Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21, CAC Meeting

Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project conducted what may well be its final meeting on Monday August 21, 2007.

The main purpose of the meeting was to finalize and approve the report the committee wrote for Ms. Hahn, OUR community, surrounding cities, and the greater L.A. area.

The final report was approved by unanimous vote of the 10 members present at the meeting.

I will try to get the report available via this blog as soon as possible and we expect that the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council will have it available on their Web site soon.

Many of the members of the CAC were very frustrated with the bureaucracies in the City of Los Angeles, and the entire committee found great fault in the Los Angeles City Department of Transportation.

Committee members were also very frustrated with the fact that no compromise proposal for the number of units the committee might have wanted at Ponte Vista, could be reached.

It is now time to reflect on the mission of the CAC and whether they were even able to do their intended mission in the first place.

I am inviting everyone to comment on what their own feelings are about the CAC and whether folks feel they were able to represent OUR community.

Of course, this being my blog and having the history I have, I will take some time to deal with how I saw the mission of the CAC and whether it had a chance to fulfill the mission that both Ms. Hahn and Bob Bisno charged us with, last September.

Compromise. The CAC couldn't come up with a compromise and I couldn't even get "XXX" to agree to a reasonable compromise.

One of the biggest problems with the CAC trying to find a compromise is that Bob chose not to effectively deal with compromise as far as the CAC was concerned. I think by looking back at all the meetings, it is quite evident that Bob had absolutely no intention of even pursuing any real compromise, both with the CAC or OUR community.

Bob made it almost impossible from the get-go to ever consider any compromise numbers because he was and is still seeking to build a giant project in northwest San Pedro.

Compromise was also found to be impossible because the departments within L.A. City government were not really considering the CAC as a truly viable panel, in my opinion. The Planning Department did have representatives at every meeting and they did supply information and some guidance, but when it came to "Planning 101" they only came up with ideas that suited their ideas and not what the CAC was attempting to suggest.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation was not only failing in all aspects of policy interpretation, but their personnel were condescending to the CAC and were not willing to actively work with the CAC or other departments within the L. A. bureaucracy, to come up with any sort of real information that the CAC could use in order to try to create a compromise in the number of units for Ponte Vista.

Five members of the CAC wrote a statement that is included in the final report critical of the CAC's recommendations for R1 or its equivalent at Ponte Vista. This group did seek to have a recommendation considered that would allow for a number of multi-family units IF the majority of units built at Ponte Vista consisted of Senior Housing units. I personally thought that their statement was relevant and their recommendation was not for R1 or any large number of units, unless Senior Housing was the majority of units constructed.

My comments about the CAC are based on the fact that I was a member of that body until I became a member of the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission and I concluded that I could better serve if I chose only one master. I knew that my leaving would mean that there were voices remaining on the CAC that were superb in representing my own positions and views and my leaving didn't really amount to anything more than my having much less opportunity to speak at the meetings.

I attended every single meeting of the CAC, whether I was a member or not. I arrived before each meeting and left after every meeting had concluded. I listen, learned, and was very involved with the CAC as a member or a member of the audience. In all the meetings, I only chose not to speak one time, and at that meeting, I submitted written comments.

When it comes to the CAC, I know of where I speak.

Whether you want to believe it or not, the members of the CAC represented OUR community and there is absolutely nothing anyone can say or write that could ever disprove that fact. I am quite sure that had the CAC recommended 1,950-units, the supporters of Bob's blight would chime in that they represented the community.

Many individuals and groups were very surprised when the CAC resolved to recommend that the density at Ponte Vista remain equal to R1 density. That decision was extremely hard to reach for many of the members of the CAC who tried so desperately to find some kind of compromise numbers. It did not help that Bob spent the entire existence of the CAC unwilling to even respectfully discuss any sort of compromise. If anyone is to "blame" for the recommendations that the CAC made, that "blame" falls directly on Bob's shoulders.

The CAC served OUR community when so many others hid behind supporting whatever Bob wanted. I feel when you read the names of the members of the various Boards that Bob has, you should view those names as folks who had their own personal interests more in mind that what is best for OUR community.

One member of the CAC asked Jeff and David from City Planning what the path forward for the process is. Here is what was explained;

Now the City Planning Department will review Bob's new application for 1,950-units as they now have the tract map. The department will collect all necessary data and then work to come up with a specific plan they feel is for the best use of the property.

When the City Department of Planning is ready, they will hold meetings to consider their issues and then pass their recommendations on to the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission will hold hearings and if necessary, move the issue back to the Department of City Planning, before the Planning Commission makes its recommendations.

Once the L.A. City Planning Commission has approved their recommendations, the process moves to the Los Angeles City Council.

The Los Angeles City Council may have a committee review the project and that committee can move the process back to the Planning Commission or the Planning Department staff.

Once everything is considered by committees, Commissions, and Departments, the Los Angeles City Council will be given a series of ordinances for approval or rejection.

The 15-member Los Angeles City Council will finally vote on ordinances that may become new City laws that might allow Bob build on the property, if the measures receive majority votes.

IF the Los Angeles City Council adopts ordinances for the Ponte Vista site, then many things could happen.

Bob could seek permits to start building whatever the L.A. City Council approves of. Bob may attempt to sell the property once the new zoning is enacted, IF it is. Bob may have other alternatives that we don't know about yet.

Whatever happens toward building anything new on the 61.53 acres, it is going to take probably at least 6 more months before the process gets to the Planning Commission.

There are many more things concerning Ponte Vista we still don't know. The only thing we really know now, is that the Community Advisory Committee has finished with its basic work at making recommendations for Ms. Hahn and other City Council members to look at.

Absolutely nothing is binding, nothing has changed legally, there is still no human on this or any other planet who knows how many units may be built at Ponte Vista.

The CAC has constructed a report that will go out into OUR community and many other communities that will state how difficult there tasks were and what lessons may be learned from this experience.

Please stay tuned. Nothing is over and we all have a very, very long way to go.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 is going, growing, and not about to let up in its quest to keep the property with its current zoning.

We should all keep OUR community second to none as we venture out and help the new movement grow that suggests that over development in the greater L.A. area must slow down and we all need to respond to what is truly happening in this entire area.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

while several members may not have agreed with the final report issued by the CAC, the attempt at including the community on such a project is heartening. still, the process needs polishing.