Friday, January 25, 2008

Odds and Ends 49

It appears that the Los Angeles City Department of Planning is going to reveal to Bob Bison their take on what could or should be built at Ponte Vista, around the middle of February.

I won't be shocked by anything that comes out. The Planning Department have a wide range of numbers, types, and placement of units they feel would be best for the 61.53 acres that we know as Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I think the first thing I am going to do is digest the information that I learn about and not be alarmed with what comes out, or concerned too much if the Planning Departments comes out with ideas I might disagree with.

There will be opportunities on all sides of the issues to voice their opinions. There is still quite a long way to go before any concrete is poured on the first foundations of what will finally be approved of at the site.

In an article in the L.A. Times earlier this week, it stated that last Tuesday the L.A. Unified Board of Education was scaling back even more on plans to build new schools in the district.

There was no mention of SRHS 15, the new high school being planned for the L.A.U.S.D. owned site near Alma.

Enrollment is continuing to decline in the district, in areas, and some of the already planned school sites will not be developed, according to a vote by board members.

I wrote some posts detailing the prices two developers may charge for some of the units they may sell in the future. Apparently, some individuals think I considered the cost of construction. I do not really know the costs for constructing units of different types on developments of varying size, but I do think it is very interesting that one developer will be pricing his three single-family houses, all on R1 lots at about $406.35 per square foot and another developer suggested a selling price of $500.00 per square foot when he lowered the proposed asking price for the smallest unit he wants to build from $330,000 to $300,000.

I may have also written that a developer of Senior Housing condominiums in Torrance is pricing the smallest unit there at $466.67 per square foot.

I am sorry some folks didn't understand that it was the prices I was calculating and not the costs.

I also opined that a person buying items in bulk usually gets a break in the price they have to pay compared to a person buying a small number of the same items.

I opined that it seems to me a buyer for items for 429 units, would be charged a lesser price for each item than a buyer for only 3 of the same items.

The weather that comes to the Ponte Vista site is much like the weather where I live. both places are too far north of 9TH Street to get any real benefit of the ocean breezes. The rain that falls on our home falls just about the same on the abandoned houses on the Ponte Vista site.

We live a little higher on The Hill than where people living at Ponte Vista may live and we may get a better brush through when the Santa Ana winds blow.

What brings me to this is that last night, Mark Brown, a newscaster on KABC TV Channel 7 broke into the show "Grey's Anatomy" to state that a tornado warning was issued for Long Beach and portions of other cities, including San Pedro.

We had been watching, too when the same newscaster told viewers that a tornado warning was also issued for the Malibu and Pacific Palisades area.

There been occasional tornadoes and waterspouts over the years, especially in 1983 when a tornado damaged the L.A. Convention Center and other buildings. But this was the first time I ever heard the words "tornado" and "San Pedro" used together.

It is extremely unlikely that a tornado will hit our home or anything else in the area, including the Ponte Vista site, but it was interesting to hear, anyway.

There are still lots of photographs of San Pedro Hill in 1948 when it got a pretty good dusting of real snow.

We get the occasional icy auto glass, hail, and just the hint of snowy-like flakes, but not anything to consider more than the oddities they are.

Someone is stating that I agree with the "concept" of Ponte Vista. If a dream is a concept, I am guilty of dreaming of a mixed-use development.

That is quite a very, very long way from suggesting I endorse anything Bob has, or may come up with.

As long as Robert H. Bisno, his employees, his limited liability corporation, or anyone else considers 1,950-units, or anywhere remotely near that many units, the site MUST remain with its current zoning and NO COMPROMISE!

I have heard and read from several supporters of Bob, who serve on his advisory boards who call for a compromise and that suggests to me they don't like the number of units Bob currently wants.

It would be quite a stretch to believe that every supporter of Bob's Ponte Vista want exactly what Bob wants. I give his supporters much more credit than other do and feel many of them actually have minds of their own and use them as best they can.

The concept of Ponte Vista as I have seen it, heard about it, studied it, and opined about it is simply, a developer who wishes to stuff as many units as possible on land he paid, probably too much for, to get the highest amount of profit as he exits OUR community.

Sometimes I go back and read information that I have stored about the Ponte Vista project.

In looking back, I found an item that said quite a lot to me and if you also didn't remember it, here it is.

In communications between folks representing Eastview Little League, we learned that of the 570 requests for support of parents of kids in Eastview Little League, by staff at Ponte Vista, the number of people willing to send in their documentation of support was 17.

That is just under 3% of the total who offered support for Bob Bisno's plans.

Here is another example of the more you learn about Bob and his plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro, the more you tend to oppose those plans.

"Ponte Vista is LEEDS Certified." That's what someone wrote and that would be a good thing, except nobody knows yet what really will be built at Ponte Vista and Mr. Bisno has already changed his plans, albeit only slightly, some time ago.

LEEDS certification is a good thing and it would be great if whatever is built at Ponte Vista earns LEEDS certification because of it "green" options.

I guess I am still having a hard time understanding what IS going to be at Ponte Vista, when there still is no human on this planet really can tell you for a fact, what will be at Ponte Vista.

I can appreciate that IF Bob is allowed to build multi-family units, and IF Bob doesn't feel those numbers of units envisioned by the Planning Department are too few to actually do the work necessary to have the buildings LEEDS certified, and IF Bob decides not to sell off portions of the property IF and when he receives the entitlements, THEN PERHAPS he MAY include allowances to provide LEEDS certification.

But as I continue to remind folks, even Bob himself can't say for sure what will be at the Ponte Vista site in the future.

Okay I'm done. Your turn.


Anonymous said...


just wondering wif you could elaborate further on your first comment about the city planning department?

M Richards said...

Thanks anonymous 5:11 PM

I really can't be much more help than what I posted, but I think this is what may happen.

As it was explained to me, the staff members who have been working on the Ponte Vista project will come up with some kind of idea, comment, or proposal as to what they feel could be built at the Ponte Vista site.

When that is done, they will advise Bob Bisno and his associates what the Planning Department suggests should find approval.

It could be anywhere between keeping the zoning as it is at Ponte Vista, to accepting everything Bob is calling for, with his 1,950-units in a development zoned as "specific plan" zoning.

I believe there will be some give and take between the developer and the City Planners, but we haven't heard what those give and takes may be.

It seems to me that this is just the second or third step in a very long process. First we were able to read the application(s) from the developer and had the opportunity to read and comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Now we may be getting much closer to the issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Report, which should spell out what the Planning Department considers a viable development and one that can go forward in the processes to seek a final vote by the members of the Los Angeles City Council.

After this issuance of the opinion by the Planning Department and the processing of the EIR, then we move towards the placement of the issues into the hands of the Los Angeles Planning Commission.

During the Planning Commission's processes, the community will again be afforded opportunities to watch and comment on the ongoing processes. There will be more hearings conducted that will be open to the public.

Where this MAY all lead is to a series of motions to approve changes or additions to existing municipal codes that would allow the developer to build according to the municipal codes adopted by the L.A. City Council and signed into law by the Mayor of L.A.

All this is just another reason everyone would, hopefully, stay calm, no matter what the Planning Department comes up with.

I know what I have written may have been convoluted and I apologize for that.

We probably should just sit back, look, listen, read, and learn, as we all trek through the many processes that will eventually lead to what we all agree on:
Something will be built at Ponte Vista.