Thursday, September 06, 2007

What is Wrong With Bob's Current Plans, Part 1

Last week I created a post concerning why some folks might be supportive of Bob's plans to built 1,950 condominium units in northwest San Pedro.

I am now going to attempt to deal with what is wrong with Bob's attempts at building such a large development on the 61.53 acres of land on Western Avenue. To make this attempt, I have decided to create separate posts, because one post would be too long and would muddy the very many issues and obstacles such a large project would create.

This first part deal with one very simple fact: San Pedro is a town and is too small to accommodate such a large development like what Bob is planning.

San Pedro is a town. It is not a city. It is part of a very large city, but unto itself, it is only a town.

Jack Baric created a great work called "Port Town". I am sure he had many good reasons for not calling his work, "Port City". It would be wrong to characterize San Pedro as anything other than a town, I strongly feel.

When a nurse who works in the surgery unit of our local hospital knows as much about the insides of her neighbors and friends as she sees on their outsides, it is one example of how San Pedro is really a town.

People know people in town. families are intertwined in San Pedro. Memories are shared by vast numbers of folks in town, too. In very many places in San Pedro, folks actually know and/or are related to their neighbors.

When there are only historical references to San Pedro being a city, that also suggests the San Pedro is a town.

The government which runs San Pedro is not in San Pedro, but only has a few representatives in a building owned by the City of Los Angeles, then that also suggest that San Pedro is a town.

There are thousands and thousands of folks who know in their hearts and minds that San Pedro is a town.

Towns around the area do not have very large developments that are far and away different than other developments in town. Bob's plans for Ponte Vista have no other similar projects like them in any town around the South Bay.

To put such a large development in any town is counter to the character and lifestyles of people living in towns.

The West Side of L.A. is part of the larger city. San Pedro has always been somewhere you have to go to and not through, which makes it very different than the West Side of L.A. Look at the over development of the West Side and imagine what would happen if Bob gets his way and puts a development which is similar to projects on the West Side of L.A. in the town of San Pedro.

There is absolutely, positively nothing wrong with San Pedro being a town. It has always been a town even when it had its few years as an independent city.

Downtown L.A. is part of the bigger city, and even though San Pedro is part of the City of L.A., there is no way San Pedro's downtown compares to downtown L.A.

A development the size and type of building Bob wants belongs in a "city" and not a "town".

If Ponte Vista were built on the West Side, or in Long Beach, or in the San Fernando Valley where density is already high, then that would be much better than building it in places like San Pedro, Lomita (even though it is a City unto itself), Harbor City, or anywhere on The Hill.

Ponte Vista, as Bob is planning it, would fit into Palm Springs, Las Vegas, or other outlying areas, but to put a project in a town on a peninsula, is just plain wrong.

Bob's Ponte Vista would be a crushing influence on the town of San Pedro. It would be too big, too different, too costly, and out of character with the towns that surround it. Simply put, it would overwhelm San Pedro and the neighboring areas.

It is hard to find comparisons of having such a large development or project in a town, anywhere around the area, I feel. It just can't fit into San Pedro.

San Pedro is a great, wonderful, spectacular, and lovable town. It is not looking to be a city and the folks who have roots going back generations in this town do not wish for it to ever be anything other than a town.

Character, size, scale, and quality of life in the town of San Pedro must be taken strongly into account when developments of any size are suggested. We must not and can not become more like the West Side of Los Angeles and the town of San Pedro and OUR community needs to stand together and tell everyone that San Pedro is a great town and we intend to keep it that way!

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