Thursday, September 06, 2007

What is Wrong With Bob's Current Plans, Part 3

I have been thinking about what to call the topic of this part for several days now. Originally I thought that the topic should be the infrastructure of building 1,950-condos at Ponte Vista.

I feel "infrastructure" is not quite broad enough for this part, but it may give you an idea of what I am trying to get accross, once you read this part.

The infrastructure of building 1,950-units at Ponte Vista would cause a great deal of disruptions during the long building processes. Not only will Western Avenue have to be dug up, but Gaffey Street and Taper Avenue will also need to be torn up to install the much larger utility lines and services the site would require.

In the 2,300-unit configuration, according to the DEIR, 7 new sewer lines would have to be layed into trenches and connected to existing systems. Four lines were documented to go under Western Avenue, and three would attach to the eastern legs via Taper Avenue.

There is already a very high pressure natural gas line under the slow lane of northbound Western Avenuse, so that is probably where Ponte Vista will get Natural Gas.

The new telephone lines will be undergrounded, and probably the electric lines will go from the big poles on Gaffey and then underground into Ponte Vista.

As for the storm drains for Ponte Vista, perhaps they will connect to the existing system a little south of the site.

This infrastructure for the site development is only part of what will happen to the area if Bob gets to build so many units.

I feel the current residents of the entire area within several miles of Ponte Vista, especially in San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, will have to deal with massive changes in how we currently deal with shopping, travel, and how we school our children.

From just about the very beginning of the discussions about Ponte Vista, I have challenged folks to do one thing: When you visit Ralph's, Albertson's, Trader Joe's, and now Henry's, just before you go into any of those stores, stop, turn around, and imagine 300 more vehicles trying to find spaces in the parking lots of those stores, at the same time you are shopping.

There may be some mitigation as far as entrances and exits from parking lots, but there is nowhere in any document any reference to the fact that up to 5,000 more cars will be added to the area and drivers living at Ponte Vista will want the parking spaces you are also trying to find. The problem is that there is not evidence that any parking lot will be enlarged to meet the needs of all the new residents AND the current residents.

Parking is an issue, but there are more.

Some of you know that there is a public park on the east side of Western Avenue, in Rancho Palos Verdes. It is called Eastview Park. It is a nice park for the area, but it is not the largest park in the area. Eastview is only one park that will find itself very much more crowded if Bob gets his way. The six-acre park Bob envisions at Ponte Vista would probably get quickly swamped if he gets his way.

The six-acre park that Bob envisions has never been illustrated with any basketball courts, tennis courts, or much of anything other than diamonds.

There is no off-street parking for Averill Park. Will the parking lots at Peck Park need to be enlarged? If so, who pays.

Where do you really shop? Do you shop in downtown San Pedor exclusevily? If so, you are probably in the minority of folks who shop.

Like so many other shoppers, we go to Del Amo, the Avenues of the Peninsula, and other shopping areas outside our local area. The variety is so much greater shopping in one area that has many different types of shops, that it is hard to find everything we want in downtown San Pedro, not that we haven't tried.

Are you going to shop at the new Target? I know there are folks who will boycott the Target and they have every right to do so, in my opinion. Even without those folks who will not shop at Target, it appears that Target will have all the shoppers it needs, and probably more.

Target is a large department store that can supply so much of what folks are looking for, all under one roof, that the traffic, parking, and local transportation trends will be forever changed.

Target will actually cause more traffic issues than Ponte Vista, BUT, the folks from Target worked very well with the Neighborhood Council and others to do the best mitigation possible, which is something Bob has not done.

There has been a great deal of talk about getting folks off of the peninsula if the needs arise. San Pedro is part of the peninsula, too.

Some folks claim that Western Avenue is the "only" escape route. I don't claim that is the truth, but Western is certainly a major route that thousands of people use every day.

I have written quite a bit about the roads leading away from San Pedro and eastern Rancho Palos Verdes, but I will repeat some of the information because if Bob gets to build 1,950-units, especially with the Senior Section being the northernmost homes in San Pedro, there will be quite a bit of trouble if we all need to leave.

Would it be wise to excape San Pedro over the Vincent Thomas Bridge? That would have to be the individual driver's decision. The port has been identified by the Federal Government and a potential spot for terrorism. I don't think I would use the bridge.

The Harbor freeway and Gaffey Street have a bit of a problem. They both border a refinery. Gaffey has the added problem of the giant Amerigas storage tanks that do actually have the potential to go, "BOOM". If they go "BOOM" many of us will not get the chance to try and leave.
So both the Harbor Freeway and Gaffey Street, even though they are clear routes now, might not be the best solution.

Palos Verdes Drive South is constantly moving and has a 0.8-mile stretch where the speed limit is 10 miles per hour, for good reason. If folks could get towards the coast, the road can't handle many cars or heavy vehicles.

Palos Verdes Drive East may be the only route that is far enough away from the port, the refinery, and the chaos that might come to San Pedro. It is one-lane each way north of Crest Road and it dumps out on a major route that would probably be just as crowded.

If things turn out that we have the chance to get out, I'm heading for P.V. Drive East.

Western Avenue would probably not be able to be used by folks in San Pedro. If Bob builds 800 senior units, the folks living in them would have the first chance to head north on Western, in San Pedro.

Even though Bob wants seniors who are "55 or better", many drivers who would get on Western Avenue would be senior citizens and just think how they would deal with an evacuation.

Folks on the eastern side of Rancho Palos Verdes, except probably for those of us with good access to P.V. Drive East, would have to take Western Avenue. Then I bet folks who live in the Highlands or Westmont will try to use Western.

By the time folks living south of Summerland try to get to Western, it will probably be stopped dead.

Where will all the kids go to school?

Crestwood is maxed out. If you drive by Taper Avenue School, look at all the temporary buildings that have had to be placed to teach all the kids.

Dodson Intermediate School also has "temporary" classrooms. Puting so many new students in these schools will lower the ability to teach the children of folks already living in the area.

When Bob's DEIR stated that a 2,300-unit Ponte Vista would only have "199" school-age children living at it, that was a number that was completely challenged by at least three independent studies. The student population for 1,725 non-age restricted condominiums was found to be at least 600 students, depending on the study.

Parking, Parks, Shopping, Evacuation, and Schools are just five of the areas that would be critically and excetionally impacted if Bob gets to build anywhere near 1,950-units. There are more issues I will write about and if you have any other issues, please comment.

Bob want's to give buyers of his units a great home and community. He is attempting to do by wanting to make fundamental changes in the way we, the people who currently live in OUR community, live. Why should he be able to change our lives so much? Why should we pay?

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