Friday, November 02, 2007

Odds and Ends 37

There have been a few individuals who have commented on this blog about the recent telephone Survey that was conducted or is still being conducted for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

One comment on another post stated that the commenter's 83-year father was interviewed and he gave responses that the folks at Ponte Vista will not like to read. The dad has lived in San Pedro for 83 years and knows quite a bit about the history of San Pedro and the developments that have gone on over the years.

The father was living in San Pedro when the massive Channel Heights housing development was built, so this gentleman has seen development in our area.

Another person who gave comments seemed to suggest that they had to "worm" the words Ponte Vista out of the interviewer. This was in connection to being asked about whether they thought a 6-acre public park would be a benefit to the community. When the interviewee asked the interviewer whether they were talking about a 6-acre park at "Ponte Vista" those were the first time they were used in the survey.

Elections in two cities bordering Ponte Vista are this coming Tuesday November 6, 2007.

In Lomita, Mr. Suminiga and Mr. Blackwood should be elected to the two available seats and Mark Waronek should be voted off of the Council so he can do more of what he seems to love to do: lobby for developers and special interest groups.

In Rancho Palos Verdes, I hope the three incumbents are returned to another term of office. I am looking for Paul Wright to run again when Peter Gardiner's seat comes up for election, then I feel he should take over that seat.

For Mr. Don Reeves, who believes the minority report of the CAC should be used to build a mix of housing at Ponte Vista, including multi-family buildings, we should thank him for his interest in running for office, thank him so much for putting the repeal of the Storm Drain User Fees on the ballot, and let him consider running again in the next election.

When a publication does something correct, in my opinion, I think they deserve a note. There is one daily newspaper that continues to carry stories about a certain celebrity who seems to rarely wear underwear and has some trouble dealing with being a mother, and a sober one at that.

There is a bi-weekly publication that doesn't carry any items concerning Britney and I must commend them for that. There are things we really don't need to read about in this active and troubling world, and Ms. Spears is one of them.

Someone noted in a comment about the whited blotches of paint that have appeared in a few areas within the fences of Ponte Vista. I don't know why the white paint was painted on the wooden fences, houses, and poles, but I do know that if the poles are owned by the Department of Water and Power, then painting them is at least an infraction. Damaging, defacing, vandalizing, or attaching anything not approved of by the owners of the poles is illegal.

It could very well be that someone or some people are deliberately attempting to deface the property.

However, if it can be proved that whoever used the white paint to cover graffiti did so to cover something that is also against building codes for allowing abandoned structures to be covered with graffiti in the first place.

I'm still slugging through the Marymount Expansion DEIR. I will be focusing specifically on what new traffic or what new traffic patterns may emerge by any work or changes at the Palos Verdes North resident housing on Palos Verdes Drive North.

Again, there will be a hearing by the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Commission on December 10, 2007 at Hesse Park on Hawthorne Blvd., where anyone may come and give comment about the DEIR.

I bet there will be lots of folks who live closer to the main campus that will probably object to the additional on-campus residential housing that is planned. None of us need to have young college students driving at all hours up and down P.V. Drive East, especially in the fog.

The new residential halls are being purposed to allow for the sale of the off-campus housing at 24Th. Street and Cabrillo Avenue, in San Pedro.


Anonymous said...

So for RPV, you support the incumbents but not the Storm Drain Tax? I'm a bit confused. What about the budget issues that Paul Wright is bringing up? Increasing crime rates? You sure you don't write for the Daily Breeze? They also seem to have their head in the sand. We need new blood on the council. Vote no on the incumbents and Ax the Tax!

M Richards said...

Thanks anonymous 8:48 PM,

You know I don't write for the Daily Breeze, or the other bi-weekly publication, either.

When we live during the times of the McTaggart/Ferraro/rest of the bunch council, not only were we ignored on this side of The Hill, but I think those councils did not look into the future of R.P.V. as much and were more beholding to various insider groups "running" the Council.

All three incumbents are supporting R1 at Ponte Vista and that does, in fact, mean a lot to me.

Mr. Wright said he favors R1 at Ponte Vista, but then mentioned during one of the forums that some of the units would be "affordable" and suggested that there would be some "low income" housing on the site. That was a error on Mr. Wright's part, because there is no "low income" housing planned for Ponte Vista.

Mr. Wright and Mr. Reeves want to use the August 2006- August 2007 crime statistics that other candidates don't want used.
It is true that the latest crime statistics show higher crime in the city, HOWEVER, much of the increased crime has been attributed to some individuals who were subsequently arrested and since August 2007, the crime statistics have gone back down to numbers more in line with prior years.

That being written, on the day of the last candidates forum there was a breakin of a vehicle with theft taking place, but I don't feel that the concept that there is really an increase in crime in R.P.V. is a matter to change City Council members for.

I feel if it can be shown that crime is increasing, then the City Council might be willing at funding more Sheriffs Deputies in our area, or sharing the cost with Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates.

As I have written several times before, I am an odd duck when it comes to the Storm Drain User Fee/Levy/Tax. Whatever anyone wishes to call it, I don't have to pay it, and that makes me one of the odd ducks.

Should I vote to keep a fee/levy/tax I don't have to pay?

Should I put the burden 20% of us don't have on the other 80% of the City's population?

If I was in a position to be required to pay the fee, I would vote to keep it in a heartbeat. But I don't feel comfortable demanding others pay for goods and services I receive without any fee on my part.

I would like to see Paul Wright run in the next election and take the seat now held by Peter Gardiner.

Don Reeves feels the minority report by the CAC should be used for what should be built at Ponte Vista, and I strongly object to that idea.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has become stronger, in my opinion, by the City Council that is now sitting. I can't find any real reason to change that makeup at this time.

I do think a Yes vote on Measure C would be a good thing, even though I think that if the fee is not repealed, the proponents will find a way to break the 10-year sunset and bring back the now-30 year sunset for the fee.

For Measure D, I am going to vote to repeal the User Fee for the reasons stated above.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark ...April S. here.
It is HIGHLY unlikely the old Navy property will ever become a "R-1" housing project.

RPV city council candidate Don Reeves tells it like it will be!!(ie mixed use development, if in fact, it is ever fully developed at all.)

I appreciate Reeves willingness not to dance around the truth in this regard. It's easy to say one favors "R-1". But the reality is the number of cars any project generates that actually matters. Don is a "numbers" guy and speaks the facts. Being somewhat a "numbers guy" as well as RPV traffic commissioner yourself.....I'm amazed Reeves doesn't have your vote or
Steve Lapines. (noting that your neighborhood's speed humps was something of a win which is evidence that the incumbents were "there for your neighborhood".) Nonetheless, I urge you to vote for Don Reeves.

M Richards said...

Howdy April,

We really don't know what will be inside the fences of Ponte Vista, so when anyone claims they "know" what is going to be there, they should be hired as seers of the future.

The minority report from the CAC is just that, a report by fewer than 50% of the voting members of the CAC. Had I stayed on the CAC, the vote would have been 9 in favor of keeping the current zoning and 5 for the minority report, instead of 8-5.

I think the goal of the majority of the members of the CAC was to have a density similar to, or as close to R1 as possible. I think Jerry and John, and Dan know this and also doubt that the land will only have single-family, detached houses on it. But still, the possiblity exists that the current zoning will remain, but neither you, myself, or Don knows that.

Getting to the nitty-gritty, Don Reeves is far too conservative in his politics, in my opinion, for me to support.

I am actually quite a left-of-center fellow. If you re-read my position on the User Fee you would read that if it was applied to everyone in the City, I would vote to keep it, in a split-second. I am voting No, not because I think it is a bad fee, I think it is incorrectly applied and was brought into play using the wrong reasons.

I didn't get to vote for or against the User Fee in the first place. I think 80% of the population paying 100% of the fees required to fix the storm drains in the city where I live, is unfair.

It is this odd-duck feeling I have that has me voting to repeal something I feel is unfair.

I have thought much about abstaining on the two measures, but since 100% of us are able to vote, then we should see how the 20% of us who don't have to pay the User Fee vote on the issue.

I hope we "20%ers" don't stick it too the 80% of the folks who have to pay the User Fee.

Anonymous said...

where do these candidates stand on putting the 60 units of low income housing on western? is the argument against the storm drain tax true that they spent 300,000.00
for the mail-in ballot instead of just putting it on today's voting card? how would they feel about zoning changes being voted upon by the citizens (i mean the big ones like what it would take to put low income housing on western)?

M Richards said...

Thanks anonymous 11:28 AM, some good questions.

"Low income" housing is mandated in Rancho Palos Verdes. Right now, there are, if I remember correctly, there are three or four units of this type of housing that is at Trump National Golf Course and are lived in by grounds keepers and others.

That means we may only be on the hook for either 33 or 34 more units.

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes owns a multi-tenant building on Crestridge Road and I think they lease it out to someone who manages it.

There is a developer who wants to do work on that building and there have been negotiations going on for some time. So far, there is no resolution yet with that property, HOWEVER, there is some talk by current City Council members who are thinking that if the plans with this current developer fall through, there MIGHT be a way to have the 34 units of "low income" housing that will be for senior citizens in the income bracket that would allow them to purchase "low income" units.

This idea, which is still only a dream, is to have the mandated units AND provide for Senior Housing, which would fulfill two needs all at once.

Let's not get our hopes up too soon, though.

As far as Western Avenue, there are current Council members and others who do consider that if new building were to happen, they feel that property along Western Avenue is probably less expensive than anywhere else in R.P.V., to build the required units.

There are other ways to offer "low income" housing like purchasing existing units and then turning them into those types of units, however, the units would have to conform to other units in the buildings and that becomes a fiscal problem.

I need to learn much, much more about the Crestridge property. When I learn more, I will create a post on the subject.

For the original mailed ballots that brought about the Storm Drain User Fee, I am not someone who knows too much about that because I was not sent a ballot, the property where I live does not fall under the Storm Drain User Fee requirements. There are approximately 20% of the properties in R.P.V. that are not levied the User Fee and our home sits on an unlevied lot.

The argument about the mailed ballots was that if 24 votes were switched in that election, there would have been no User Fee in the first place. It was that close of a vote.

I doubt very highly that any City Council would allow us regular citizens the power to determine zoning in the City. We must fight as hard as we can to "lobby", inform, instruct, request, plead, and whatever else it takes to pursuade City Council members to create the zoning we wish for at a particular site, but that is about all we can do, unless we vote the offensive Council member out of office, which is mighty tough to do.

This is one big reason for R Neighborhoods Are 1 and our ongoing quest to keep the Ponte Vista site with its current zoning.

We can't vote ourselves on the zoning changes, so we have to provide as much influence as we can so the decision-makers realize what is in the best political interest for them.

It's going to be quite interesting to see if Mark Waronek gets re-elected today. If he doesn't, then thanks a whole hell of a lot to some extremely great folks in Lomita who fight with the rest of us against Bob Bisno's weapon of now blighted mass development.