If you didn't notice by looking at the sign above, here is a hint.
Friday, June 26, 2009
If you didn't notice by looking at the sign above, here is a hint.
I guess one very long running rumor can't hurt writing about once in a while. It can be even juicer when a new wrinkle or two are mixed in.
Friday, June 19, 2009
"Jim" offered the first comment to this post and it was so good, I am putting it here with my response:
Why should our entire community and our quility of life suffer simply so a few people can make a huge profit. If they can't make a profit with the current zoning, than tuff luck, that's their problem, not ours. They should have been more carefull and done more research before handing over money for such a project. Their attemps to wear the community down are not working. I don't trust them any farther than I can throw them. They don't care about you or me, or anyone else who live around here. They only want to get the maximum number of units approved so they can sell off the property to someone who will no doubt use the density bonus and then try build something nobody wants
What the is surprise to me is that there are still so very many members of OUR community who continue to insist on R1 and that is perfectly fine and even wonderful to me.
On the supporting side, those folks support whatever a developer proposes, no matter how many units are in the offering.
But staunch R1 supporters took their stand and never budged, no matter what the developer is attempting to market.
I have written many times about what Janice and Bob said at the very first CAC meeting and how it didn't look likely at all that R1 would eventually remain on the property.
But by golly, the great number of folks who have stuck by their guns and continue to call for keeping the current zoning is still impressive to me.
If R1 remains on the site, that will be proven to be the best solution for OUR community.
I feel very strongly that 1,395-units, the current number proposed by the developer, is still far too many and definitely NOT the best solution for OUR community.
If R.P.V. is about to allow voters to levy higher taxes on hotel/motel businesses, perhaps the five closest zip codes to Ponte Vista should be used to offer a referendum to folks living in those areas on what should be built at Ponte Vista.
Friday, June 12, 2009
A ruling by the City Attorney of Rancho Palos Verdes finally put the nix on NIMBY neighbors of the Marymount Expansion Project as it relates to enlarging the off-campus housing on Palos Verdes Drive North.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Here is and article from The Daily Breeze.
Ponte Vista developers conducting new round of community talks
A new round of one-on-one community interviews were launched Wednesday as developers of San Pedro's proposed Ponte Vista housing project attempt to rework their plan to win city approval.
"We're now embarking on what the (Los Angeles) Planning Commission asked us to do, which is to work with the community and come back with a revised plan," said Jim Oswald, the facilitator who will conduct some 25 meetings with residents and community leaders over the next several days.
Planning commissioners denied the developer's former plan to build 1,950 homes on a 62.5-acre site on Western Avenue at a meeting in April.
Commissioners asked the developer to bring back two viable plans in three months. One plan is to show a development with 775 to 886 homes. The other is to show 1,395 housing units, which the developer more recently proposed as the alternative to 1,950 homes.
The parties are expected back before the Los Angeles Planning Commission on Aug. 13.
Oswald said the developer also will sponsor two public open houses in July to get more feedback from the community at large.
Earlier this year, Oswald conducted an initial round of interviews, followed by open houses leading up to the April Planning Commission meeting.
Doug Epperhart, a neighborhood council activist, was among those interviewed Wednesday by Oswald.
He said traffic and density are still the major issues.
"You can throw out statistics, but anyone who has sat through four red lights on Western Avenue is not going to believe you," Epperhart said.
"The real question is where between 1,395 and 500 or 800 (homes) do we land?"
Traffic issues and proposed traffic improvements along with the density and design of the project will all be on the table at the sessions, Oswald said.
"Obviously there are some of the very same concerns from the first go-around and a real interest in mitigating traffic," Oswald said. "That's the big one."
Ponte Vista has been the source of often contentious debate in the community since developer Bob Bisno purchased the surplus Navy land for $125 million and rolled out plans in July 2005 calling for 2,300 homes.
Supporters say the project would bring needed housing stock - including units set aside for those 55 and older - to San Pedro.
Critics say traffic on Western Avenue will become even worse than it is now.
The downturn in the economy has no doubt also affected plans by the developers, although they are still moving forward.
"I think the idea is that the developer wants to keep the project moving to the extent that it can," Oswald said.
The article states that two proposals should be provided to the Planning Commission. One proposal is for between 775 and 886-units. This falls right into line with my feeling that Ponte Vista should be built with the equivalent dwelling density of The Gardens. This would allow for 831 units on Ponte Vista's 61.53 gross acres.
I still haven't seen or found any objective studies or forums to suggest that many residents of OUR community need or want senior housing built in the area.
I can agree and allow for some senior housing at Ponte Vista and it is something I have suggested for some time.
But my suggestions, along with suggestions of others, are primarily based on subjective considerations and there really has been no test to determine whether senior housing is necessary at Ponte Vista for OUR community's sake.
Right now the proposition that senior housing be at Ponte Vista may be just a marketing ploy by the developers. If not, then I welcome some real studies informing all of us about the real necessity for senior housing.
I don't know how many of the folks interviewed by Mr. Oswald were interviewed by him during his first set of interviews.
It would be nice to see a new board listing who is interviewed this time when we attend the two open houses this July.
Monday, June 01, 2009
The following article is from www.yourpontevista.com the blog published by the Outreach Team for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
May 29th, 2009 by Ponte Vista
(San Pedro, CA) Ponte Vista Partners, LLC will once again work with community facilitator Jim Oswald to conduct a second round of stakeholder interviews, small group meetings and public informational sessions. This additional outreach is part of a continuing effort to work with the Harbor Area communities to finalize a development plan for the Ponte Vista residential community. The plan will be presented to the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission on Thursday, August 13, 2009.
During its public hearing for Ponte Vista on April 9, 2009, the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission directed the developer of Ponte Vista and the City of LA Planning Staff to work together on a compromise plan that “incorporates elements of the applicant’s revised concept and staff’s recommendations.” The commission set the date of August 13th to hear back from Ponte Vista and planning staff on the plan.
Oswald will interview key community leaders and stakeholders in June and conduct a series of group and public informational sessions in June and July. The public informational sessions will feature presentations and discussions on key topics of interest to Harbor Area community members. Information gathered from the sessions will help the Ponte Vista development team evolve the land use concept and prepare the compromise plan to be reviewed at the August Planning Commission meeting. Informational session topics may include traffic issues and proposed traffic improvements; housing types, density and design; and sustainable community design/open space.
Individual interviews and small group meetings will include neighborhood council presidents, board members and land use chairs, chamber of commerce leaders, homeowner association leadership, business leaders and residents living and doing business close to the proposed Ponte Vista community, and members of Councilwoman Hahn’s 2008 Ponte Vista Citizens Advisory Committee. Second round interviews will include individuals who have both opposed and supported the project and have been engaged with the Ponte Vista process over the past three years.
Key components of the current Ponte Vista Land Use Concept (based in large part on the first round of community outreach) include:
- A Senior Village for active seniors with its own pool, clubhouse and on-demand shuttle service in a secure environment
- Condominiums for first-time home buyers, young professionals and working families
- Workforce housing for teachers, firefighters, police officers and nurses
- More row and courtyard townhomes (two-thirds of the site is dedicated to townhomes)
- Neighborhood-serving retail for Ponte Vista residents and the surrounding community
- Access to Mary Star of the Sea High School from Western Avenue
- An environmentally sensitive community featuring water conservation measures including water reclamation systems and drought tolerant landscaping; a focus on healthy environment and reducing waste; and energy efficient systems and appliances
- A two-acre village green and dedicated community open space that includes walking trails and bike paths
- A commitment to good paying union construction jobs through a Project Labor Agreement
- Traffic improvement funding for synchronized traffic signals and acceleration/deceleration turn lanes in front of shopping centers on Western Avenue to improve the flow of traffic, which will be in place before new residents move into Ponte Vista
The Ponte Vista development team is looking forward to continuing outreach efforts with Jim Oswald to engage with the community to create a vibrant neighborhood that delivers a responsible, sustainable and reasonable development that is responsive to the needs of the Harbor Area.
About Ponte Vista
Ponte Vista is a new residential community being proposed for a 62-acre site located on Western Avenue in San Pedro. Ponte Vista features a mixed-income, multi-generational community with senior housing, and row and courtyard homes for move-up buyers, and housing for working families in a green, sustainable community. DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners is developing Ponte Vista. Ted Fentin, principal, of DLJ is leading the development team.
About Jim Oswald
Jim Oswald is a professional facilitator with Gensler, a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm. Oswald brings 25 years of experience in designing, managing and facilitating strategic planning and community outreach programs for a wide range of public, private, non-profit and institutional clients. He has successfully worked on dozens of land use and transportation projects across the United States.
Ms. Elise Swanson from the Outreach Team called me to set up my appointment with Mr. Oswald which I gladly accepted.
During the first round of interviews with Mr. Oswald a large range of comments were provided to him by a variety of individuals on all sides of the discussions.
I fully expect this round will be quite a bit like the first round.
Those interviewed should speak their mind about what they want to see at the development and provide reasons to Mr. Oswald for their comments.
Whether this might change the number and types of units currently being considered is not known by me.
I will let Mr. Oswald know that I happen to appreciate that the largest number of units currently being considered are 'upscale' town houses. I feel they will provide a more stable community even though I will continue to contend that 1395-total units is still too many for the project.
Perhaps Mr. Oswald will discuss with me why the Ponte Vista development team is not considering having an equivalent unit density with The Gardens.
It should be interesting.
You may also wish to ask whether your input to Mr. Oswald can be considered. You may want to give Ms. Elise Swanson a call if you are so interested.