting tonight. If what has been told to me is anywhere near close, I'll be watching supporters' faces and see if they make an angry face when Bob finally reveals his totals.
Waiting for almost ten months for Bob to finally come up with a "new" proposal only to find it only several hundred fewer total units than 2,300, is already inexcusable, I feel. Considering that if a figure between 1,700 and let's say 1,951 total units comes up, and I don't know that it will, may portend even a longer mission is in store while we have to see if folks will stand by Bob for a third "new" proposal, hopefully in a shorter time frame.
I should have the preliminary numbers on this blog by 10:00 PM tonight. If you are on the R1 Email list that doesn't have the addresses revealed, I will try and get those who run that Email list put something up either later tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Stay tuned, this is going to be an interesting evening!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
None of the vehicles shown in the two photographs were part of a funeral procession, this is what Western normally looks like, even on a Saturday. The photo below was taken by me standing at the Ponte Vista site entrance at Green Hills Drive and Western Avenue. The red light is at the intersection of Avenida Aprenda and Western Avenue. At the top of the photo is the intersection of Delasonde/Westmont and Western Avenue.
This shot shows that it appears not too many folks are trying to go towards San Pedro, but are trying to find their way out of San Pedro and eastern R.P.V.
Now here is another shot taken from about the same location. You can see Bruce Horton's waving hand in the foreground. Just beyond Bruce and attend her first Western Avenue demonstration is Terri Wells. Looking south we see not too much traffic for a Saturday afternoon.
Now look at the top of the photo. Can you see the white car attempting to turn into the Rite-Aid parking lot? Look closer and there seems to be another white car approaching the white car attempting to turn through its path. Fortunately the car traveling north was going slow enough to avoid hitting the car intruding on its path. I did not tamper with this photo in any way, other than resizing it to fit on this post. Had the northbound car not been going as slow as it was, it would either have had to hit the car crossing its path or attempt to swerve out of the other car's way and possibly go into the slow lane. The sign blocks any view of another car in the slow lane traveling north on Western.
If Bob actually adds to the number of Senior Housing units at Ponte Vista that he wants to build and IF they are approved of, how many more "senior" drivers would attempt to make the same left hand turn the unidentified driver attempted in this photo? Whether going to Rite-Aid, Albertson's or any other shop or restaurant in that shopping area, there are two uncontrolled left-hand turn lanes that drivers can use.
If Bob is allowed to build with greater density than R1, would the driver of that white car crossing the path of the other white car even find an empty parking spot after the car entered the lot?
Pretend that this photo was taken after the building of even 1,200 units at Ponte Vista. Then think about what the snarl would be if the two white cars actually collided. Even for a short time, many, many drivers would be troubled by trying to navigate around all the emergency vehicles and tow trucks cleaning up the mess of that one careless driver.
Sure, the number one issue is traffic. Where would careless drivers, more elderly drivers, more potential collisions, full parking lots, and other issues fit into the equation?
Now pretend that the careless driver cut in front of a truck carrying hazardous materials and a collision resulting in the release of those hazardous materials occurred. It really isn't that hard to pretend, is it.
As we await folks suggesting that this blog sometimes deals with issues as if "the sky is falling", please note that if proper examination and investigation into all aspects of any large development being built at the Ponte Vista site is overlooked or not done correctly, then all of us, including supporters of Bob's will become Monday Morning Quarterbacks in a situation that cannot be fixed.
If you don't think something like this could happen, just ask Donald Rumsfeld or the designers of the Titanic. OUR community cannot afford to screw this one up.
I didn't. But the wife of an R1 supporter got an invitation to have dinner for free prior to attending the CAC meeting.
Seeing all those "new" faces at several CAC meetings and knowing Bob wasn't providing dinner at the hotel got me suspecting that he was "inviting" folks to have a free dinner on him prior to sitting down for at least a portion of the CAC meeting. When I wrote that many of Bob's "supporters" did not stay for the entire meeting, and looked like they had no clue of what they were attending, at the CAC meeting, made me suspect that he was providing something for free to folks who were "encouraged" to attend the CAC meetings.
So Monday evening, if you want to find some of Bob's "supporters", all you need to do is visit the Green Onion, just a short walk from the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and watch all the folks get their "free" meal, coincidentally, just before the CAC meeting.
"Paying" petition gatherers or supporters, it's just money to Bob.
There are many reasons we all bother to read, write, and write to these blogs. Probably the most important "bother" is the bother created by an out of town developer suggesting he knows what is best for OUR community. It will probably become evident why we bother to fill up the main ballroom of the Crowne Plaze Hotel, Monday evening when Bob's reveals his "new" plans to folks other than Janice Hahn, who has already been bothered with this "new" plan.
We "bother" because it seems to be that the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project is the most divisive issue to split OUR community apart in a very, very long time. The bother of having to deal with such a huge issue that pits friends and community members against each other, is not healthy for OUR community, and has created bothersome wounds that may not heal quickly.
Bob has bothered us, with taking about ten months to bother himself with revealing plans he could have made, or perhaps did make, many months ago.
Many supporters were bothered by his original plans such as some of them still have to hide their true identity, lest they be bothered by other supporters.
I again thank two supporters who bothered to share their thoughts about compromise months ago, yet Bob did not bother to listen to them, then.
You bother to read this blog because you feel I can provide many true facts and offer opinions that you can use and make judgements on your own.
Many of you bother to write your opinions and share you facts with comments and contributed posts, and I appreciate that.
Some of you view and write to this blog because you are a supporter of Bob and think this blog is bad for OUR community.
One individual is so bothered with this blog that another blog was started. I am sure that blog bothers the person who created it, for just feeling like he had to create it. Sometimes though, he is too bothered with little things like the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and affords himself the right of moderation (censorship) when he is bothered by folks who question and attack his positions.
Many of the readers of this blog are extremely bothered by the prospects of over development in northwest San Pedro and the rest of OUR community. Having to be threatened by ridiculous traffic problems, parking issues, limited emergency egress, quality of life issues, infrastructure problems, and a host of other issues, bothers so many people.
I think we bother because we really care about ourselves, our families, and our environment. We bother to read and write because we need to protect what we need, and not what someone else tries to tell us we need to provide to others.
We bother because we feel nobody else will bother to believe what we believe and fight for us. We bother because some of us feel we can find ways to bother those who we feel are not listening or learning what we want to tell them.
We bother because if we don't, OUR community might look to much like the west side of L.A. and parts of Santa Monica. We bother because San Pedro is San Pedro, different is so many ways.
Keeping over development from growing in OUR community, we all need to bother our leaders and others with our opinions and facts, to demonstrate to all of them that enough is enough and sometimes more is not better.
You bother because you care.
Why bother? Because we have to.
Friday, June 15, 2007
There will be a demonstration sponsored by R Neighborhoods Are 1, beginning at 11:00 AM on Saturday June 16, 2007, outside the fencing of the Ponte Vista site on Western Avenue.
Signs will be available, banners will abound, and hoots and hollers will accompany the honking of horns from drivers of cars attempting to drive on Western Avenue.
Look for the big white van with the giant banner. You can park on the west side of Western Avenue and use the lights and crosswalks at either Avenida Aprenda or Green Hills Drive to meet the rest of the folks using their right of assembly to protest against such a large project being built in northwest San Pedro.
When Googling "ponte vista san pedro california" on the main serch page, there are about 384,000 sites listed. The majority of them have absolutely nothing to do with the project.
Refining a Google search to exactly match "ponte vista san pedro california" find 0 sites.
Refining a Google search to exactly match "ponte vista san pedro" finds 7 sites.
The really big meeting that should pack the main ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Pedro is Monday June 18, 2007, beginning at 6:00.
To get the great cookies Mr. Bisno provides for the audience, please arrive early as they were all gone by mid-meeting, last time.
The "real" food that is kept some distance away from the audience is for the members of the Community Advisory Committee, city staffers, and folks from the Bisno Development team. Audience members should step up to that table as the food is not intended for them.
This CAC meeting is where we all finally get to learn what Bob's "new" plans for the development are. An article in the Daily Breeze suggested that Bob would propose more Senior Housing units than the 575 in his original plan, and that the total number of all units would be fewer than the 2,300-units in the original plan.
It appears that groups on both ends of the issue have called for a large showing of people at this meeting, so please arrive early.
June 19, 2007 at the Peck Park Community Center, the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council is having a candidates' forum for their election, slated for June 25, 2007 beginning at 1:00 PM, again at Peck Park.
You are all invited to listen to all the candidates who choose to speak and learn their positions on a wide variety of issues, not just Ponte Vista. Some candidates appear to be supporters of Eastview Little League and they may talk about their hopes to find a permanent home and their feelings about the new Target store that will be built near the corner of Capitol and Gaffey Streets.
According to Mr. John Greenwood, the chair of Ms. Hahn's Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Ponte Vista project, the CAC's mission will not end on July 24, as may have been rumored.
After the June 18 meeting where Mr. Bisno will unveil he "new" proposal, there will be a meeting on June 28, and July 24, 2007. It is expected that the CAC will take a break from their duties for a bit of time and then return to continue to analyse Mr. Bisno's "new" plans and try to make their recommendations concerning the "new" plans, to Ms. Hahn.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The short paragraph above is from the Constitution of the United States of America. It is part of the first ten amendments of the Constitution and is the first amendment of the Bill of Rights.
I think, using this paragraph to suggest that those wishing to sign the R1 petition while attending the Cabrillo Beach celebration of Independence Day, should have the right to just that.
In the Declaration of Independence there is a sentence. It states:
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
The Declaration of Independence, which we celebrate its publication every year on July 4, tells us that King George III of England did not take heed on the petitions from those who wanted a f country free of his tyranny. Although neither Mr. Bisno or Ms Hahn are tyrants by any means, many community members have felt, and still feel that they have no say in what may happen at Ponte Vista, and some have even told me that the "deal is already done!"
We all have the opportunity to use whatever democracy we feel we still have and use it in the best way we can for ourselves, our families and OUR community. Let's not forget what the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution say and mean. Too many souls have fought and died protecting these two documents and all of us still here, to remember them and keep these two documents alive and still relevant, today.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The first article is about the Mayor of Redondo Beach seeking a change of zoning moratorium.
For the next few days you can read it by going to the following site:
The larger article concerns the City of Rolling Hills Estates ending their Peninsula Overlay Zone.
It can be viewed for the next several days at:
This article talks about fears concerning traffic, even though the Overlay Project was designed to provide more pedestrian access between the residential developments and the business in the area of the shopping areas and condominium developments already approved of, or still in the planning stages.
It appears to me that both articles suggest what David Zanhiser was trying to get across in his long article in last week's L.A. Weekly. That article which can be read on posts below, is titled:
"What's Smart About Smart Growth?"
Mr. Zanhiser's article, the problems on the West side of Los Angeles in Jack Weiss' council district, Ponte Vista at San Pedro, the issue with the Rolling Hills Overlay Zone, and the possibility of a change of zoning moratorium in Redondo Beach, may be the first salvos in a larger battle between developers and folks already living in the greater who are saying, "enough is enough" as far as large developments go.
Interest rates are rising. Overall, CNN.com reports that housing sales have slowed down in many areas. Is this the start of a time of real questioning developers about building such large developments, and so many of them?
It is not necessarily that we don't need more housing in the area, many folks seem to not have been convinced about the real need, it could be that many more people are stating they don't want higher density housing developed anywhere near their homes.
Ponte Vista is just one development that can be seen as just another high density development being forced on the community by a developer. It certainly is not the only one, bordering on the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The big condo developments Jack Weiss loves to see built on the West side of L.A. border some areas of Santa Monica. Cities seem to not put too much care into how their high density developments affect their bordering cities.
Perhaps it may not be solely traffic issues that have Mr. Bisno coming out with a new proposal on June 18. Traffic seems to be the biggest factor in Rolling Hills Estates, Redondo Beach, the West side, and other areas, but there are now some real infrastructure issues that more members of OUR community are concerned about.
The more we seem to read in the newspapers and on the Internet about population density, it looks like more individuals are interested in questioning whether high density developments are truly good to have in their own environment.
Bob Bisno called folks who demanded R1 be kept at Ponte Vista, "ranting elitists". Would it be fair if he used the same term for those concerned about over development in Rolling Hills Estates, Redondo Beach, and in many places on the West side of L.A.?
Let's all keep our eyes and ears open to find out what folks in other areas really think about having more higher density housing near their homes. It is perfectly true that the density of dwellings that Mr. Bisno wanted to build at Ponte Vista would fit into the city's category of "medium density". Knowing the "The Gardens" in San Pedro is about 13 dwellings per acre and Mr. Bisno's original plan called for 37 dwelling units per acre, gives all of us a real example of what the city calls "medium density" and what we can see for ourselves at "The Gardens".
Two good questions to create your own answers for:
Do we really need developments like Ponte Vista along Western Avenue, and higher density projects, because government agencies tell us there is a need?
Do we want developments like Ponte Vista along Western Avenue, and lower density projects that have less impact on all of us?