Thursday, November 20, 2008

Let's Set the Record Straight(er)

There is a site supportive of Bob's plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro that publishes the views of Bob and his Outreach Team.

One of the recent posts began with, "Let's set the record straight". The post then went on to issue proclamations that may or may not have been true.

Now it is time for this blog to publish a contribution from a very well informed source that contradicts what the Outreach Team seems to believe are the facts regarding the planned Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting on December 2.

The following set of comments if from Mr. Jerry Gaines, a former member of the Harbor Area Planning Commission and one of the informed leaders who helped create the regulations as they relate to Planning Commissions.
"As a former Charter Reform Commissioner I participated in the drafting of the regulations as they relate to Planning Commissions.

It is important to note that any development project that has a minimum of 50 units or more is assigned to the Citywide Planning Commission for decision making purposes. Area Planning Commissions (7 areas of the city) are given authority to review local small scale land use matters only. We felt that large scale projects could have a potential significant impact on more than just one region or area of the city. Therefore, projects such as the Ponte Vista project are only under the jurisdiction of the Citywide Planning Commission.

Therefore, all that is being done with the Ponte Vista Matter is to permit (if time permits) a local informational session to be scheduled during a scheduled meting of the Harbor Area Planning Commission. This commission has no authority to vote on this project. Although the Mayor appoints the five local commissioners, their views are officially just their individual views, and in effect are no more significant that those of the area Neighborhood Councils or other community agencies (public or private) and local citizens. From what I can see this December 2 meeting (if held) is just for convenience of the community to learn about the Planning Departments views on this proposed project.

Hopefully, there will be time to review and respond to the City Planning Departments Report and Findings prior to the Citywide Planning Commission meeting on December 11. My advice to all interested stakeholders is to prepare to make responses to the report at the Citywide Planning Commission meeting next month."
With my reading and re-reading of Mr. Gaines' comments, I believe that the Area Planning Commission is also not authorized to vote on even a recommendation being sent to the City Planning Commission.

I understand that during a prior Area Planning Commission, the members voted unanimously to have the upcoming meeting with regard to Ponte Vista and to make a recommendation. I now believe those members were in error when they believed they could vote on a recommendation concerning Ponte Vista, at any time.

I agree with Mr. Gaines when he suggests that all interested stakeholders be prepared to make comments on the upcoming Staff Report, and attend and speak at the Los Angeles City Planning Commission meeting on December 11.

Many members of OUR community have learned from Mr. Gaines. He has been of great service to OUR community for many, many years. I hope he knows how appreciated his willingness to share views and information with the rest of us is.

Thank you Mr. Jerry Gaines.

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