Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We're In The Interim

The "Interim Period" (I.P.) has begun.

I'm thinking it began when the report by the Planning Department was issued.

I'm thinking it will eventually end when the vote is taken by members of the Los Angeles City Council to authorize plans for whatever is going to be built at the site now called Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I'm thinking that the I.P. may last at least two years or more.

So now what do we do during the I.P.?

We first need to deal with the mundane tasks of the City Council's votes to disapprove and deny the applications, agreements, vesting tentative tract map, and everything else associated with the application now on file.

It may be a good thing to also attempt to persuade everyone to call for the applicant to rescind all the documents and simply start over, from the beginning.

We will need to be vigilant in the near term to ensure that no side deals or other improper deals are even discussed between the applicant and the Planning Department on amending anything and then attempting to present amended items to the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

We need to make sure that as far as what will be considered for construction at the site begins again at square one and that nothing gets in the way of that.

Really though, the biggest thing we can do for OUR community is to create ideas, concepts, illustrations, plans, and thinking about what WE want to see built on that 61.53 acre site.

It has already been attempted that a developer/speculator would come into OUR community and tell us what we want.

It is now time to instruct any developers or speculators what WE will allow to be built in OUR community.

The former was attempted and failed miserably. The latter needs to be allowed to take over, for the benefit of everyone.

We also need to discuss and even debate the Guidelines set forth in the report by the Planning Department. Are those Guidelines really the ones we can support in OUR community?

It is also important to mention our appreciation to Bob Bisno for his continued efforts to allow law enforcement and others to use the Ponte Vista at San Pedro site for training purposes.

It is also important to mention appreciation to Mr. Bisno by those who support keeping a road open through his property from Western Avenue to the Mary Star campus.

For those of us who don't like that road being open, that is another matter.

Maybe we need to offer suggestions as to what the site could be used for during the I.P.

John laughed out loud when I suggested using the housing and the outdoor areas of the site for a television show I initially called "Desperate Military Housewives". If a production company came to town for a lengthy period of time, most of their equipment trucks would stay at the site, many of the production staff and cast might use restaurants and businesses in OUR community, and it would provide Bob some mitigating income because the producers would have to pay Bob to use his site and buildings.

Heck, several series could be filmed on the site and provide jobs and revenue to folks in OUR community, I feel.

The I.P. needs to include outreach to those of us who were on very opposite sides of the issues that are now relegated to history. Bob attempted to break OUR community by dividing too many of us and somehow we need to all come back together for the benefit of OUR community and to create a project at the site that truly is the best for OUR community.

The I.P. needs to continue to welcome our four-legged friends who chomp their way around the site and keep the weeds to the lowest levels possible.

The I.P. can finally allow all of us to step back and do the real studies necessary to consider what folks really want in OUR community. There is now time for real studies to be undertaken using a large number of folks to really find out if senior housing is important in OUR community and if so, how many units do we really need.

We need to pay very close attention to Western Avenue during the I.P. There will have to be new traffic studies undertaken after a new Initial Study and Draft Environmental Impact Report is called for because of a new application.

Western Avenue, its traffic patterns, and the number of vehicles on it every day has changed since the initial and subsequent counts were taken for the project.

Marshall's, Target, Mary Star, and the market on Western at P.V. Drive North have all opened since the DEIR was published and things are different whether any developer says something or not.

Money may need to be found to look at the remaining old storm drains under Western Avenue that we may now have time to really inspect and fix, if necessary. Now that pressure to start building something at the site has waned, we should make sure that Western Avenue has the best possibility of remaining intact for the long run.

During the I.P. would some folks wish to look into changing the rules so that new cemetery land can be provided in SAN PEDRO, rather that just in Rancho Palos Verdes?

The fight against the old plans are over. Now we have the opportunity to examine what went correctly, what went wrong, and what can be done to ensure the best results for OUR community.

There are no more "supporters" or "opponents" I feel. There is nothing left to support and there is no reason, after the City Council action, to oppose Bob's old plans.

We are all now members of OUR community, the same community and now it should be up to US to consider what is best for US and OUR community and that is going to take work and resolve.

The I.P. will not be an easy time for many of us and there is a great deal of hard work ahead for all of us. It will be worth it when we finally welcome residents to a new development we can ALL be proud of.

There will be more requirements for things to get done as the I.P. progresses and we need to be ready, willing, and able to meet those future requirements, too.


Jim said...

This is very simple, build single family houses. That is what the land is zoned for now, and that is how it should stay. Period.

Single family homes would have the lowest density and therefore have the least negitive impact on OUR community.

Just because some greedy, out of town and out of touch developer made a terrible business decision and paid way too much for R-1 land does mean that OUR community should have to pay.

Louis Dominguez said...

Mark, I think you have finally gonr 'round the bend. R1 is dead, the city report made that clear. While YOU stand around patting yourself on the back, maybe you can explain to YOUR neighbors on Western what it means to their property values if the city is successful in having 200-300 low income housing units built on Western. For myself, I have not and will not gve up on trying to get senior housing built on the site. If YOU want to see ssomething else done with the site I suggest thqt YOU and the other OUR community types pool your funds and buy the land. Then I will happily support YOUR plans.

M Richards said...


Where in the post did I mention my support for keeping the property with its current zoning?

There is nothing in my 6-page 'wish' or 'dream' plan that I personally created that requires any R1 zoning on the site!

I believe this blog contains enough writing to prove that I do not necessarily favor keeping the zoning as it currently is, unless a developer/speculator like Bob Bisno proposes numbers of units that I find ridiculous.

Please Mr. Dominguez, stop claiming that I am one of the folks who demands R1 forever and always at the site.

I am trying to find more folks trying to come together and bring forth ideas for something that will benefit everyone at the northwest San Pedro site.

If you have done any real reading of this blog, you should have read in many places that my 'wish' or 'dream' is for 550 senior units.

I can imagine 130 upscale town houses and 400-non age restricted condominium units.

Where have you read that I continue to demand R1 be kept at the site, no matter what.

I feel that you are either misreading my posts or you still refuse to believe what I have told you directly to you on more than one occasion.

Now I can only imagine that whoever "Louis Dominguez" is that wrote the comment above is NOT the Louis Dominguez I know. Or perhaps there is someone else using Mr. Dominguez' name.

I am befuddled if folks are not willing to engage in constructive efforts to come up with what may be best for OUR community during this interim period.

I get plenty of flak from folks who continue to demand R1 remaining on the site. I do not need more flak coming from ill-informed folks who are not willing to read what I have been included.

If the "Louis Dominguez" who wrote the comment above is the same person who led an Advisory Board, then why don't you simply ask Elise to Email you my 'wish' or 'dream' plan and you can read it for yourself.

OUR community does not need to continue to have folks on one side of Bob's plans or another. We need to get well beyond that and deal with all options that need to be considered.

I still haven't read enough factual information that can provide enough true docemented support for having new construction at Ponte Vista limited to R1, now that the current application should be relegated to history.

We must start over. Folks who demand R1 now and forever need to produce real, factual, historical, and relevant information to back their demands up.

It does not mean that R1 will not be the ultimate zoning when the site is built out, at all. It does mean that all sides must prove their points for anything reasonable, realistic, responsible, and respectful can be built.

I feel if there are still folks who want to see a massive development on a scale anywhere near what Bob wanted, THEY need to realize that it will never happen and work towards something that will be supported and be the best for OUR community.

M Richards said...

Thank you Jim, for your comment, too.

I have always contended and will continue to contend that as long as Bob continues his application processes with his current application for 1,950-units, the Ponte Vista at San Pedro site must stay R1, NO COMPROMISE!

HOWEVER, that does not mean I need to continue to support keeping the site with its current zoning if I feel a better application can be ultimately written that would provide the best for OUR community, in my opinion.

For the folks who continue to demand that the site remain with its current zoning for decades to come, they need to understand some true facts, whether they like them or not!

It was, is, and always will be a long and hard uphill fight to keep the site with its current zoning.

I personally know of more than a few persons who have stated that in private and acknowledge that being the truth.

It could be wonderful having up to 429 single-family detached houses, all on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet, but the probability that that will end up being the case is about the same as Bob getting approval to build 1,950-units at Ponte Vista.

R1 is one extreme position as is 1,950-units, in my opinion.

Neither of them could probably be successful, in northwest San Pedro and many people know that deep inside their minds.

If I had a choice to buy a $800,000 R1 house in San Pedro or go right across Western and buy a home in R.P.V. for the same price, especially if I have or will have school age children, you know so very well what I would choose. I am quite sure you would make the same choice.

Everyone does need to understand that when anybody states that R1 houses at Ponte Vista would cost over One Million Dollars, they are simply stating something they cannot prove using true facts.

It doesn't matter what the price of the land is, using reasonable and realistic economics and building practices, SFR's at the site would probably be priced comparable to houses in the Strathmore area or Rolling Hills Riveria areas.

No developer/speculator would price comparable units to those for sale elsewhere, much higher just because they are brand new.

If anyone can show me historical records to illustrate the number of housing units at the site that have ever been constructed to R1 zoning, I would very much like to see it.

Many people I have talked to feel that simply redeveloping the current housing on the site would be the best thing. I have no real clue about that, but because there are so many duplexes, I wonder if there would be enough potential buyers for attached housing of that type to have all of the units being sold.

The biggest difference for me between R1 and 1,950 is that I could easily live with R1 and completely reject 1,950.

That does not mean that I don't think there could be a higher population density at the site compared to strictly R1 but that is something members of OUR community must come together and consider.

I am extremely uncomfortable believing that Councilwoman Hahn will always support population density equal to R1 at the site. I am even more uncomfortable with the fact that the Planning Department now backs up reasoning to create a density 1-1/2 times the density of The Gardens.

Perhaps is we can find ways to provide senior housing, upscale town houses and regular condos equalling a density of no more than 13 units per net acre (like The Gardens) that may be the best solution.

Any large number of non-age restricted condos at the site pose great issues with units becoming rentals, leases, or having rented out rooms. That MUST be avoided at all costs.

Somewhere between strictly R1 and probably 1,196 units is the best density for the site IF senior housing is included at some level to absorb the higher density of the regular condos and town houses.

I'm still sticking with my 'wish' or 'dream' for a total of 1,080 units because I currently feel it can provide the best overall solutions to the issues and still require the developer/speculator to provide traffic mitigation, a road from Western to Mary Star, and perhas some parkland.

Anonymous said...

Appeals Information

Appeal File Date: 11/13/2008

Case Number: VTT-63399

Address: 26900 S. Western Ave

Primary Zone: OS-1XL, R1-1XL

Planning Area: Wilmington -
Harbor City

Certified Neighborhood Council: Northwest Neighborhood Council

Area Planning Commission: Harbor

Project Description:
2300 Condominium Units with 10,000 SF of Commercial Retail

Required Action: 1A-Appeal

Appellant: Robert Bisno

M Richards said...

Thanks anonymous,

If I read your comment, it states that Bob has now appealed to build 2,300-units. Is that what the appeal states, or is he appealing his original application?

It really will not matter though. Bob is doing steps he feels are necessary to eventually come up with an application in the future than may see the light of day.

That application is something we all should consider helping him with by letting him know what we feel should be built at the site and establishing limits on him and his plans now that he attempted to do what he did to us.

On another topic about these matters, the word 'contrition' has popped up more than once and will need some more exploration, I now believe.