Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Death of '1,950'

I think I have learned enough information for a long enough period of time to be able to state with a great deal of certainty that Bob Bisno will NOT build 1,950-units at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

We don't know yet what the number of units the Planning Department and its City Planning Commission will ultimately recommend, but it is safe to state that it will not be "1,950-condominiums and/or town houses."

In fairness to everyone, the passing of '1,950' was done months ago and has been kept as quiet as possible for some time.

As we all prepare to learn new numbers of units suggested for Ponte Vista, so too must we prepare to learn what Bob will not provide as the number of units go down. As his numbers go down, he will not provide amenities on the same scale or number that he promised at Ponte Vista.

We also may see a change in the types of units he will propose.

The largest and most vocal support for Ponte Vista as it currently is planned by Bob is by seniors wishing for senior housing at the site. Bob has a 'Senior Advisory Board' supportive of plans to build senior housing at the site.

If the senior housing component of Ponte Vista were to disappear I imagine that Bob will find a whole lot of his supporters joining the ranks of R Neighborhoods Are 1.

Since I also 'wish' or 'dream' for some senior housing at Ponte Vista, I feel it would be the straw that breaks the camel's back if senior housing is eliminated from Bob's plans.

Everyone also needs to be prepared for the fact that if the final set of entitlements does not include a minimum number of units that is in Bob's mind, he will not use Union labor to build anything at Ponte Vista IF he actually sticks around after the entitlements are granted.

Everyone should also realize that if Bob abandons ship with profits from entitlements, the other developers would, most probably, not use Union labor for their smaller projects.

For many months now I have used "Bob's current plans" instead of numbers of units in much of my posting. One reason I have done that is because I only can deal with the plans Bob is currently suggesting. He has changed his plans in the past and I think folks will learn quite a bit more during or after the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting.

For supporters, may I suggest that when you speak about Ponte Vista at the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting, you speak about the type of housing you would purchase at the site. The more folks that speak about one particular type of housing over others may provide Bob and his Outreach Team with more insight into what type of housing you thinks must be the most important housing at Ponte Vista.

For those supporters who are worried about losing opportunities to buy the housing at Ponte Vista you are really looking for, I think threatening Bob and the Outreach Team with your withdrawal of support for Ponte Vista would be a good thing.

For supporters, you need to stand firm for what you want, even though you may not get enough of the type of units you want and therefore not be able to move into Ponte Vista.

For opponents of Bob's current plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro, I feel we can claim victory in the first several rounds of a fifteen round fight.

Round One was the majority decision of Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee.

Round Two was the disapproval of the Vesting Tentative Tract.

Round Three can not go into our corner as the death of both '2,300' and '1,950'.

Round Four is the delay cause by many reasons that has kept Ponte Vista from being approved for two years longer than Bob had envisioned and revealed in the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study. Today's economy, real estate market, and R Neighborhoods Are 1 have teamed up to be the best 'corner' for the opposition.

I am fairly confident that Round Five, the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting will go in our favor.

Round Six may be a new plan for Ponte Vista that will see a great deal of supporters learning that they have fought for a project that will never be built and then become opponents of having a massive housing project built in northwest San Pedro that they will not be able to buy into.

There are still many more rounds to go and no one can say how it will end. I think opponents are leading on points but we must never let our guard down!

Obituaries to '1,950' are welcome.


Louis Dominguez said...

OK, you don't like Ponte Vista. Fine, your have the right.

However, to gloat that the economy and real estate turn down will help your cause is the height of bad taste.

Thousands of people are loosing their homes. Hundred of thousands are loosing their jobs. We are in the middle of a major recession, bordering on depression. There are many people looking for jobs, any kind of jobs. Right now, I am greatful to anyone who has the guts to invest in our community, who is willing to bring jobs. At one time, you made the point that these would be "temporary" jobs, but all construction jobs are temporary. That is why we need to have new construction all the time, either brand new or renewal of older areas. The first sign of an economic downturn is a drop in housing starts.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have a job or a pension have an obligation to make sure others are able to survive too.

M Richards said...

Thank you Mr. Dominguez, but I am confused.

I must respectfully disagree with your comment about any gloating on my part about the economy and real estate market.

I recently was "terminated" from a job at AT&T which I held for almost 28 years. It seems that even with my experience and job knowledge, they don't wish to utilize my experiences and training becuase I can no longer climb poles.

I have written many times that I feel Union labor should be used no matter what is built at Ponte Vista whether anyone else agrees with me or not.

I know construction jobs are temporary, but there will probably be some permanent jobs created at the site, no matter what is built.

The construction industry is facing the greatest challenges to it in my lifetime and we don't know when more jobs will be created.

I don't believe we are in the middle of a recession, rather I feel we are still near the beginning of what may become a very long recession and possibly a depression.

I don't see any end to the downward spiral any time soon and being one who has been actively looking for a new job for about two months now, I know for sure that things are very tough, and getting worse.

Having less than 30 years with AT&T and still being only 53-years old, I am more than well aware of what it is like 'out there' because in my case, 'out there' is 'right here'.

Just about anyone you listen to or read who claim they are financial experts believe this is the absolute worst time to retire. Yet, that is exactly what I have had to do; take my retirement.

I am not looking for pity, but Mr. Dominguez, I feel you do not know my situation right now and you may not be willing to realize that I am personally one of the people who is being and will be deeply affected by the downturn in the economy, just like millions of others are now having to live with.

I still am confused by so many folks who want senior housing at Ponte Vista continuing to attack me. I would think I should be afforded some kind of understanding because of my 'dream', 'wish' or opinion concerning senior housing at Ponte Vista.

From what I have heard recently, Bob may have stated to a number of his supporters that if things don't turn out the way he wants them to turn out, one of the types of housing that would not be at Ponte Vista is senior housing.

That, Mr. Dominguez, would be a problem for me and probably you too.

Some of Mr. Bisno's more vocal and active supporters have come from folks who have stated they would like to see some senior housing at Ponte Vista.

What might happen to the support for Ponte Vista by seniors if Bob could not or would not build any senior housing?

I don't believe I am 'gloating' when I write that had Bob done some real work at finding a compromise, he probably would have had his entitlements long ago and may have already been in the construction stages of the first phase at Ponte Vista.

In that case, it would seem Bob, with his reluctance to compromise has kept construction jobs for coming to Ponte Vista and NOT the opposition.

I have spoken to a number of seniors who support Bob's plans for Ponte Vista who long ago, stated to me that the number of units Bob wants is too many for their liking.

Where were those folks to speak up for compromise more that a year ago?

I can't imagine anyone really believing that lowering the total number of units from 2,300 to 1,950 is a sign of real compromise, does anyone out there think it was?

As a long-standing and major supporter of Bob's plans for Ponte Vista, I would expect you would know more about Bob's plans than I do.

If Ponte Vista at San Pedro fails, it will only partially be Bob's fault. I understand that new developments are having a tough time starting up, being constructed, being finished with construction, and then selling.

I am also sad that more folks who claim they support Bob's plans did not reach out to folks like me to work for a reasonable compromise that everyone could have lived with.

There are so few opponents of Bob's plans willing to come together with others to work on solutions, but it seems there are far fewer 'supporters' who were willing to come forward to fight a project that is simply too large for the community.

It now appears too late. From information I also learned recently, Bob may be pitching dire consequences to his supporters in what may be his final efforts to bring more support to his project and attempt to have his supporters remain together.

I highly doubt that the site where Ponte Vista at San Pedro is now located will end up being an all R1 development. But it is even more doubtful that it will have anywhere near the number of units Bob and Eric have applied for.

mellonhead said...

Sez Mark: "I highly doubt that the site where Ponte Vista at San Pedro is now located will end up being an all R1 development. But it is even more doubtful that it will have anywhere near the number of units Bob and Eric have applied for."

There is no REASON or OBLIGATION for any change in the R-1 zoning at The San Pedro Site (Ponte Vista). The "Ponte Vista" concept is real estate SPECULATION. That's all it is.

M Richards said...

Thanks mellonhead,

I do understand that there should be no obligation to have the zoning changed at the Ponte Vista site unless a large group of folks consider the demand for more low income housing in the greater L.A. Basin to be an 'obligation' OUR community should support.

I don't feel particularly obliged at this time to consider changing the zoning for that reason, during these tough economic times.

I sort of agree with you on the 'no reason' for changing the current zoning because I think my 'dream' or 'wish' can be thought of as equivalent to R1, with a density bonus.

Some folks may consider a project filled with single-family, detached 'patio homes' at Ponte Vista that people might want to move into. That type of housing would be a reason to have a change of zoning.

If we could get businesses like a research center or some kind of business that would directly help our local economy, then that may also be a reason to change the zoning.

There is no good reason, in my mind, to change the current zoning to allow anyone to build anywhere near the number of units at the site Bob and Eric currently want.

Things are beginning to move quicker in directions opposite of what Bob wants, so we all need to stayed tuned to what is coming up.

mellonhead said...

My 1:52pm remarks very aimed solely at the Ponte Vista concept. Also I was almost moved to tears by Louis D.'s post. Shame on you Mark' you gloater, you!

M Richards said...

Thanks again, mellonhead.

As I continue to try and post facts about Ponte Vista at San Pedro I need to restate a fact that may cause some confusion.

I don't really understand "the Ponte Vista concept" because of some facts that have been true since the before the beginning of Bob's tenure at the site.

The marketing firm hired by the U.S. Navy to auction off the land named the site "Ponte Vista" for their marketing campaign.

The original 'concept' was to sell the land to the highest bidder and also have that bidder purchase additional land from the Volunteers of America.

I have always tried to use 'Bob's current plans' or other ways to describe that 'Ponte Vista at San Pedro' as it is currently named deals solely with what Bob Bisno and Eric Hoffman have envisioned for the site, no matter what the number of units may eventually be.

Now mellonhead, I wish you would finally send me an Email and stop having me guess who you really are.

I have your possible identity narrowed to a short list, but after being burned by you-know-who, I would hope you would have read the sad, sad, sad, story of my current perdicament and simply reveal yourself to me as a way of acknowledging your consideration of my plight.

Naturally I keep secrets and I would not reveal your true identity to others I don't want to tell.

I think after news of the cancellation of the Nov. 18 meeting, we have about 6-1/2 rounds under our belt.

Please don't be a hater as far as Mr. Dominguez goes. I did nominate him to be one of my candidates who could be considered being 'more like John Olguin' for his work on the bridge lighting, his efforts with the Free Clinic, and his continued teaching of community members, along with his recently bringing a reunion to town.

I just happen to disagree with Mr. Dominguez' opinion concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

And as far as Ponte Vista goes these days, it is not 'gloating' that is currently happening, it is 'goating' that we see inside the fences at the site.

Nils McGook Hoopnoodle said...

Someday, hopefully sooner than later, Bob will leave the area.

If it does come to pass that he builds nothing at Ponte Vista and his application, zoning change,and vesting tract map is turned down by the L.A. City Council, then I think we all have will have learned some lessons that will help OUR community in the future in dealing with other developers who will certainly come.

If the Ponte Vista site has to start again from scratch, I have learned that is must be up to OUR community to decide together what is should be built on the site and not left up largely up to a developer to divide us with his or her concept for what should be built on the site.

Through the long processes we have witnessed, the division within OUR community, and the money and time spent both supporting and opposing Bob's current plans, I have learned that we should try and become a true community of residents prepared to jump into a wide open discussion of what could be built at the Ponte Vista site.

There are some really great folks on all sides of the current Ponte Vista issues and it would benefit OUR community for all of us to come together to seek what is truly best for OUR community IF Bob leaves town without getting approval for a project.

Whether the site remains R1 and OS1 in the future with another development should be up to OUR community because that area is the last large space for construction in San Pedro and it is located in a delicate area, as far as transportation and infrastructure goes.

If the opposition ultimately wins, as I hope they do in this case, I can allow for at least a few minutes of celebration.

But after that, those who celebrate should realize they will need to work hard with those who currently support Bob's plans to find a common area of agreement on what should be built at the site.

We have witnessed what happens when an out of town developer comes into OUR community, attempts to use division to proceed with plans many people know are just too large for the area, and attempt to state he knows better than we do as far as what should be built on the site.

If we want to protect OUR community in the future, we should come together and demonstrate a knowledge base and a willingness to work to find the best solutions for all.

It should not hurt to talk and no one should be allowed to divide OUR community in the future, because of their wish for a giant development.

OUR community works best when it works together.

mellonhead said...

Mark said: "Please don't be a hater as far as Mr. Dominguez goes." No way do I hate Louis D. I'm just disappointed in what he said in his post. How could I hate a guy that sent me a potholder in the mail when he ran for office? He's an up-standing member of OUR community, but wrong on Ponte Vista.