Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Volunteers of America are Back With Plans

Here is a bit of news brought to us by the Planning and Land Use Committee of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council.

The Volunteers of America have plans to convert the 76 units of their property (behind the Ponte Vista at San Pedro site) to a "Navy Village", Section 8 housing for homeless veterans.

Do the Volunteers of America have the money to create that type of housing. "You Betcha" thanks in large part to Mr. Robert H. Bisno.

Here is a breakdown on the money spent to purchase the total of 61.53 acres that we now know of as Ponte Vista at San Pedro:

The U.S. Navy ended the auction for 41.95 acres if Ponte Vista land on March 7, 2005. The winning bid of $88,000,000.00 was placed by Mr. Bob Bisno and the Bisno Development Corporation.

An additional 19.58 acres within the Ponte Vista area was conveyed to a homeless advocacy group using a “Housing Assistance Conveyance” from an act that became law in 1994.

Mr. Bisno purchased the 19.58 acres of land for $34,000,000.00.

Breakdown of acreage and cost:

41.95 acres at $88,000,000.00 equals $2,097,753.40 (approx) per acre.
19.58 acres at $34,000,000.00 equals $1,736,465.78 (approx) per acre

61.53 total acres for $122,000,000.00 equals $1,982,772.63 (approx)
Per acre.
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So you see, the Volunteers of America (VOA) should have plenty of money to convert the 76 existing units on their land that is a bit of a struggle to see, but has been on the old Navy land for quite some time.

There will be a lot of hurdles the VOA will have to jump through in order to have homes for low income veterans on the site.

The site may be too close to the native habitat of the butterfly commonly known as the Palos Verdes blue.

Since the Federal government can build housing anywhere it wants to, now that the units do not belong to the government, there will be plenty of issues to consider.

I bet the folks who have to use P.V. Drive North between Western and Five Points, along with all those residents of whatever is built at Ponte Vista who will need to do the same, won't be all that pleased by more housing and access issues along that roadway.

Marymount College currently has an 86-unit off-campus housing site near the VOA site and a Draft Environmental Impact Report for a redevelopment of the College has Alternatives that add housing and athletic facilities on their off-campus site known as "Palos Verdes North".

Is Rolling Hills Prep going to expand and have more students on its campus?

What about all the bru-ha-ha that folks were involved with years ago with the prospect of bringing more homeless people into the area?

Might the residents of Ponte Vista living in their premium housing on beautiful grounds find objections to sharing the area with less fortunate folks?

What might the marketing strategy become for Ponte Vista? Might Bob object to having more Section 8 housing closer to his site?

There is Federal property that will remain between Ponte Vista and the VOA for years and years to come, it is believed.

But what about the long-term future? If the Federal Government gave away land already to the VOA, who is to say they wouldn't do something like that when the Defense Fuel Supply Depot closes down and is removed?

Could we find the possibility, a generation from now, at having Ponte Vista residents share a boundary with Section 8 recipients?

During the time I was not living where I live, there was a storm by folks not wanting 'homeless' folks living so close to them.

What might this news bring to those who claimed to have fought hard against housing for 'homeless' persons and families on the 19.58 acres the VOA sold to Bob?

I'll try to learn more and get back to this blog with information I learn.

I would appreciate anyone who has more information about this issue to contact me at the Email address on the top of this blog.

My personal thought is that it might not be a bad thing for the VOA to redevelop the area they still own.

I have been to the Fresh and Easy Market on P.V. Drive North and Western and it looks to be a wonderful store for small families on limited budgets.

I'll write something about the new market on http://www.sanpedroissuestoponder.blogspot.com/

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Here is some more news I picked up on the VOA Web site. I don't know how old it is and I do not think it revolves around the area on P.V. Drive North, but I may be wrong.

Here is the link to the page: http://www.voala.org/whats_next/

Here is the paragraph of interest found on that page:

"We are about to receive at no cost between 150 and 200 three and four bedroom homes in an attractive San Pedro neighborhood, part of a Navy base closure, to provide up to five years transitional housing for formerly homeless families, including veterans. As these families’ incomes increase they will be able to pay higher rents that will create a surplus that can be reinvested in other critical community services."

I am still 'out of the loop' on this information which I will try and learn more about shortly.

2 comments:

km said...

I think it's bad for everyone when all the low income section 8 housing is concentrated in one area. Bad for the neighbors and the residents. Look at the projects off Harbor; are those people living in a safe environmnet? Is the proximity of a large mass of subsidized housing good for property values in the downtown area? No and no. It's better for everyone to have that housing spread out and sprinkled through the community. That's responsible planning for a liveable community for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for Section 8 housing where appropriate, but the Site mentioned is hardly 'appropriate' in my mind.

The site mentioned has minimal access to public transportation (buses don't run frequently and stop early in evening), and it doesn't have good/easy foot access to many options for dining, shopping, and employment.

So we'd be sticking people without a job, in a location where they can't get TO a job, and can't really likely to FIND a job Locally.

Any roof over your head is better than no roof, but let's find a spot where people can find employment or easy access to employment/transportation and/or a location where they can easily walk to where they would want to work/shop/eat etc...