Friday, March 21, 2008

Odds and Ends 57

My oh my, weapons of mass development sure took a beating this week. Here in our neck of the woods, the Planning Commission sided with Councilwoman Janice Hahn, the group Vista del Oro Neighbors Against Condos, and many others to block attempts to allow a condominium or apartment complex from being built on the site of the former McCowan's Market.

Now, that fight is not officially over because the motion passed by the Planning Commission still has to go through the City Council's Land Use and Planning Committee before it gets final approval from the full City Council. But placing the Q "Qualification" Condition on the three lots, currently zoned C1-1XL is more of a formality now.

Sure Mike R. and his buddies can sue the City. Let them spend their money on something that won't be built.

Las Lomas WAS being considered by the Planning Department through environmental studies the department had been recently working on. That is until the L.A. City Council by a 10-5 vote, told the Planning Department to stop further studies on the over 5,500 dwelling weapon of mass development or over development at the northern end of the San Fernando Valley.

It would be like what I wish would happen right now with the Ponte Vista at San Pedro development.

I wish the L.A. City Council would tell the Planning Department to stop their review of the Draft Environmental Impact Report. Since the Planning Department may be liable in the future for not requiring, at this time, a circulation of a new Draft Environmental Impact Report, Bob and his buddies could very easily claim that any lawsuits brought up because of unforeseen impacts from a document that is too old and where the potential impacts have changed, may make the City of Los Angeles liable instead of Bisno Development.

Right now, the City Council has a golden opportunity to save itself and taxpayers by halting the review by the Planning Department until either a new Draft Environmental Impact Report is circulated, or the decision is made that this over development it simply too large for OUR community.

Like Las Lomas, I would rather have the taxpayers pay for defending the City now, than having everyone pay, for generations, the price demanded for building such an overly large development in OUR community.

Over developments are coming at OUR community from more angles that you may think.

The proposal to build a "1,215"-seat high school right next to the fun part of Alma Street, is dumber than a doorknob, and we all know it, in our guts.

LAUSD is claiming that their "405"-seat per academy school would have only 27 students per classroom. But when asked, even our area's elected Board of Education member states and confirms that any new high campus in San Pedro WOULD NOT DECREASE class sizes.

Now my generous nature currently considers that there MAY be only an average of 34 students attending each class at San Pedro High School.

If, as planned, classes would simply move lock, stock, and teacher from the main campus to any new campus, then the student count at any new school would be 1,530 students.

I guess some folks at LAUSD did not have arithmetic instructors.

1,215-seats at 27 students each equals a need for 45 classrooms, exactly as the Initial Study states.

But having the "average" number of students (34) times the number of classrooms planned (45)and that looks like: 34X45= 1,530.

Now Rod Hamilton of the Facilities Services Division of LAUSD will tell you that only 810-seats will be initially built.

O.K. Rod, then take 810-seats divided by 27 students per class, and there you have your precious 30 classrooms.

Now Rod, we both know that the average number of students taking regular classes at S.P.H.S. is higher than 27 students per class. Does Rod think we are that stupid?

O.K., Rod, I'll again be generous and estimate that there are only an average of 34 students per classroom at the main campus.

So, if my high school math was correctly taught to me, 34 students times 30 classrooms equals 1,020 students and not the "810" number you have mentioned.

And the number "810" for the seat count, and "30" for the number of classrooms at the proposed campus, are found NOWHERE in the Initial Study.

Even if I am wrong by 10% in the average number of students per class, then there could be an average class size of up to 37.4 students, or as low as 30.6 students.

If we use those averages in a 45-classroom environment, then there could possible be as few as 1,377 students to as many as1,683 students.

And here "they" all keep telling us that this particular development may have only 1,215 students.

LAUSD, Give US a break. OUR community is much smarter than you give us credit for.

Now cruise ships and passenger liners seem to be getting bigger, year to year. The more people you can stuff into a finite space, the higher the density and, most likely, the profits.

Now we get to view the beautiful H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth II, H.M.S. Queen Mary, and now the
Brand new H.M.S. Queen Victoria.

It seems Disney is building a very, very large cruise ship. Other companies are coming up with larger and larger ships. We simply don't have the inner harbor area or height to allow these monsters to navigate to our current cruise ship terminals, without having to back down the main channel.

The West turning basin may be large enough to allow ships, many under their own control, to turn around. But we have that "Don't it Make Your Green Bridge Blue" span that is too short to allow these floating resorts navigate under it, twice, and turn around.

The plan is to keep the little (2,000-passenger) cruise ships coming to the Berth 93 terminals. The when the larger (4,000+passenger) cruise ships and ocean liners want to dock, they may use the future terminals at Kaiser Point, in the outer harbor.

So, take the ships with the most passengers, their luggage, their hidden booze, their want to get to their ship as soon as possible, and stick the terminals out at the very end of the port, the furthest point away from a freeway, and large ship can dock at.

Smart, isn't it?

Well, on this over development, I'm still a fence sitter. IF the Port of L.A. really, really wants the new terminal built, OUR community is going to need some goodies from the Port of L.A.

I want an overhead monorail from the parking structure they may build at Berth 93 to the new terminal. I want it to be free for everybody and I want it to make stops in downtown San Pedro, along the visitor's wharfs like the San Pedro Landing, and I want it to "fly" over the fishing boat slip near the end of 22Nd Street.

An overhead monorail would allow everyone to shop downtown San Pedro, visit Ports-of-Call and the Fish Market, view the beauty of San Pedro and OUR harbor, and keep folks OFF THE ROADS!!!!!!!!!

Now I'm not stating that we could keep the taxis and shuttle buses from going all the way through downtown San Pedro, but whatever mitigation of traffic that could be done, must be done.

I want land from the Port somewhere in downtown San Pedro to have another major supermarket built so that all the new residents of the condos and apartments in downtown will be welcomed by so many other folks that have lived in OUR community and all of them can be within walking distance of a much needed market.

I want an Olympic-size swimming pool for OUR community. If the Port gets the area of the scout center back and makes it open and available to the whole community, year round, then that might be a great idea.

Now I know the Port of L.A. is about as thoughtful as LAUSD, in how they work with the community, but I really feel if the Port of L.A. is serious about a super-humongous terminal at the end of OUR community and the end of Los Angeles, then I think OUR community needs to feel they are not stuck with something they have to deal with, without any compensation.

Several of us tried to ask Betsy Weisman, of the Planning Department, when more information would be coming out about what the planning department feels could be built at Ponte Vista.

She must be a really good bureaucrat, because she would not admit to anything and she smiled as the shrugged us off.

It looks like April 29 is still the date Bob's house gets auctioned off. Someone commented that the issue was over "investment", but since that person didn't elaborate, I see no reason to suggest anything other than what I can find via public records.

The public records state that Bob took out about a $7 Million Dollar loan on the property and he defaulted on a $4 Million Dollar payment. With interest and penalties, the public records state that the amount that is owed is approximately $4.6 Million Dollars. Public records stated that the impending sale is a "sheriff's sale".

The property's property taxes are up to date.

No comments: