Sunday, August 26, 2012
1,135: Still Too Many!
Click on Illustration to Enlarge it.
1,135 total number of dwelling units is too many to be constructed at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
The current zoning for the site allows for up to 429 single-family detached dwelling units, on individual lots of not less than 5,000 square feet of land. This is the basic information for the zoning designation of "R 1" or "R1" in the city of Los Angeles.
To have any greater number of housing units, the zoning of the lots on the site would see a requirement by the Los Angeles City Council approving new municipal ordinances that would change the existing zoning to some other types.
"R Neighborhoods Are 1" was an organization of concerned residents established to try to keep from having the existing zoning changed from what the Los Angeles City Council approved in the past, to something else that would allow for greater dwelling density.
When you view the site now, you see duplex units there. When the U.S. Navy owned the property and build units there, they were and are not required to follow municipal zoning ordinances and the city zoned the property to what it is now AFTER the Navy built the duplexes.
Those of you considering that the duplexes should just be renovated and/or duplexes of that type and number are what you would like to see on the site, it can't be done.
The duplex units and other remaining apartment block units found further east, near the site are all not part of R 1 zoning. ***
I sat and still may sit on the Board of "R Neighborhoods Are 1" even though I no longer demand that the site remain with its legal zoning designations. I still feel strongly that if enough community members demand no change with the site's current zoning, I have no problem with that, whatsoever.
The Gardens, a nearby development, consists of 1,100 units on 80 acres of land, according to facts and figures published in many places.
The Gardens is comprised of condominium dwelling units with many having a small outdoor patio and easy access to garage spaces established for each unit.
The Gardens has been around for decades.
Using a calculator, divide the number of dwelling units at The Gardens, "1,100" by the acreage listed as making up the development, "80" and you should find that there are "13.75" dwelling units at The Gardens, per acre of land listed for The Gardens.
Ponte Vista at San Pedro, according to records created during the sale and auction processes consists of a land area of "61.53" acres.
If you multiply the total acreage of land at Ponte Vista at San Pedro, "61.53" by the number of dwelling units per acre found at The Gardens "13.75" the product is about "846".
I have strongly felt, for the last several years, that a reasonable number of dwelling units approved to be built at Ponte Vista should be equal to less than the same number of units per acre found at The Gardens.
The Gardens has Westmont Drive, a four lane road, going through is and all of the units there have access almost directly to Western Avenue AND Gaffey Street.
Every single resident or visitor to whatever is built at Ponte Vista at San Pedro MUST be transported, at least partially, along a portion of Western Avenue. There would be no direct access to Westmont Drive or Gaffey Street.
I posted the "Product Type" illustration above to give you an idea of the types and numbers of units currently planned for the site. Here too, we find far too many of several different types of units planned for the development.
With "392" units (Product Type 7)that have been designated as "Rental" units, along with the "161" units illustrated for Product Type 6, that totals 553 units out of the current 1,135 units now being suggested. When 48.7% of a development consists primarily of rental units (my thought is that a majority of the 161 units would also become rentals), what might that say about the other Product Types and whether a significant number of them would also become rental or leased units?
In the illustration there is listed "143" units of 2 and 3 story detached, single-family units. We can easily see a smaller development (135 units) of homes like this being constructed along Gaffey Street, south of the Ponte Vista site.
I wonder how many, if any, of these housing units being built there will be occupied by renters or those who lease.
Product Types 2-5 consists of 439 'townhomes', 'duplexes', and 'flats'. It appears that the majority number of units of these types are 'flats'. How many people do you feel would be interested in being owner/residents in a development with so many rental and leased units?
I feel there is a comparable development to what might occur at Ponte Vista, with the currently planned product types and it is called Miraleste Canyon Estates.
Miraleste Canyon Estates is a housing development originally called Laurel Tree Apartments and it is between Miraleste Drive and Western Avenue.
Some years ago, the housing site changed from rental apartments to a condominium, owner/occupied site. It is fairly old now. I don't know the ratio of owner-occupied units to leased or rented units there, but it might make a good study to determine what might occur for most of the 'flats' projected currently at Ponte Vista.
To me, the more rental units and leased out units there are in a development, the more transient the residential population becomes. I think there are more traffic issues to deal with than developments where the majority of the residents own AND occupy their spaces.
Some might offer a guess that, of the 439 units of Product Types 2-5 have 50% renters or leasees, then there could be as many as 219 units added to the 553 units of types 6 and 7.
I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that at least 772 of the overall 1,135 units now planned would become rental or leased units and I know that the Traffic and Transportation section of the Draft Environmental Impact Report that will 'officially' be coming out this Fall does not take that into any consideration.
During The Bob Years, the developer came up with a percentage of condo units to be built and designated for seniors to live at. Of course Bob would not segregate seniors from living in other areas of the complex, but he did offer senior housing. My feeling on that was that it may have been a good idea, but I learned quickly that he probably offered that as a marketing incentive to get more support for an overly huge over development from seniors living in the area.
With the new plans, no 'senior housing' is illustrated or planned. As I have seen in the last few days, there are seniors out there who are writing negatively about not having senior housing at Ponte Vista and that seems to confirm my earlier opinion that Bob offered his senior housing as a marketing ploy.
I am quite sure that should the current developers change some of the types of housing to offer seniors housing meant specifically for them, there would be even fewer folks objecting to having 1,135 total units built, on the site.
It could be argued that should approvals be given to built 1,135 units, over 772 of them, 68% of the total number of units, would probably become rental or leased units within the first three years after the project is completed.
So now, is there wiggle room in the total number of units the developers would be willing to discuss? I hope so.
I will remain strong in my work to find fewer units being built at Ponte Vista at San Pedro and if the commuinity wants R1, I'm perfectly fine with that.
I do have my high end limits. I know there must be fewer than 1,135 units approved, at the sight. If R1 (429) gets rejected by the majority and L.A. City Councilman Buscaino, some other number should be put forth. I have offered my high end limit being up to 831, but perhaps because of some calculations in error, maybe no more than 846 units could be successfully constructed there.
I feel I am settled with 'fewer than 850 units' and must consider that all of them might become rental or leased out units. I can live with that or R 1 (429).
I hope most others learn more and conclude that the number of total units closer to my wishes becomes the best for our community.
What we see and will see with traffic along Western Avenue, as well as with other housing being planned or under construction in our area, is that Western Avenue and the residents and visitors who use it cannot help but to realize that it has become more of a parking lot than a reasonable access route.
Let's give the developers 74.8898678% (75%) of what they are asking for at Ponte Vista and then let's continue to move forward.