Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Recommendation by a Minority of the CAC

Here is the last paragraph of "An Alternate Option for the Site" as included in the Final Report of Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee for the Ponte Vista project;

"It is our recommendation, based on information received and analyzed, that the Ponte Vista project be a mixed-use, multi-family development with final density to be agreed upon after deliberations by Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the City Planning Department and Bisno Development. We further recommend that a majority of the units be restricted to seniors and that the development include all of the proposed traffic mitigation and public amenities. We strongly believe that this solution provides maximum benefit to the San Pedro Community and its potential residents, and is economically viable for the developer."

I disagree with much of what the five members of the CAC wanted to included in the Final Report, but I do strongly agree that they should have written what they finally chose to write.

It is remarkable for me to see that it wasn't the "R1 Gang" who wrote the minority report, like many of us had previously thought would be the case.

First and foremost that we should all be very critical of is any mention of economic viability for the developer. These five members who authored the minority report should have associated themselves more with the rest of the members of the CAC who should never have cared about the economic viability of the developer. The CAC was to represent OUR community and NOT the developer and for the most part all member of the CAC did just that. It is very unfortunate to read anything from any member of the CAC which puts the economic viability of the developer anywhere near the needs and wants of the community at large.

Bob paid 252% over the opening bid for part of the site which was sold at auction. He did this primarily as Gail Goldberg, the head of L.A. City Planning said that developers would pay prices for land well over and above its true value because they know they can get the zoning changed and make all their money back, and more. "Can you spell speculation", she said.

I was surprised to read that the minority report called for the majority of any units built at Ponte Vista go into Senior Housing. Absolutely nowhere did or does Bob Bisno consider that a majority of units be set aside for seniors. Having considered compromise proposals that included more Senior Housing and even a completely senior Ponte Vista, I found this part of the report refreshing even though that has been ZERO real studies to suggest that more senior housing is necessary in OUR community.

There has been nothing out of the Bisno camp to suggest that an objective study has or will be undertaken to determine whether more housing for senior citizens is necessary or even wanted in OUR community. To the contrary, studies have indicated that senior residents in San Pedro have historically remained in their homes longer that members of other communities and that San Pedro seniors, for the most part, wish to stay in their homes as long as they can.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much Mr. Robert Bisno actually paid for the land zoned R1 at Ponte Vista? Tom Tomlin and Associates claims “Former Naval Housing property in San Pedro consisting of nearly 62 acres recently purchased at auction for $88 million.”

M Richards said...

Thank you anonymous 12:58 for your excellant question.

Here is part of "Ponte Vista by the Numbers" which is a fact sheet I wrote just over one year ago:

The U.S. Navy ended the auction for 41.95 acres if Ponte Vista land on March 7, 2005. The winning bid of $88,000,000.00 was placed by Mr. Bob Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation.

An additional 19.58 acres within the Ponte Vista area was conveyed to a homeless advocacy group using a “Housing Assistance Conveyance” from an act that became law in 1994.

Mr. Bisno purchased the 19.58 acres of land for $34,000,000.00.

Breakdown of acreage and cost:

41.95 acres at $88,000,000.00 equals $2,097,753.40 (approx) per acre.
19.58 acres at $34,000,000.00 equals $1,736,465.78 (approx) per acre

61.53 total acres for $122,000,000.00 equals $1,982,772.63 (approx)
Per acre.

61.53 acres equals 0.09614 Square Miles. (Source:

The 88 Million Dollars Mr. Bisno paid for the 41.95 acres of land auctioned was 252% of the opening bid for the land auctioned off and the bidding was extended beyond the original end date established by the company hired by the U.S. Navy to market and represent the property.

Mr. Tomlin is correct that "$88 million" was paid for land. What he failed to disclose was that the purchase by auction was for only part of the 61.53 acres of property and that $34 Million Dollars was paid for the remainder of the land now called Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I hope this information helps. If you have any other question that I might be able to factually and completely answer for you, please use the Email address at the top of this blog to ask me questions directly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Richards. Good insight!

Anonymous said...

There are 398 parks throughout L.A. City. Lets take a look at Peck Park, specifically, the northeast corner of Summerland Avenue and Western Avenue. Eventhough a group of young individuals attempted to clear the dead brush at this intersection. Lots of the dead brush still exists especially along Summerland Avenue.

Not to mention the dead grass and trees that have not been pruned in years and some branches resting on a power line on Western Avenue. A potentional hazard awaiting to happen if the powerline breaks. I don’t think the city can handle any additional public amenities that a developer can offer.

Currently, the City of L.A. estimates that it will take 80 years to repave all city streets and 60 years to repair the sidewalks, which the residents will ultimately have to pay for this. The City Council along with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa need to start protecting the
R-1 zoning.