Letters to the Editor 2-2-2017
Not the proverbial pol
I would like to say something about incumbent Manhattan Beach Councilman Mark Burton, who is running for one of the three seats this March for Manhattan Beach City Council. I am not going to discuss his stance on the issues. Or his record on the city council. There is plenty of opportunity for that on his website and at the debates, meet and greets and media coverage.
What I want to speak to is character. I have known gotten to know him through our Manhattan Beach Rotary Club and volunteerism. Burton will always follow his heart on what he truly believes is the right thing for our community. He and I don’t always agree on the issues yet my experience with Mark leads me to believe he is genuine person without the proverbial hidden agenda.
C for collapse
Last October, the REdondo Beach City Council approved the Waterfront plan. Based on the Measure G zoning changes approved by the voters in 2010, this will finally allow us to replace the aging infrastructure and refresh recreational opportunities in the harbor area. However, we now face a new challenge with Measure C. It is so prescriptive that it will not allow much beyond piecemeal efforts for harbor redevelopment. Many of its provisions contradict themselves and some potentially conflict with existing laws. It pretty much guarantees no foreseeable changes to the harbor area for decades, other than required maintenance. It also pretty much guarantees the cost of hundreds of millions in repairs, legal fees and reduced city income, which residents will need to pay for years to come. Please, join me in voting No on Measure C.
Redondo Beach Planning Commission
Blue water numbers
If our Redondo Beach’s elected officials and city staff applied the same scrutiny and interpretation of our zoning that they have leveled on Measure C zoning, the [Waterfront] mall would be much different and residents would not need Measure C. When the city wants a project they allow liberal interpretation of the zoning. Now that Measure C tightens up what they can “interpret” they are making ludicrous “interpretations” of Measure C. I made a formal request for any studies or analysis that were used to substantiate the costs the City attributes to Measure C. The City’s response: “There are no responsive documents.” No analysis or studies used to justify their ridiculous cost assessment of Measure C. If you want yet another risky, over-bloated mall, traffic, dangerous boat ramp and dangerous bike path and if you want to force toddlers to wade in contaminated harbor waters, vote no on C. But if you want to revitalize without overdevelopment, if you don’t want traffic gridlock, if you value the safety of those using the harbor, if you value views and waterfront recreation: Vote Yes on C.
Same old song
I’ve been listening to Redondo Beach councilman and mayoral candidate Bill Brand’s song and dance for close to 19 years now (“Redondo Beach Women’s March draws 1,800,” ER January 26, 2017). He’s a blocker and has done all he could to reject anything that might improve Redondo Beach. And like most frightened conservatives, he has no alternative plan. If Redondo Beach continues to do nothing to improve itself, it will degenerate to nothing, like the deteriorating parking structure. After taking the megaphone at the Redondo Women’s March, he erroneously referred to the march as a protest. Then, he claimed that the same moneyed people in Washington are funding the proposed pier development — what a lie. Brand as mayor will prove to be a complete disaster for Redondo’s economy and our way of life.
Online fulfilment not fulfilling
Bob Pinzler completely misrepresents what is being proposed for The Waterfront by the Redondo Beach City Council (“On Local Government,” ER January 15, 2016.). He makes no suggestions as to what Redondo Beach should do, but only condemns what is proposed. The article talks solely about retail and how brick and mortar stores being in decline. Retail is only 20 percent of the Waterfront Project. Retail in harbor communities has been very successful, for example Pier 39 in San Francisco and Seaport Village in San Diego, to name just two in California. These developments work because they give people a place to visit and enjoy the waterfront, restaurants, small shops and entertainment. A fulfilling life is not one dedicated to an online experience (shopping or friending people). The Waterfront Project will create an exceptional experience for residents and visitors alike.
I attended Women’s March and was overwhelmed by the amount of support and positive energy (“Redondo Beach Women’s March draws 1,800,” ER January 26, 2017). I am also thankful to Jennifer Ann Moore for organizing the event. To those who feel the need to write negative comments about this event because you were too lazy (and possibly too scared) to actually attend and have a civil, face to face conversation, let me clarify something, We marched not because we felt mad that our side lost, but because we were determined to send a message: we will not support a president who has run his campaign on the grounds of hate and discrimination. He has insulted virtually every demographic, with the exception of the white, Christian male. If you think he stands for the average American, check out the people he is filling his cabinet with: billionaire CEOs. That is why we peacefully protest. This has nothing to do with politics. It’s about demanding that Trump represents all people in the U.S., not just the ones who voted for him.
Not so bristol Bristol Farm plan
The former Bristol Farms site at 1700 S. Pacific Coast Hwy. in Redondo Beach sits worn and neglected, with faded paint on the vacant market building, shabby landscaping, small, vacant storefronts, empty parking lots and a closed, fire damaged hotel with torn awnings blowing in the wind. The 4.275 acres of prime real estate is just 0.5 miles from the ocean at one of the busiest and most dangerous/high traffic intersections in the Redondo Beach. Plans for the property date back several years. They include seven 2015/2016 Planning Commission and City Council public hearings and a developer’s lawsuit against the city, filed in August 2016. Local residents, who oppose cut through traffic and over parked conditions in their neighborhoods remain very concerned. Developer Legado Companies asked for as many as 180 apartments in the original application, They have come down to 115 units with 21,539 sq. ft. of commercial space, plus a multi-level underground parking garage. The city says this number is what is legal under the zoning ordinance. The neighbors on the avenues just north of this property and those to the south are asking for lower density, less bulk, safer traffic conditions and a plan more in character with the neighborhood. Why not build a high quality two-story project with open space, a tree or two, a couple of good restaurants and a remodeled boutique hotel, bringing jobs and tax revenue to the city? For the latest, speak out the City Council meeting on February 7, at 6 p.n. When the settlement agreement with the developer will be discussed.
Redondo Beach District 4 is the most densely populated district in the city and needs no more housing. If Forrest City comes back with a retail/office/hotel mix for the South Bay Galleria property, that would be way more in line with current residents’ needs. Housing will only drain scarce city resources.
Waterfront no place for La La Land.
On March 7, Redondo Beach residents will have a chance to stop a terrible idea; an unneeded movie theater in King Harbor. With barely 5 percent of Americans still seeing movies in theaters, it’s hardly surprising that ticket sales are the slowest they’ve been in a century. In fact the only theater complex left in the Beach Cities is the AMC Galleria and its continued operation is questionable now that Nordstrom’s has moved to Torrance. While council members Barbee, Emdee and Christian Horvath, along with Mayor Steve Aspel, seem ignorant of these facts, I’m still waiting for them to explain to us why they think it’s a good idea. Meanwhile all available evidence shows Americans shopping more and more online and not in the kind of brick & mortar retail stores CenterCal wants to fill our harbor with. Approximately 7,000 Redondo residents signed up to put Measure C on the March 7 ballot. If we show up and vote it will pass. And by electing Todd Lowenstein in District 2, along with Bill Brand for mayor and Nils Nehrenheim and Suzy Royds in Districts 1 and 4, we can help ensure that Measure C is implemented.
Manhattan Beach residents, should plan to attend the Wednesday February 8 Planning Commission meeting at 6:30 at City Hall. The Gelson’s development project will be addressed at this meeting. Manhattan Beach Residents for Responsible Development (“MBRRD”) will be making a presentation to enlighten fellow residents about the parking and traffic safety issues that the planned development is not addressing, among other concerns. Ninety-three individuals submitted comments expressing concerns about this development during the public comments period. Additionally, MBRRD’s petitions for incorporation of an appropriate deceleration lane and demands for an EIR were signed by nearly 300 individuals. We are dismayed at the utter lack of community outreach by Gelson’s and the disregard for residents’ concerns about parking and traffic safety by the developer. Why should this development receive a 2 percent reduction from parking code when other grocery stores in town have abided by parking code? And does Manhattan Beach need yet another bank, which is also part of this development? The focus over the next couple of years for our city staff and elected officials will be on developing the Sepulveda Corridor. This is the first of many projects on that corridor. Let’s ensure this project gets done right, which means abiding by code and incorporating appropriate traffic mitigation measures, and set the bar for future developments. Please let the Planning Commissioners know residents won’t be bullied by deep pocketed developers into approving developments that further exacerbate our already insufficient parking and increase traffic in neighborhoods.
by Judy Rae