Friday, September 18, 2009

Odds and Ends 135

Quiet and stillness was the order of the past week concerning any new real new news about the Project.

I did appreciate the Outreach Team's post informing us about the latest reason we saw a number of parked vehicles on the property.

Another 'elephant in the room' seems to be changing and that can mean some things for OUR community.

Dr. Michael Brophy, the President of Marymount College announced plans to have the Junior College become a 4-year institution initially offering three different Bachelor's degrees.

It is common knowledge that the student enrollment at Marymount has been in decline for several years.

Many think having the College win accreditation to become a 4-year college will turn the declining enrollment around and the College may, in years to come, finally the maximum number of students currently allowed to attend the campus on Palos Verdes Drive East.

The College's application and approval processes to become a 4-year institution is expected to end by this coming February.

The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council conducted a meeting last Saturday specifically to consider the appeal to the current Marymount College Facilities Expansion Plan brought by Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount College.

The Council ultimately voted to send the issue back to staff and have them provide information about what might happen if the 4-year accreditation is approved for Marymount.

The Council instructed Staff to provide a report to them by this coming April.

It seems obvious to me that if Marymount College cannot become a 4 year school, then its future is grim.

Now considering that it is difficult to name any 4-year college in California without any on-campus housing for students, one might consider that the real reason Dr. Brophy and other are just now attempting to change the nature of the school is to quarantee on-campus housing will be built. This would probably end up being done via court order instead of approval by a City Council that could oppose such housing.

Currently there are over 300 Freshmen and Sophomore students living at the Palos Verdes North off-campus housing site on P.V. Drive North.

I have been told that most Freshmen living there don't have vehicles. How might traffic on Western be impacted if many Freshmen and Sophomore students were replaced at Palos Verdes North with more Juniors and Seniors.

I have also been told that most Seniors don't like living in any type of campus housing.

But since Dr. Brophy and other are trying to swell enrollment at the school by changing it, I don't think anyone can say how much impact on traffic would we all find on Western Avenue between Crestwood Street and Palos Verdes Drive North.

The E.I.R. for the Project, with Marymount as a 2-year school stated that 40% of the 1,561 daily trip INCREASE that would happen with the Project would pass along Western Avenue between the streets mentioned earlier.

Now a trivia quiz. Name a 61.53 acre site that sits on the east side of Western Avenue between Crestwood Street and Palos Verdes Drive North.

For a bonus, name the proposed Project site that currently has only Western Avenue as its ingress and egress route.

The middle of September has passes and I haven't read or heard when we will get a gander at the new plans and illustrations for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

I don't think any of us really mind about having the Outreach Team and development team try their best to get it right. We have waited through some very bad times so waiting through these times is a cakewalk.

The current whispering about new and old businesses along Western indicates that the Amalfitano Family really is trying to go forward with providing a full service bakery in Western Plaza. Hillside Liquor is getting a major remodel and there has been some consideration of what contractors to use and when those contractors can get started on the bakery.

I hope the members of the Amalfitano understand that working with the bureaucracy of Rancho Palos Verdes Planning Department and other departments require a large number of headache and anxiety remedies. Terri and I are still patiently as we can.

Did you see the not so subtle signs where P'Sketti is/was. Originally I was thinking that the current property owner was trying to sell the property with the drive-through Italian Restaurant remaining open. I don't know if I am still comfortable with that opinion.

Remember when Marie Calender's had signs up and they were threatening to move? A deal was hammered out to keep that restaurant there for years to come.

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