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.