Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh Really? The 'Funny' Supportive Blog

I keep reading the publications coming from a blog that is supportive of Bob's plans for Ponte Vista. I have no idea how many other are visiting it, but it is quite a hoot sometimes.

I have never published the URL for the site because I figure if you really want to read it, you can find it on YOUR own. (Yes, YOUR is a hint)

Here is one of the funniest lines I have encountered on that site.

"Many Ponte Vista opponents insist that Bob Bisno knew that the property was zoned as R1."

That is not only comical, but if Bob didn't know the zoning when he bought the property, what does that really say about his judgement and planning?

It is true that back in 1999 there were all sorts of ideas for the use of the 61.53 acres of land and it is also true that many of those plans would have created more traffic congestion that Bob claims his project would create.

But those plans never got to the stage Bob is right now, unless we don't know what Bob knows.

We also know that had those former plans been considered to the stage Bob's plans are at right now, then there would have been plenty of studies and the acknowledgement that R1 zoning would have to be removed from the area.

The Los Angeles City Council adopted the current zoning at the Ponte Vista site well before 1999 and if Bob didn't know that, well.........

In fact, the City Council adopted the current zoning for the land during the time the U.S. Navy owned and used the land and had absolutely no obligation to even consider what the municipal zoning is or was on the site.

The post went on to state what Bob wants to provide as an explanation. The post did not bother to answer whether Bob actually knew what the zoning was when he entered into a protracted bidding process to acquire the land.

This post was funny to me because it illustrates that some folks on the Outreach Team may believe you are not as intelligent as I give you credit for. I think you can all easily see straight through the smokescreen being applied to the project.

But wait, there's more!

Not only did we get comedy on a post, we also got some more interesting reading with a second post created recently to suggest that Bob is the one who is willing to compromise and not too many others.

That post suggested that the number of units, 1,950, was "not a magic number". If that is the case, then why hasn't Bob produced the labor agreements that could state the number of units Bob would build and still use Union labor?

I guess the Outreach Team believes the reduction in total unit numbers from 2,300 to 1,950 is real compromise. I have a hunch and interviews to back up my claim that hardly anyone I have talked to, written to, or heard from believe that is anywhere near a realistic and respectful compromise.

It seems the post singles out Councilwoman Janice Hahn as the one who is not willing to compromise.

I was not only in the room, but sat as a member of the Community Advisory Committee when both Bob and Councilwoman Hahn began the Committee meetings with positive intentions and goals that we all hoped could be reached.

I was not only in the room, but sat as a member of the Community Advisory Committee when Bob rejected outright all three of the illustrations for compromises suggested by the CAC.

I have been dealing with the issues for several years and I am still waiting to be invited to a large group meeting of supporters and opponents, with facilitators present to hash out compromise ideas. Bob rejected the CAC's attempts at compromise, what should make anyone think he will really start negotiating with OUR community on real compromises after all this time?

Bob has had much more than two years to sit down with others, including opponents of his plans to try and work something out. Where were those meetings?

The post also states that; "there is significant support for senior housing". Oh really? Where are the independent studies to bolster that statement?

Has the Ponte Vista Outreach Team found potential buyers of all 850 senior units now being planned?

If it has, then o.k. I had in mind only 550 in my 'dream', but what the heck.

Bob Bisno may be willing to sit down with Councilwoman Hahn to discuss real compromise, but so many of us feel it is two years too late, and he wasted all of his chances that he could and should have used to really respect OUR community.

Lastly, all the amenities listed in the post would only be provided by Bob IF he gets a certain minimum number of units and entitlements at Ponte Vista.

And the Outreach Team has offered NO GUARANTEE that Bob won't simply sell his entitlements once they are given to him and provide NOTHING at Ponte Vista.


Louis Dominguez said...

Come on now. You really beleive that the CAC meetings were an attempt at compromise. The majority of people on that group were already committed to a side. I think the day that I came into a meeting to find all of you DESIGNING THE PONTE VISTA PROJECT I knew that it the entire CAC was a monstrous waste of time. There was not one architect or urban planner in the group. I would not pretend to know how to plan a development. That is a specialty,, not a hobby.

M Richards said...

Thanks Mr. Dominguez, but I must respectfully disagree with your contentions.

First, every table at the Planning Department's 'workshop' included at least one urban planner for that office.

The CAC members who participated in the exercise learned just a bit of thing from the planners and use their opinions to help each group create its own concept for the project.

None of the three concepts were identical in any way and the concept I was involved with included NO R1 zoning.

When Bob Bisno and his Outreach Team claim they used 'focus groups' to determine what they wanted people to come up with for Ponte Vista, I bet none of the members of those focus groups were urban planners or architect.

Of course planning a large project must not be a hobby, especially when it could affect the lives of so many people. We were not playing any games when we took on the exercise, and if you earnestly listened to the ideas that came out of each group, you should have realized that each group used its best efforts to simply suggest some compromise proposals.

Where are all the compromise proposals coming from supporters of Bob's plans who do not agree with his number of units?

Why do all the 'advisory boards' not publish their own advice on what THEY feel could be built at Ponte Vista?

I have know for over two years that there are good people serving on Bob's Advisory Boards who do not agree with Bob's current plans, yet they either seem to be afraid to speak out, or feel they might look bad to other supporters of Bob's plans.

You certainly know more than just about anybody else that when stands are taken that aren't quite the same as the majority of the members of a group you are working with, there is some friction that a person has to deal with.

I am still confounded that more folks don't realize that my particular stance is quite different, in many ways, than just about everybody else on the R Neighborhoods Are 1 Steering Committee.

I share your wish for some senior housing that, by its very nature, cannot be zoned R1.

Yes Mr. Dominguez, I actually tried, along with many other members of the CAC to get some kind of compromise from Bob Bisno.

Even though five members created the minority report, the majority report was very critical that Bob would not sit down with us to realistically deal with some suggestions for compromise.

It took almost all the way to the very end of the CAC's meetings for Bob to come up with his very small compromise and if folks really feel that was a significant, respectful, and reasonable compromise on Bob's part, I feel sorry for them.

When Bob presented his 'compromise' to the CAC and public, I can't imagine that many members of his advisory boards didn't shutter behind the scenes. I talked to several members of his advisory boards and they stated they were frustrated that the total number of units weren't much lower.

I would appreciate some real honesty and revelation by some members of Bob's advisory boards who feel they represent more members of the community. I would appreciate it if some of the members of the advisory boards were willing to go public with their true beliefs concerning Ponte Vista.

Both Ms. Rugnetta and Ms. Walker did open up to the public in 2007 with their beliefs that Bob's numbers of units were too high. It took some real guts for them to come forward and I wish others would do the same and reveal their own personal opinions.

You have all been able to read the facts that I do not follow in lock-step with the other members of the Steering Committee and that I have always been willing to work for compromises that are realistic, reasonable, responsible, and respectful.

I do believe good people like you, Mr. Dominguez and many others on advisory boards for Ponte Vista could have joined with folks like me and really worked for the benefit of the community to find the best possible solution for Ponte Vista.

We don't need to be urban planners to know what we want for OUR community. You, Mr. Dominguez, are not a urban planner but you did a remarkable job and providing OUR community with something very special we can look at every evening.

I hope everyone reads the posts on the blog/site that is supportive of Ponte Vista and be able to try and be at least a bit objective when you read some of the stuff that "I" writes. ("I" is the collected members of the Outreach Team that are not willing to provide their own identities to the posts).

If you or anyone else actually believes the statement made about whether opponents insisted Bob knew the zoning at Ponte Vista when he bought the property, you should be able to read for yourself how foolish that statement was.

I continue to hope that everyone in OUR community would rather defend OUR community than an out-of-town developer who hasn't gotten anything correct, it seems, when dealing with Ponte Vista and OUR community.