Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An Email With One Correction

An Email has been sent out from: "RNeighborhoodsAre1 Steering Committee"
According to the Email, it suggests that the Ponte Vista Outreach Team will not have or take input or hearings where citizens can participate.

Ms. Elise Swanson, the head of the Ponte Vista Outreach Team assured me that there will be a public "Open House" where members of the public can offer their opinions, number and types of units they want, rants, raves, suggestions for amenities, and whatever members of the public wish to speak about.

Ms. Swanson stated that they will try to schedule the "Open House" in March.

As for the rest of the Email, I happen to agree with everything else, but I felt it is only fair to correct an unfortunate miscommunication the writers of the Email may have with Ms. Swanson.

I am a member of the Steering Committee and I believe everyone needs to keep their eyes open and consider what they would like to see at Ponte Vista.

I hope readers of this blog will also realize that the current application cannot successfully be changed using only minor changes to find approval from the Planning Department and I have to agree with the Email that it is necessary to demand that all of the processes beginning with a brand new application based on realistic numbers and what is best for OUR community is in order.

So now that I have corrected the one item I don't happen to agree with, here is the body of the Email in question:

The Very Latest Update on Ponte Vista
Current Status

Almost everyone has heard that Credit Suisse First Boston has replaced Bob Bisno at Ponte Vista. However, everyone else except Bob remains on the Ponte Vista team.

Right now, the Ponte Vista application for 1950 units [2633 with the density bonus] is on the April 9, 2009 Planning Commission agenda. This was continued from February 12th at the request of Credit Suisse. However, while Planning Department staff recommended denying Ponte Vista’s application, they also said that, based on a proper application, approximately 885 units might work. Since this equates to 1196 units with the density bonus, far greater than the density of the Gardens, we question whether that is appropriate.

What Is Ponte Vista Up To?

Why would Ponte Vista continue a hearing they are sure to lose? Here’s why:

They will try to use the time to negotiate minor changes with Planning Department staff and ramrod it through the City Planning Commission without input from the community and without any of the hearing safeguards that are normally required. .

Ponte Vista has stated that they want to ‘reach out” and “work with the community” on a plan. We understand that they intend to meet with “key individuals” of their choosing. However, the rumor is that they may consider reducing the size to 1500 units [2025 with density bonus] and will try to negotiate this change with City Planning Department staff with no input or hearings where citizens can participate.

Why is a New Plan Important?

Ponte Vista needs to withdraw their existing application and start over, thereby allowing for consideration of a wider number of options for use of the property, obtain a credible traffic study, and permit public input in the planning process.

What Can You Do?

Send an email to the Planning Commission, with a copy to Janice Hahn, asking the City to

[1] turn down the present Ponte Visa application,

[2] require a new project application, and

[3] hold the April 9th hearing and future hearings on it in San Pedro. A sample e-mail letter is printed below. Cut and paste the subject line CPC 2006-8043 GPA-ZC-SP-DA, Ponte Vista into your email subject line.

Please email your letter to the Planning Commission ( with a copy (cc:) to stating that you support the staff recommendation for denial and asking that the meeting be held in San Pedro. You might also want to send us a copy (cc:) at You can cut and paste and personalize the following message:

Sample letter:

Subject: CPC 2006-8043 GPA-ZC-SP-DA, Ponte Vista

I support the staff recommendation for denial. I am concerned about allowing Ponte Vista to continue the hearing on its current application while at the same time, they are telling the community that they intend to change their project. It sounds like they intend to negotiate with the City without the public input that would be required of a new application and without submitting adequate traffic and other analyses.

I am also concerned that all Planning Commission hearings are held downtown. These are very difficult for me to attend. I would like to request that any hearings on this project be held in San Pedro.

Thank you for listening.

What We Also Need Now

Thanks to everyone who has already help fund this cause, but additional contributions are still needed to help pay the attorneys' fees. You can still make make your contribution by using PayPal on line at and click on the donate button or by sending a check payable to

“R Neighborhoods Are 1" to:

R Neighborhoods Are 1
1840 S. Gaffey St. #316
San Pedro CA 90731-5361

Please note on the check that it is for the legal defense fund. We are keeping track of donations. If there are funds remaining after all the legal work is completed, we may be able to return some portion to the donors.

Volunteer to help get the word out. We are developing a list of individuals who will help get the word out in their respective neighborhoods. Please e-mail us at with your contact information if you are willing to help.

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