Friday, October 08, 2010

Odds and Ends 189

Here is an article from the Thursday October 7, 2010 Palos Verdes Peninsula News:

Ponte Vista owner presents new plans
By Ashley Ratcliff, Peninsula News
Thursday, October 7, 2010 11:20 AM PDT

The proposed Ponte Vista housing project, located on Western Avenue in San Pedro, is situated on a 61.5-acre site that formerly was used for Navy residences. Developers iStar Financial Inc. recently released a scaled-back project with 1,135 units.
SAN PEDRO — A project that seeks to develop homes on a parcel land, vacant since 1997, has undergone yet another transformation — units were reduced to less than half of the figure originally proposed.

In its first iteration, the proposed Ponte Vista project — located on the site of 245 former U.S. Navy houses in San Pedro — included 2,300 for-sale residential units for an estimated 4,300 people. Its most recent proposal, recently presented to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, includes 1,135 homes on a 61.5-acre site that borders the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.

“For years, I have joined with the community to push for a smaller project at the Ponte Vista site, and I was encouraged by my recent meeting with [developers] iStar [Financial Inc.],” Hahn said in a statement. “They have been listening and it looks like the concerns of the community, and the recommendations of the planning department, have finally been heard — as this number is much closer to what makes sense in this part of San Pedro.”

“It’s a step in the right direction,” added Mark Wells, an eastern RPV resident. “I prefer no more than 831 units there, because that’s the dwelling density equivalent to The Gardens, which is the large condominium development next to it.”

The L.A. Planning Department had previously recommended a density of 775 to 885 units on the property, located at 26900 S. Western Ave., directly across the street from Green Hills Memorial Park in RPV, just south of Palos Verdes Drive North.

Developers in L.A. are granted a “density bonus” if affordable housing is offered. With the bonus, the Planning Department’s number would increase to 1,195 units, according to Hahn.

However, Hahn said she is working to ensure that a density bonus will be prohibited at the site, limiting the total number of units to a maximum of 1,135.

Steve Magee, iStar Financial’s vice president, said the development will include a mix of housing types, such as townhomes and condominiums, which will be “accessible to a variety of households and income levels.”

While the plan, previously under the direction of Bisno Development Co., specified that 575 units would be reserved for senior housing for those ages 55 and older, the new proposal has eliminated that component altogether.

“The idea that older San Pedrans would move from their larger homes into condos at Ponte Vista [has] basically vanished,” Wells wrote in a blog post. “I don’t like that at all.”

RPV residents whose homes are adjacent to the proposed development are concerned about Ponte Vista because Western Avenue would be the only major thoroughfare for the project.

RPV Mayor Steve Wolowicz attended a June 2008 public hearing to speak on behalf of his constituents, which he called “the neighbor most affected by all of this.” He urged the developer to maintain RPV homeowners’ quality of life.

“This is not a NIMBY response on our part. It is not in our backyard — as a matter of fact, it is in our front yard,” then-Councilman Wolowicz said.

Wells said residents should be concerned about the Ponte Vista project for four reasons: traffic, the density bonus, the stability of iStar Financial — which, according to Bloomberg News report, may be on the verge of filing bankruptcy — and a general question of whether the new development will benefit or hurt the San Pedro community economically.

According to Wells, the climate has changed dramatically from prior interactions with Bob Bisno of former developer Bisno Development.

“I do appreciate very much how iStar Financial is trying to work with the community,” Wells said.

A new environmental impact report and traffic study currently are under way; however, the conceptual drawings have not been released and there hasn’t been any word of a public meeting concerning the latest project updates.

“We know the community shares our desire to improve this blighted piece of property with a development that addresses San Pedro’s needs for high-quality and mixed-income housing, while employing local workers to build the project,” Magee said in a statement. “As we finalize the site plans and begin the process of getting Ponte Vista built, we look forward to ongoing conversations with our neighbors, Councilwoman Hahn, and the community.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For those who may not know, I served along with three other Rancho Palos Verdes residents on Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn's Community Advisory Committee regarding the Ponte Vista at San Pedro Development several years ago.

Ms. Leah Marinkovich, Ms. Lucie Thorsen, Mr. Richard Brunner, and I were approved to serve on Ms. Hahn's Committee by the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council.

I am one of Ms. Ratcliff's 'go to' persons for comments and quotes about Ponte Vista at San Pedro and I appreciate her always correct, insightful, and most importantly, fair reporting concerning Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I believe that the ongoing new studies that will lead to a new Environmental Impact Report do not need a new Notice of Preparation or Initial Study because they have already been written and commented on, about four years ago.

There will be ample time for interested parties to read and offer comment on the new Environmental Impact Report mandated by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

I will continue to post more information about the sequences that will be followed between now and the date the final vote by the Los Angeles City Council regarding any zone changing municipal codes that may or may not be approved for Ponte Vista.
It looks to me as if Dr. Michael Brophy and others representing Marymount College may have taken a marketing course from one Robert H. Bisno.

Throw money at a really bad idea and you end up with a really bad idea having money thrown at it.

Marymount has spent ninety two times the number of dollars the opposition of Measure P, The Marymount Plan has spent, according to required financial statements.

At this point, with the publications of a full page ad and a half page advertisement stating "The Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce endorses Measure P" I have reached my point of utter disgust with the misleading, deceptive, and false statements coming from the Yes on Measure P campaign.

The heading is deceptive, misleading, and utterly false because of several reasons.

It is clearly an attempt to single out Rancho Palos Verdes residents who are not aware that there is no such entity as The Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

The campaign wants potential voters to remain uneducated that the majority of businesses represented by membership in The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce do not have addresses in Rancho Palos Verdes.

They probably don't like you to know that the Director of Communications of Marymount College sits on the Board of Directors of The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce or that the Chamber endorsed The Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project about two years ago.

I support The Marymount College Facilities Expansion Project as does The Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

During "The Bob Years" we all saw the damage caused by Bob Bisno's marketing practices that created the most divided population of the San Pedro community.

What we see today is a virtual repeat of "The Bob Years" with "The Michael Years" and how one entity attempting to have its way over the residents and government of a community can tear the community apart with little regard for any resident or the future of the community.

The simple truth about Measure P, The Marymount Plan is that it seeks to rest control and authority from the people of Rancho Palos Verdes and provide an overwhelming revenue stream to a College that has been on academic warning in the past and which has seen harassment, death, and underage drinking all too common on too many campuses.

It's all about changing municipal codes just like what Bob worked so hard and poorly trying to do.

Thank goodness we have new leadership representing Ponte Vista at San Pedro and can only wait until Dr. Brophy is handed his papers and he flees the area, just like what happened to Bob Bisno.
Also for Rancho Palos Verdes readers of this blog, the election to determine whether Rancho Palos Verdes becomes a Charter City has been set.
Denny's on Western Avenue is conducting a petition drive which I am also helping out with via an unscientific poll on my site.

The owners, managers, and lots of other people want the restaurant to remain open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

According to at least one manager I talked with, longshore workers want more options with 24-hour restaurants.

Carrow's has either begun or soon will begin remaining open 24 hours per day, 7 day's a week as I have been told.

Do we want two nearby restaurants remaining open 24/7?

I don't object to either or both being open around the clock and I live extremely close to Denny's.

It would take a vote by the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council to allow Denny's to remain open 24/7 and that may be a very, very complicated thing.

There are only 4-7-11 stores out of over 263 in the greater L.A. Basin that are not allowed to remain open 24/7. Rancho Palos Verdes has two of the four stores.

If Denny's wins its wish to remain open 24/7, I think the Southland Corporation and the 7-11 L.A. area management would be right on the heels of Denny's, should approval for Denny's to remain open all the time is successful.

No comments: