Friday, April 10, 2009

Odds and Ends 112

To begin with, here is the statement from the Ponte Vista Outreach Team from their site:

Planning Commission Affirms Desire to Move Ponte Vista Forward

Apr 9th, 2009

This morning, following presentations from the Planning Department staff and Ponte Vista team, along with passionate public testimony, the Los Angeles Citywide Planning Commission directed the department staff to work with Ponte Vista to further analyze the department’s report and Ponte Vista’s revised Land Use Concept.

Ponte Vista is pleased by the Planning Commission’s decision, which not only recognizes the need for senior and workforce housing that is environmentally-sensitive, but also acknowledges the diligent efforts Ponte Vista has made to respond to the Planning Department’s staff report and the community feedback gathered in February and March, 2009.

Ponte Vista looks forward to working with the Planning Department and the community in the coming months to develop a plan that the Planning Commission can review at its meeting in mid-August.

Thank you to all of the many supporters who traveled downtown to show your enthusiasm for Ponte Vista, and to those of you who testified from San Pedro.

As the process continues, we are committed to being responsive to community concerns regarding traffic and density, while at the same time continuing to provide senior housing and homes for young professionals, first-time home buyers and working families.

I think it deserves repeating that there were some points made by the majority of Planning Commission members that can benefit OUR community whether one supports the current plans or not.

There is an interest in having some Senior Housing at Ponte Vista.
There was nothing basically mentioned about having the current zoning remaining at the site.
The creation of jobs was spoken about by just about every member of the Planning Commission.
Traffic continues to be the elephant in the living room.
The concept of having different housing types seemed favorable to the members.
There really was no discussion on the number of units for each type of housing.
The EIR needs to be recirculated with the new Proposed Project, the Planning Department's take, and the "No Project" Alternative which must be retained for legal purposes.

R Neighborhoods Are 1 representatives have already begun attempts to work with all groups in helping to create the best results for OUR community.

Very preliminary outreach attempts have been offered to work with everyone in a positive manner to get all the required studies done as completely as possible.

Offers have been sent out to assist in finding ways to get everything done as soon as feasible, too.

It would be a good idea to attempt to have the recirculation of the EIR completed within the time frame between now and the date for the project report so the plans can more forward with reasonable speed.

Even though so many of us may be weary of all the things that still must be done, we now have the real chance to get everything finished correctly.

I hope Mr. Fentin and the Outreach Team are as responsive as they have claimed they would be to all offers for assistance.

Maybe by the time the project receives the best entitlements, the economy will be sound enough for folks to really shop for a home at Ponte Vista they can afford and want.

All is not rosy though. There are still many hurdles to get over.

The traffic issues will not go away.

The realities of a density bonus must be thoroughly studied and dealt with.

Getting beyond the Planning Department's opposition for Senior Housing will continue.

The real numbers for the number of bedrooms, probable number of vehicles, realistic study results, prices and costs, and other things need to be known before entitlements are granted.

Can all of this get done in a timely manner? I hope so.

The auction ended for the original sale of the property on March 7, 2005. I think over four years of dealing with Ponte Vista at San Pedro is a long time.

But if OUR community is going to have to deal with whatever is built on the site for generations to come, perhaps five or six years of initial involvement will allow OUR community to have the best results possible.


mellonhead said...

Here's what I said in the Topix remarks section at the DB article. "The alternative is a project that is completely compatible with the surrounding community. Anything that is built will add to the air and noise pollution on Western Ave. The Western Ave. Task Force should be involved in the final decision making process."

Anonymous said...

There were many excellent points made at the City Planning Commission that were not mentioned in the newspapers. Here are a few items that stood out while I attended the hearing.

Deputy city attorney indicated State law (Senate Bill 1818) that gives certain development rights to applicants – density bonus. Propose waiver would attempt to buy not only this developer, but any future owners of the property. A concern as to whether the waiver would be enforced. Try to enter into that- there would just be no certainty. Also if you (Commission) do it through a development agreement. These typically freeze laws that are in existence at the time the agreement is entered. Deputy city attorney was not sure if can use this as a route to do this.

Commissioner Michael Woo raised a concern about the portion of this project which is a gated community. In the last 3 ½ years that he has been in the Planning Commission, Woo thinks he has not voted for any gated community. He has concerns about this because at least in other situations gated communities are kind of anti-social act. Commissioner Woo feels uncomfortable with this aspect of the project.

Commissioner President William Roschen raised concerns about the traffic and Environmental Impact Report. One of his biggest concerns is he reads the EIR. The senior housing is the most significant mediator in terms of that housing issue. Roschen thinks that probably is not appropriate. Some senior housing, but to depend on it solely for the mitigation of traffic, he thinks it could be a compromise.

Ms. Middleton said “what we really need is lower income housing, what we really need is affordable housing in a range that folks that make $10.00 to $15.00 an hour can afford.”

Mr. Doug Tauski said he is an example of a healthy senior citizen. I’m living in a nice 30 foot motor home at the moment. I’m living on social security because of the financial downturn. I’m looking for roof over my head. I’m looking for a job. Tauski challenge either the principal parties at the Ponte Vista or the union to explain to him how he is going to be able to afford to live in place like this, for affordable senior citizens or how he can get a job the project.

It would be wonderful for the Ponte Vista outreach team to inform the public as to how much the least expensive units will costs because many people are not aware of the deference between low income housing, affordable housing or workforce housing.