Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wilmington Neighborhood Council Action

At Wednesday's scheduled meeting of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council a motion to support Bob Bisno's current plan for Ponte Vista at San Pedro was passed.

Before I go any further, any negative comments about Wilmington's action will be sent to the uncensored blog and won't be printed here.

I don't blame Wilmington Neighborhood Council members one bit for taking the stand the majority of members voted for.

I am sad, which is quite true, but I feel these good folks learned as much as they wanted to learn, listened to speakers, and decided for what they feel is in the best interest of the residents they have volunteered to represent.

Each member of the Council should have had the opportunity to read the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) paid for by Bob Bisno. All of the members seemed very intelligent and I was very proud to see these volunteers support their folks as they did and should have.

I am sorry though that many of them didn't read the Bisno paid for DEIR in which states there would be only "199" school aged children living in the 1,725-unit non age restricted portion of the proposed project.

I did inquire of the gentleman who questioned what would happen to the ramps of the 110 Freeway at Anaheim and P.C.H. and asked him and the rest of the Council's members if they had seen any illustrations for the proposed mitigation of those sites. Apparently, the folks at Bisno Development did not provide Council members with those illustrations, if they exist at all.

Some Council members stated a belief that since the Ponte Vista site is actually within the Wilmington/Harbor City Community Plan area, there should have been a resident of Wilmington on Ms. Hahn's Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Ponte Vista project.

As a former member of that committee, I am not able to tell them if a member of that group lived in Wilmington or not because we did not know where Ms. Adams lives. Perhaps she does, in fact live in Wilmington, but perhaps, she does not.

In any case, the membership of that committee was not determined by the members of the committee, but it seems we were blamed, anyway.

There was a member of the Neighborhood Council who stated that opponents of Bob's plans didn't provide any facts to back up their opposition. I stated exactly what the DEIR stated, which was paid for by Mr. Bisno's company. "199' is written in the DEIR and perhaps she wasn't willing to believe me, for some reason or another.

When Mr. Nave spoke, he supplied Council members with more facts in two minutes than he normally does. That didn't seem to sway members who seemed to have made up their mind before my public comments were entered into the record.

Some members of the Neighborhood Council remembered their tour of Newport Bluffs APARTMENTS!!!!!!!! They seemed to agree with me that it is a beautiful site, all 1,100 APARTMENT units!

I suspect they were taken to the same sites the CAC toured on two of our trips.

It also didn't seem to matter that every single resident of whatever is built at Ponte Vista automatically become stakeholders in NORTHWEST SAN PEDRO NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL and not necessarily a stakeholder at Wilmington's Neighborhood Council.

Members also stated loud and clear they wanted the Ponte Vista at SAN PEDRO project to remain in the Wilmington/Harbor City Community Plan Area, even though a resident who lives in Wilmington correctly suggested that such a large development remaining in that Community Plan Area, will limit future developments, in that Community Plan area.

I wished more Wilmington Neighborhood Council members had attended Neighborhood Council meetings in the San Pedro area where the Ponte Vista outreach team talked up their SAN PEDRO FIRST plan and where no mention of any Harbor Area First was made.

Had the members read an earlier post on this blog, they would have been able to view the ONE bus route that Metro has that goes by the Ponte Vista site. They would have read that to get from P.V. Drive North to the Artesia Transit Center, it takes 56 minutes and to get all the way to the Imperial Metro Station takes one-hour and 12 minutes.

Of course they heard about the plan to provide a DASH route for Ponte Vista, but I don't believe that the DASH vehicle goes anywhere near the Artesia Transit Center or the Imperial Metro Station.

Members of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council demonstrated their support for the folks they feel they represent. That is exactly what they should do, I feel.

The Ponte Vista outreach team didn't let them know that the suggest current price proposed for the smallest unit at Ponte Vista will be $300,000.00 for a 600 square foot studio, without including taxes, HOA fees, and other costs.

The outreach team did state that Bob is working with the Mayor's office to create plans for units that may appear to be for lower priced units that may be priced in a range that folks in the San Pedro area, having the median income might be able to purchase. Since the median income for San Pedro is higher than Wilmington (2000 Census data) there was absolutely no mention whether a resident of Wilmington, having the median income for Wilmington would be able to afford to purchase even the lowest-priced unit at Ponte Vista IF Bob gets to build all 1,950 units UNLESS, he tries for a density bonus on top of the 1,950 units.

All of the facts are available, for anyone to look for, download, print, read, or make paper airplanes out of.

I have hard and soft copies of the entire DEIR, including all three Technical Appendices. Let me know what information you are looking for and I will try to send it to you.

Three of the storm drains failed under Western Avenue and yes, traffic counts were taken for Ponte Vista during the time the Avenue was reduced to one lane, each way, and yes many persons who would have normally used Western Avenue took alternate routes.

And yes, there are still four more storm drains under Western Avenue whose middle section was made with corrugated steel and will probably fail in the future.

And yes, in the entirety of the DEIR there is no public documentation of the number of bedrooms Bob actually wants to build with his 1,950-unit project, so no, in fact, we have no way of knowing how many residents might live at Ponte Vista.

And yes, most contractors that have been questioned about the actual costs of build-out of 1,950-units have answered that costs would, in no way, approach anywhere near $500 per square foot, the price Bob wants to charge for a 600 square foot unit.

And yes, it appears that there still is no illustration of the smallest unit planned at Ponte Vista on their Web site.

And yes, even though Bob announced in public on June 18, 2007 that he was lowering his total unit count by 350 units, it wasn't until November 13, 2007 that the application for that change was made to the Planning Department.

I'm not making this stuff up folks, we have documentation all over the place to back these things up.

But the majority of the members of the Wilmington Neighborhood Council distanced themselves from the Boards of the four other Neighborhood Councils serving the Harbor area, by voting to approve a motion that no other Council supported.

I hope they don't regret their vote. I'd feel bothered to live with that on my mind.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can say that I'm not surprised at the outcome of the motion (I am curious as to the actual wording however), but it was gratifying to learn that the vote was 11 to 8 so no one should think that this was an overwhelming endorsement. I am told that even the high school student board member voted no.

One thing does bother me though, it would seem that there were a number of board members with ties to organizations that have endorsed or excepted money from Bob Bisno and should have recused themselves from the discussion and the vote. It would have been the ethical thing to do and would have followed the LA City ethics guidelines.

Just a thought...