Saturday, December 29, 2012

Odds And Ends 200

First, thank you so much for reading this blog. There has been several stretches of time where I posted little and I appreciate everyone who visits this blog.

This is the 200th "Odds And Ends". I will continue posting these types of posts as well as other posts on this blog.

Please remember that the end date to submit your comments regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for The Ponte Vista Project, is January 7, 2013, which is now within 10 days.

I can now let everyone know that what was once called 'The Rudderless Steering Committee' for R Neighborhoods Are 1 is ready to start the new year. There is a lot of information and communication out there that will be brought into better focus for everyone to use to help each and everyone who cares about what is being planned for our community, has all the best and most truthful information possible.

Unlike during "The Bob Years" I have much more confidence in all the information coming from the 'new' development team to provide their best information to everyone, but as with so many things, there are always multiple sides to every story.

One of the issues I neglected to ask the great folks during my meeting with several members of The Ponte Vista Project's development team, was about 'Density Bonus' at Ponte Vista.

I think I remember during some community outreach gatherings, there was some talk about the current development team NOT seeking any density bonuses at Ponte Vista.

I may have remembered incorrectly, so one of the things I want to get clear about quickly, is whether we might see density bonuses being talked about, on all sides.

A Density Bonus allows a developer the right to built more dwelling units than they originally ask for, by providing some incentives in terms of 'affordable housing' in their project.

Typically, a Density Bonus could allow for up to 35% MORE housing units into a project than would otherwise be allowed for should the Density Bonus not come into play.

Let's say a developer is seeking approval for '1,135-units'. If the developer and/or community leaders and governors want to provide greater housing opportunities to more potential residents, a total of up to about 1,532 units could actually be approved for construction.

In a development of '830-units' there COULD be approvals for up to 1,120-units.

I write again that I don't remember well enough to state whether the current development team is or will seek Density Bonuses at Ponte Vista.

A Density Bonus also allows developers to use all the environmental information, studies and findings based on what they bring forth as their preferred project, and then have that information used to allow for up to 35% greater numbers of dwelling units.

I should have all this sorted out by the second week in January.

I have now witnessed TWO collisions involving vehicles happening in the 'slow' or outer lanes along Western Avenue, between Avenida Aprenda and Weymouth Avenue, in less than a week after the new white strips were painted.

A driver attempted to turn left into the south entrance of The Terraces, from the northbound left turn lane on Western Avenue.

The driver of a vehicle in the southbound 'inner' or 'fast' lane on Western, stopped to allow the driver to turn.

Another driver, in the 'outer' or 'slow lane of southbound Western Avenue ALSO stopped to allow the driver to turn into the driveway.

HOWEVER, since the outer or slow lane is so darn wide at that and other intersections, ANOTHER driver, attempting to PASS ON THE RIGHT of the one person already stopped in the outer or slow lane, did not stop or even see the turning driver and PRESTO, exactly what I have been warning about since I first saw the temporary lane lines painted on the roadway, happened.

The second outer or slow lane collision was on the northbound lane of Western Avenue at the entrance of the shops on the east side of Western Avenue and involved two drivers, both in the outer or slow lane, one trying to turn into the entrance and the other not watching that there was already a car in the outer or slow lane. It appeared the car more towards the inner lane tried to turn right and didn't see the car passing on its right, also in the outer or slow lane.


Both of those collisions happened while our schools were on Christmas Vacation. I am quite sure from having first driven along Western Avenue on May 3, 1971, that there will be some 'hotshot' drivers not wishing to get slowed down during morning or afternoon commutes who will try to pass on the right in the outer/slow lanes.

So with that, I end this 200th "Odds And Ends", except for:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today's Meeting Regarding The Ponte Vista Project

Today, I met with three members of the team representing The Ponte Vista Project and I can report that is was positive for me and I appreciated the way the meeting was held and turned out.

I met with Ms. Sarojin Lall, who is part of Strategic Communications for Marathon Communications, Inc.

I met also with Mr. Dennis Cavallari, the 'boss' if you will, of The Ponte Vista Project.

The last name I will add is Mr. Neill E. Brower, Attorney at Law. He is a lawyer representing The Ponte Vista Project.

On the outset I would like to thank the three team members for meeting with me and discussing with me many aspects of The Project.

I found the three to be friendly and ready to listen. Mr. Brower took notes but I don't think I have anything to worry about because everything I stated I would also put on this blog.

If any of you wish to speak directly to representatives of The Ponte Vista Project, especially to seek answers to any questions you might have, please contact Ms. Lall via Email at:

You can also reach a representative at:

All that being written so far, I have not changed my current considerations for what I feel could be successfully built at Ponte Vista.

I remain having no real objection to have no more than 850-dwelling units built at Ponte Vista and I do appreciate that one of the Alternatives is for "830-units".

I remain supportive of those who contend that the Alternative which would result in either a cleared site, with no building on it OR up to 429 Single-Family housing units, should be approved.

As explained to me by Mr. Cavallari, if any Alternatives are approved that would allow for new dwellings to be constructed on the site, iStar Financial would probably build the streets and other infrastructure elements and that the construction of new dwelling units would basically be 'farmed out' to builders who would build all or part of the approved units.

Ponte Vista is being proposed to have a "Specific Plan" type of zoning established for its site.

Currently the site only allows for new construction of up to 429-Single Family houses on lots of not less than 5,000 square feet. A Specific Plan Zone identification would allow the Developer to state where they want a type of dwelling unit, on land suitable for dwelling construction. (There is Open Space land that is not suitable for dwellings to be constructed on.

Specific Plan zoning also allows for open spaces to be established on land that could be used for dwelling construction.

A Specific Plan zone seems to allow more freedom by the Developer.

Traffic and traffic mitigation is always the main topic when considering what could be successful at Ponte Vista.

I found the illustrations of the proposed traffic mitigation elements to be refreshing, compared to those in the previous Draft Environmental Impact Report.

One thing I found interesting is that should the Project get approved for up to 429 units and the Developer actually starts with traffic mitigation efforts, fifteen elements would be dealt with.

However, should the Project get approved for 830 or 1,135 units, there would be just one additional traffic mitigation element  constructed. That actually does favor the Single-Family throughout Alternative, I feel.

As for the 1,135-unit Alternative, Mr. Cavallari stated that this is the Alternative he and his team will move forward and he will continue to advocate for that, unless and until he and his team decide not to.

He did mention that "830-units" is an Alternative that is still available to him and his team.

Of course I did my best to make my points that I am strongly against having 1,135-units approved for at Ponte Vista.

It was mentioned that the original time for the comment period for the DEIR was originally 45 days, but it was moved to 60 days, in part, because of the holidays.

I opined that I wanted 90 days for the comment period because some organizations are slower than others to move things along. I referenced my city's government as an example of a body that moves slower than some other groups.

Coming away from my experiences with this new development team and what we all went through during "The Bob Years", I think we have a marketing team that is more soft-sell than before and is working harder to make connections and meet with interested folks, too.

I hope all others interested in having their views heard by development team members, get the opportunity that I received.

Odds and Ends 199

As the year rolls to an end, I want to remind you that your comments regarding the new Draft Environmental Impact Report, (DEIR) are due by January 7, 2013.

The following are comments and an address to send your comments to:

Comments of the  Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Ponte Vista are due to the City by 4:00 pm Jan 7, 2013.  

We hope you will help on this project by commenting on the Draft EIR which is based on 1135 housing units.

It is not necessary for you to provide detailed comments.  It is important for you to say what concerns you have about the project [traffic, density, etc.] or what you would like to see built at the site [housing mix, single family, mixed use, additional open space, etc.] .  You should especially comment on the fact that the Jan 7 deadline is unreasonable, and requiring comments over the holiday season does not allow you sufficient time for review and comment.

The DEIR is available online at (click on “Environmental” then “Draft EIR” then Ponte Vista) or at the San Pedro Library.  It is as huge document so we suggest you look at the index and read the sections of specific interest to you.
They should be addressed to 

Erin Strelich, Planning Assistant
Los Angeles Department of City Planning
200 N. Spring Street, Room 750
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 978-1343
They may be sent  by email to 

It is important to include the following in the subject line:  Ponte Vista ENV-2005-4516-EIR

We recommend that you also send a copy to Councilman Joe Buscaino, 638 S. Beacon, San Pedro 90731 or by e-mail to

Please pass this on to others who care about our community
I know the author of the comments and I absolutely concur that the January 7, 2013 deadline is unreasonable because of the holidays and because not enough organizations will have time to confer, construct and vote on comments being sent in on the behalf of members. I believe there should have been at least 90 days for the comment period.

I am still confused and ill at ease with the new striping of the center lanes along Western Avenue between about Avenida Aprenda and areas south of Weymouth.

What my fear is is that more reckless drivers will use the very wide outer lanes to pass on the right, especially during the after 2 PM drive time. One of Rpv's Council members is very concerned too and I have talked to the traffic engineer for the city of R.P.V. about this.

It appears to me that the center lanes along a portion of the State Highway are not wide enough, along a portion of Western Avenue.

I will be meeting with a group of individuals associated with The Ponte Vista Project, later today and I intend on writing a post about that meeting.

What I can tell you is that I am pleased with the 'new' outreach being shown by the folks at The Ponte Vista Project and it is more refreshing to me than what I dealt with between  2005 and 2009.

Terri and I still have a chuckle remembering when it was considered that Terri look for employment at the trailers during "The Bob Years" which began in 2005 and concerned the time and efforts of Mr. Robert H. (Bob) Bisno and his attempt to over develop the Ponte Vista site.

There has been some new delays established with Marymount College officials' attempts to continue to expand their Palos Verdes North off-campus housing site, along Palos Verdes Drive North.

I don't know many of the details but I did read that some things have been moved into an 'uncertain' category.

I have read the Traffic Study for The Ponte Vista Project and viewed the illustrations of the traffic mitigation being considered with The Project. There are still a good number of folks in our community who continue to question the Study. Many folks have a much better understanding of the Study and some of what they are concerned about. They should be considered our mentors because of their knowledge, history and dealings with traffic in our area.

There are members of The Western Avenue Task Force who have much more detailed knowledge than I do, about traffic and many of them are also concerned with the Traffic Study of The Ponte Vista Project.

Is it going to be a rainy and cold winter before Spring springs? It seems to me that we have been getting more rain than we have seen in recent years. I also wonder what it may be like when Spring has sprung.