Friday, February 01, 2008

Odd and Ends 50

First off, I would like to thank the small group of regular readers and give a big THANK YOU to everyone who makes comments about the posts. The weekly visits are very slowly returning to the number of visits that were metered last year during the height of the CAC discussions.

I'm still here and I appreciate all the comments we all get to view on this blog.

The Ponte Vista at San Pedro development's discussion is ongoing behind the scenes. As Councilwoman Janice Hahn meet with the Honorable S. Gail Goldberg, Director of Planning for the City of Los Angeles next week, we can be assured that the two leaders will take much of the time talking about Ponte Vista.

Ms. Hahn has remained a supporter of keepin the zoning as it currently is, (R1) at the site.

Ms Goldberg seems to continue her beliefs on where large developements should be built and how the impacts of traffic and transportation are affected by large developments.

Since we are still waiting for some real hint as to what the Planning Department is considering for their take on what should be built at Ponte Vista, I think I will take the opportunity in this post to remind readers about another project Bob Bisno was a major player at and the chronology that was placed into an article in a newspaper in Santa Monica several years ago.

Bob Bisno once owned Lincoln Place, a development of multi-family dwellings. Whether he was full owner, sold half of his interest to the largest private apartment management company in the country, or after he sold all of his interest in Lincoln Place, the chronology listed below shows a timeline where the residents tried to save their homes from redevelopment by Bob and/or the rental management company, AIMCO.

Lincoln Place has been the subject of a long-running and contentious battle between preservationists and the property’s owners (see “Chronology”).
There were originally 52 buildings on the 33-acre site.
Seven have already been felled.

A Chronology

1986: Robert Bisno’s TransAction Corporation acquires Lincoln Place.

1991: Transaction applies for a permit to demolish all 52 buildings and replace them with 706 condominiums.

1996: The Los Angeles City Council rejects the project and the owners file lawsuits against the City, as well as Ruth Galanter and other individual council members.

Summer 2000: Bisno starts a six-phase “rehab” project, demolishing two buildings and announcing the start of renovations on the remaining 50.

September 2000: Tenant Sheila Bernard (now president of the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council) nominates Lincoln Place for designation as a cultural landmark.

Cultural Heritage Commission staff experts recommend approval, but the Commission declines to endorse the nomination, although earlier in the year, Chase Knolls – a development designed by the same architects – was declared a landmark by unanimous vote of the City Council.

In the same month, Bisno wins his 1996 lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles. The City files an appeal.

June 2001: AIMCO becomes a 50% partner in the rehab project. AIMCO (Apartment Investment Management Company) is second only to HUD in apartment ownership in the U.S. Lincoln Place appears as a redevelopment project in AIMCO’s quarterly statements for three quarters, than disappears from the redevelopment category.

September 2001: Rehabilitation of one building is completed, except for two apartments, which remain unfinished.

October 2001: Fifty-nine tenants in five buildings on Lake Street are served with eviction notices, ostensibly so that major rehabilitation can be performed. All but one accept $1,000 to “voluntarily” vacate, waiving their right to return.

November 2001: The rehab project is abandoned.

May 2002: The Los Angeles Conservancy nominates Lincoln Place to the National Register of Historic Places.

The idea of building an L.A.U.S.D. high school on land within the Ponte Vista fences has, seemingly, long ago flown off all the radar screens in northwest San Pedro. Thankfully, that idea is gone. But the idea of building another L.A.U.S.D. High School in San Pedro is still on the local and district radar.

To that end, there will be another meeting about South Region High School #15 (SRHS 15) on Wednesday, February 13, 2008. I will post the announcement on a post directly following this post.

Bob and his outreach team are still active in attempting to grow support for his "weapon of mass development". While we all wait to learn some information coming out of the Planning Departments, opponents of Bob's massive plans are also not remaining on the bench.

Last Tuesday, the members of the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council approved a letter to be sent to Ms. Goldberg calling for a recirculation of the Environmental Impace Report. The letter, produced with the help of Mr. Kit Fox, the Associate Planner for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes site many of the items Mr. Fox wrote about in the comments to the original report that was produced in November, 2006.

The City Council whole heartedly supports the idea that the zoning should not be changed on the 61.53 acre site of Ponte Vista.

A statement was also added to the letter calling for student generation counts and student counts for four surrounding zip codes; 90732, 90731, 90275, and 90274, so that the project's proposed student generation count matches more closely with what is currently found in the area and not what is found in the greater L.A.U.S.D. area.

During the City Council meeting where the letter was discussed and approved of, not one supporter of Bob's current plans or any employee in Bob's outreach team bothered to show up and speak about not allowing the letter to go forward.

The City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes is not alone in their call for a new Environmental Report be circulated. Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council has drafted and approved a resolution to be sent to Ms. Goldberg and the rest of the Planning Department calling for a new Environmental Report.

Several Homeowners' Associations have also written letters or created resolutions calling for a new Environmental Report.

Citing flaws, errors, and ommissions in the first report, there will be more groups calling for a new Environmental Report to be circulated.

I think I am going to increase usage of a word that I should not take credit for creating, because I am sure that others have thought of this word before I ever used it.

The word is "condoization". I am first using it in posts relating to the attempts to build up to 18 condominiums or apartments on the site of the old McCowan's Market in San Pedro.

Because the neighborhood where the market stood is made up so much with single-family residences, the word condoization seems to create the meaning that a developer is attempting to change the very nature of a neighborhood by building units that are not seen just about anywhere else in that neighborhood.

I think the word "apartmentization" has probably been around for some time, too.

Since there are condominium units and (future) apartment units directly next door to Ponte Vista, critics can say the use of the words condoization and apartmentization should not be used when considering Ponte Vista.

Well, if Bob is seeking to change the zoning from R1 to Specific Plan or anything else that would allow for multi-family buildings to be built, the use of both words can be done with Ponte Vista, in my opinion.

Please stay tuned for next week's Odds and Ends. Hopefully there will be lots more to report, on what may be going on at the Planning Department.


THEMOMMA said...


Anonymous said...

bob will get almost, if not, everything from the planning dept. look at their record. they approve 4 times the density change of every project without bating an eyelash.