Friday, November 21, 2008

I've Read It And I Am Still Shocked

I took the time to read the report.

It is still hard for me to think of words to write because it was so very different in its findings than I thought it would be.

It seemed almost too absolute. Each page that dealt with the plans Bob has proposed had negative comments about his plans.

It looks now more likely that Bob has a real beef with his urban planners and folks who were supposed to advise him. I am not suggesting that I could possibly defend anything Bob has done with his latest proposal, but as I read the document I saw how very far apart Bob's ideas were from all the people at the Department of City Planning.

There was seemingly not one thing that escaped opposition by the Department of City Planning.

I was more than amazed to read how planners ripped apart Bob's plans for senior housing where he wanted to put it, at Ponte Vista.

I will stop for a bit and let you know that if you visit you can read the four pages of the document that made up the recommendations by the Planning Department for what could be possible at the location in northwest San Pedro.

When you read that section and think about what Bob planned, you can see that the two groups are very far apart in their thinking about the use of the land.

Now back to the document and the issuance of so much negativity.

City Planners didn't seem to spare one area of Bob's plans from criticism. The location of the site so far away from community centers, transit hubs, pedestrian availability and many other things were blasted by planners.

Am I sad to read what I read? Well, I did opine that I 'dreamed' of a project that included some senior housing, upscale town houses, and regular condominiums. I was pleased to read that my 'dream' number fell within the number of units recommended using a density bonus by planners.

I also have flashes of anger when I read how far apart what Bob wanted compared to the recommendations made by city planners are. How could Bob have gotten away with what he has done to so many of his supporters for far too long?

The document was so critical of Bob's plans that it can't be believed he didn't know, long ago, that his project plans would not fly, or even taxi.

Had Bob's plans been even remotely close to what the recommendations suggests, he might have had a chance. But from day one, the only time he reduced the total number of units, he did so by such a miserably low number, everyone, even his supporters should have called him on it.

Would he have listened? Apparently not, it seems.

I tried calling the Outreach Team the last two days and I have only gotten through to the recorder.

It would not be that unimaginable to consider that layoff notices may have gone out to the members of the Outreach Team yesterday or today, but I hope that didn't happen. There are already too many folks without jobs around here.

Now Bob might simply batten down the hatches and sit on his land while the continuing economic turmoil goes on.

He now knows what can be considered for Ponte Vista, if he really wants the Planning Department to approve things.

As far as boxing related things go, Bob got knocked to the canvas. Whether he gets up is not yet known. He may be able to make it to the end of the round, but that is not known either.

Should the Harbor Area Commission meet on the Ponte Vista subject?

My opinion is no. If the Planning Department had come out with a different document, one that was closer to creating some kind of avenue towards approval for the project, then perhaps, they could have met.

But as you read the document all the way through, the idea that an appointed body would even consider going against the overall demeanor of the document and even suggesting some kind of positive comments about the project, would be hard to believe.

Harbor Area Commissioners are already down to just three potential members who would possibly meet on the subject. How red-faced would they be coming out with positive comments against a backdrop of the results from the document?

There are still opponents of Bob's who want you to prepare for the December 2 meeting. If you feel very strong about Ponte Vista, one way or another, then you should probably stick to reading whether the meeting will still be held.

I am sure there are some supporters of Bob's plans who may now be embarrassed to have followed Bob for so long, down the path to where we are now. Some of these folks need to remain embarrassed for their continued support of plans that have been found to be so wrong for OUR community.

I know this is mean, but I will not apologize for the following:

Remember when the supporter of Bob's plans got up during a CAC meeting and firmly stated, "Bob Bisno is going to save San Pedro!"

I think this is the end, for the time being, for Bob Bisno in San Pedro. I may be wrong, but his failures recently combined with the downward spiral in the economy indicates it is not time to build large or even low-medium density projects at this time.

Perhaps Bob will just pay the property taxes on the land, keep the Western Avenue gate open to Mary Star and allow law enforcement to use the site for educational purposes.

He could probably deduct from taxes because he allows use of the road and the houses on the site. He would continue to provide a benefit for law enforcement and get some tax relief on the side.

Bob may just want to rely on more economical means to really work with OUR community and a different set of urban planners than he used for Ponte Vista. His urban planners were definitely not in tune with the realities of doing a project in the particular area where Ponte Vista is located.

I don't think Bob can blame his failures completely on the current economy and housing market. He had the time, the opportunity, and the interest of members of OUR community to come up with compromise proposals that may have found approval, even two or so years ago.

I can't imagine his support base remaining as strong as it seems to have been, now that the report has been made public.

Supporters of Bob's plans, as I have written before, it is time for you to rethink your support for a plan that now has been proven by educated people dealing with urban planning to be too large and so filled with problems.

You do not need to turn on Bob or his Outreach Team, but you should let them know that you supported what now amounts to a hopeless cause that was carried out with not that much regard for your own needs and wants.

Some of you may also feel 'sold out' by Bob for your support for something that has been judged by the City Planning Department as being something that had really no chance for approval.

Of course, I have to continue to state that whatever is finally built at Ponte Vista should use unionized labor. The recommendations supplied by the Planning Department to suggest what could be built at Ponte Vista are probably too few in number to allow for unionized labor, but it is still something OUR community should still call for.


Jim said...

As most of us know and remember, there was a time when almost all construction labor was union.
Many people simply think that union labor is just more expensive, without ever thinking about the higher quality that comes with the higher price.
One only needs to look at a newly built house and compare it to one built thirty or forty years ago.

With quality goods from American factories being replaced with cheap, poorly made junk from overseas, and construction projects using unskilled, and poorly trained workers, it has become very, very clear that people have forgotten something very important:


Thank you

M Richards said...

Thank you Jim,

You wrote it better than I could have.