Letters to the Editor 3-16-17
School on a slippery slope
Even though our kids go to American Martyrs School, we support Hermosa schools and all things Hermosa. I’m coaching both my kids teams in Hermosa Beach Little League and our family is involved in other Hermosa Beach sports. We are attending the Hearts of Hermosa annual event, as we do every year. In looking at the June 2016 Hermosa Beach School Bond Measure S, which voters approved, and comparing it to the Measure S EIR, I’m shocked to see that the Hermosa Beach City School District has arbitrarily decided to change elements of that measure. It is now proposing a school for 510 potential students, not the 325 as promised by Measure S. Measure S called for building the classrooms over the Valley Park “slope,” not on 26th Street. A 26h Street building kill the views of us home owning residents, will cause insane traffic problems on the narrow streets of a compact residential community and will remove desperately needed parking. Almost every resident parks on the street and/or in their driveway. I’ve been living here for over 20 years and this area just won’t handle the flow. Hermosa’s View and Valley schools both have large drop off and pick up areas within the confines of the schools, not on the streets. And they are on major traffic arteries — Prospect Avenue and Valley Drive. North School is on a small residential street. I believe it was proposed to develop a drop off and pick up area off Valley Drive, which passes the slope side of Valley Park. I voted for Measure S. But I’d like an explanation, as do many friends and fellow, concerned residents, as to how the school district can arbitrarily change elements of Measure S? No one would have voted for Measure S thinking it would allow a huge building on 26th Street, killing all parking around there and having 26th Street be the drop off and pick up area. The much simpler solution is for a building on the Valley Park “slope” and entry off Valley Drive.
Opportunity strikes twice.
I’m still having trouble coming to terms with the passing of Redondo Beach Measure C last week. I don’t think Redondo understands the great opportunity we have before us, and that Measure C kills any chances of revitalizing the pier and harbor without costing residents. The measure is poorly written and completely scraps the hard work and progress we have made since voting in favor of Measure G in 2010. Nevertheless, it’s great to see that CenterCal is committed to our great city. They have worked side-by-side with the community, creating a project that’s within Measure G and inspired by our voices. And I’m thrilled to hear that their goal is to see this project to fruition. We need to continue to support The Waterfront and stay engaged through this hard-fought process. The Redondo Beach Harbor Commission and City Council have already approved the project, and as it heads to the Coastal Commission, our voices of support are as valuable as ever.
Waterfront olive branch
We are overwhelmed by the tremendous grassroots support from the community rallying together to win Yes on C by a resounding 57 percent. Our one-and-a-half year journey to stop the CenterCal mall has culminated in this tremendous success, made possible by the help and determination of hundreds of residents. Standard campaign tactics, from mailers to door-knocking, to phone-banking were the foundation of our success. Enormous credit goes to these tireless volunteers. That momentum snowballed with additional residents stepping forward to support Yes on C with two custom music videos, numerous viral videos, an independent music festival (“Pier Aid”), custom “Defend Redondo” hats, graphics, interviews and more. All this was done by passionate residents taking it upon themselves to fight the mall. The residents have spoken and Measure C is law. We are excited to move forward with smart revitalization of our waterfront, in compliance with Measure C. Our elected officials should create a comprehensive coastline plan, combining development of the power plant and harbor areas. CenterCal has indicated they may ignore the vote and try to use legal loopholes to continue their mall. If CenterCal returns with a project that complies with Measure C, we will welcome the opportunity to work with them. If CenterCal ignores the election results, perhaps they are better suited to do business in Russia, China, or North Korea. Your move, CenterCal.
Remember North Redondo
I am concerned that North Redondo has been all but forgotten.The South Bay Galleria reminds us that we are the broken down step-sister to our South Redondo neighbors. Artesia Boulevard has become an embarrassment, perpetuated by Mayor Steve Aspel’s newly celebrated arrival of CVS and The Grocery Outlet. North Redondo needs help. Artesia Boulevard does not reflect the housing prices of North Redondo and seems to be more paired up with our eastern neighbors. We could use all the help we can get, highlighting the failure of the North, so that we can rise up.
North Redondo Beach
Historic Designation of privately owned homes sounds wonderful and the intentions behind saving vintage homes should be applauded. But if a Mandatory Historic Designation is imposed on private homes there will be more devastation to our Little Beach Town than would be caused by a tsunami. Mine is on the list of the first 218 homes identified for Mandatory Historic Designation. I knocked on the doors of many of the affected property owners. They were all shocked and sickened that this could happen in America, let alone Hermosa Beach. I love my home, built in 1911, but I am not losing it without a fight. I spoke to a California Association of Realtors attorney. I was told the city can do anything it wants. “You need a land use attorney and you need to stop them before it starts or you need to sue the city.” That was the advice I received. The ramifications of historic designation include:
- Violation of personal property rights
- The loss of 50 percent of property values
- A demolition ban
- Building limitations on either side of the historic home.
- Lines of credit will be closed by the bank due to decreased value.
- Selling will be difficult if not impossible.
- Owner must disclose to new owners that there are building restrictions.
What the city failed to mention about the first phase of the 218 homes with Mandatory Historic Designation is that the properties on either side of the Historic Home will also be affected by mandatory building restrictions. The state dictates strong regulations on the public’s view of a historic statue, building or private home. The view to the public cannot be obstructed from the front or the sides. So, that increases the number of homes in Hermosa with building restrictions to 218 Historic plus a home on each side. And that’s only the beginning. If the city council passes this Mandatory Historic Designation – and the Coastal Commission approves it, here is where the title wave comes:
There are 1,156 homes in Hermosa that were built before 1939. This puts them into the potential “Mandatory Historic Designation” category. These homes and the homes on each side will also have mandatory building restrictions. That is a total of 3,468 homes with drastically affected loss of value, building restrictions, and extreme difficulty in selling. This is over one-third of all the residential properties in Hermosa. If you are a homeowner in Hermosa, go on the city web site and look at PLAN Hermosa’s Goal 10.4 Treatment of potentially historic resources. The wording creates confusion, fear, loss of value and a bunch of unnecessary red tape. Residents are really upset and city leaders need to address this. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Please don’t let our city council lead us down that road.
by Judy Rae