Friday, December 05, 2008

Odds and Ends 94

I'm changing things up a bit because situations have changed very significantly.

If you want to read true fiction, please visit I had considered mentioning it only once on this blog, but now I think you should read what is published on that site.

In response to some of the issues written about on that site's Dec 2 post about 'benefits' that will be lost if only 1200 units are authorized, I can only write 'Hogwash!'

If there are no commercial services at the site, then folks only have to put shoes on their feet and walk a very short distance to an entire shopping center, complete with restaurants.

The site mentions obesity and diabetes but somebody also wants you to have to walks an even shorter distance to gather your coffee or donuts.

How many residents of the northwest San Pedro area have visited Eastview Park? I know you need to keep your vehicle doors locked and your valuables hidden, but that is true with every park's parking lot.

But with just a bit longer of a walk from Western and Green Hills Drive, one can visit that park which sits atop land owned by the Sanitation Districts.

San Pedro has about 11 times the park lands and open spaces per resident than most other places in the city of Los Angeles. We are all blessed with some of the most beautiful parks and open spaces anywhere. How much would a 6-acre park really benefit folks who don't live in the Ponte Vista neighborhood?

Oh boy, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce supports commerce. Duh!

Folks, it is time for the Outreach Team to stop beating a dead horse. Not only is that poor animal long dead, it has already provided some needed glue to some people.

There will NOT be 1,950-units built on the 61.53 acre site. Get over it! Put it to bed and merciful peace.

On May 29, 2007 I finally wrote for the first time that I considered R1 as the only option for the site. That writing was and is conditional and based on the concept that as long as Bob Bisno continued with plans for a project the size he wanted, R1, NO COMPROMISE! was my only option.

Until Bob rescinds his current application or it is finally put out of its misery by the L.A. City Council, the zoning at the 61.53 acre site must stay R1, NO COMPROMISE!

This does not mean I believe the final authorized residential units allowed for at the site will be built using R1 zoning guidelines.

Now that the Planning Department has issued its report with recommendations and guidelines AND it appears that Councilwoman Hahn supports those guidelines to build units according to zoning other than R1, it is now really going to be an uphill battle for those who continue to demand R1 now and forever.

The community needs to get together and finally discuss and debate whether R1 is the best for that site and I do not know the answer to that right now.

Times and generations have changed. I am a baby-boomer and there are more of us growing older and remaining active than there were for our parents' generation.

We will live longer, remain more active, desire more amenities, and demand more activities and options than generations that grew older before us.

While it still may be absolutely positively true that San Pedrans live in their homes and die in them when they get older, that doesn't mean the baby-boomer generation will want to do the same.

Even after the economic slowdown is over, aging baby-boomers will still be the highest spending age group in the country and we will flex our muscles to get what we want.

I believe some current and soon to be seniors do want some kind of senior housing at the site. I actually agree with those who wish for some senior housing.

Because if the types of housing seniors would want to move in to, there is probably little wish to have senior housing at the site with R1 zoning.

Senior housing at the site would necessitate a change of the current zoning on at least a portion of the site and that is simply a fact of life.

I continue to call for a realistic, independent, and objective survey being conducted within the 5-7 zip code areas nearest the site to determine the number of seniors who would actually consider buying a senior unit at Ponte Vista. But I do feel there are probably at least several hundred seniors or soon-to-be seniors who could find senior units at Ponte Vista a reasonable and practical option.

Bob continues to claim he cannot provide 'community benefits' if only 1200-units are allowed to be built at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

Too bad. So sad. Hey Bob, I still have an acre of the Moon for sale!

As people who want to, create different versions of what they want built at the site and sending those ideas to the Outreach Team, the Planning Department, and Councilwoman Hahn's office, there must be at least a minimum that any developer/speculator is required to provide, no matter how many units are allowed.

Full traffic mitigation will be required. I don't care if the final outcome is R1 or something below 1,197, each and every traffic mitigation issue must be accomplished prior to any construction beginning at the site.

A complete reanalysis and any mitigation dealing with infrastructure must also be accomplished prior to any construction beginning on the site, no matter what is authorized.

While I am quite sure that many folks will demand that a roadway be provided between Western Avenue and the Mary Star High School parking lot, I am still not convinced that this should be part of my requirement for the site.

It should be included in concepts and plans provided by everyone else who demands that the road remain open.

With up to 1,196-units spread out in two-story structures throughout the area, there will be more open spaces than what would be found at a 1,950-unit project, I feel.

Using green alternatives, gray water irrigation, and other items, there could be several larger areas of greenery afforded the site.

For me, that is about it for 'community benefits'.

Bob will claim he won't be able to do any of it, but can you spell s-p-e-c-u-l-a-t-i-o-n?

A member of the Outreach Team confirmed that Bob's company was using Credit Suisse, First Boston as a major financial institution for the project.

I read on Thursday that the firm was laying off some workers.

I have no idea how the strength or lack thereof with Credit Suisse might impact Bob's financials for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

The Outreach Team's site claimed that more money has been infused into the development recently so it can continue to go forward.

I wish Bob would use the money to put his current application into the round file and work with the community on new plans and applications.

But if he wishes to go broke continuing to head into real doom with his current application, then who am I to stop him?

Your assignment for this coming week is to grab a slip of paper and write down some notes about what you could live with at Ponte Vista.

"Jim" has already commented he wants to keep the site with its current zoning. I hope "Jim" will provide us with reasoning for his idea. If folks who want to keep the site R1 can make a strong enough argument to convince the majority of folks who are interested, then maybe that will be the zoning.

I have heard repeatedly that folks want to keep the existing structures on the site and just refurbish them and put them up for sale. If they can provide good reasoning for their ideas, then that should be read and considered, too.

Also from what I have heard and read recently, anyone who attempts to come up with a project that includes more than '1200' units will probably be roundly criticized. I have enough problems with my 1,080 'wish' to know that any more units than that creates a firestorm among many people.

Here are your starting points in considering what could be built at Ponte Vista.

Up to 429 is the highest number of single-family, detached residential units on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet. This is the "No Project" Alternative to the plans for Ponte Vista.

Up to 733 is the number of single-family, detached residential units that could be built using R1 and OS zoning WITH a density bonus.

Up to 775 is the lower end of the number of units suggested by the guidelines established by the Planning Department.

Up to 886 is the highest number of units suggested without using a density bonus.

Up to 1,040 is the lower end of the number of units suggested using a density bonus.

Up to 1,196 is the highest number of units suggested using a density bonus at the site.

245 is the number of existing duplex units still on the site. There is a building on the site that once held a small store and it is on the east side of the property. There is also a community building very close to it.

Up to 429 is the number of single-family, detached residential units on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet that Mr. Bisno could begin construction on in a matter of weeks or a very few months and he could do it without any new ordinances being passed by the Los Angeles City Council.

Remember the movie, "The Wizard of Oz"? In that movie, the good witch of the north told the main character, Dorothy Gale, that she could have left Oz at any time.

Something like that has always been true for Bob, too. He could have begun demolition of the existing structures and construction of up to 429 R1 zoned lots just after he bought the property and he still is allowed to do it, today.

I am not stating that he must do that or even that he should do that, but he could and still can do that if he wants to.

Perhaps Dorothy should have clicked the heels of her ruby slippers together and repeated, "There's no number like 429. There's no number like 429......"

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