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.

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