Saturday, June 28, 2008

SP Gives Earful of Ponte Vista Testimony

Every seat was filled in the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium auditorium ...

... and in the overflow area, too.

Supporters of R-1 zoning (single-family homes) lined up to sign in.

Union members and other Ponte Vista advocates sported bright yellow and orange materials.

A capacity crowd attended Thursday’s public hearing on the proposed Ponte Vista housing development.

Filling every seat in the room plus the overflow section, community members came out by the hundreds to deliver a message to city government.

More than 80 individuals spoke over the course of the five-hour hearing, held at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Testimony was about evenly split between supporters of the proposed 1,950-unit development on Western Avenue and those who favor a smaller development equivalent to R-1 (single-family) zoning.

The purpose of the forum was to gather information that will factor into a staff report the L.A. City Planning Department will prepare in the coming months. Staff’s recommendations will go before the appointed city planning commission in the fall. The city council will ultimately decide the project’s fate late this year.

Ponte Vista is a project of Century City-based Bisno Development Corporation.

The majority of hearing attendees illustrated their stance on their shirts, wearing buttons and stickers signaling support or opposition.

Activists first expressed their positions outside the auditorium, displaying posters of support and a huge banner of opposition on a van parked right in front of the aquarium.

Given the first opportunity to testify, Councilwoman Janice Hahn told the hearing officer, “this project is too big for North San Pedro.

“I ask the department to recommend a denial and to tell the developer to rework the project,” Hahn emphasized.

Officials from Rancho Palos Verdes and Lomita also voiced their cities’ objections to Ponte Vista as proposed.

Representatives of San Pedro homeowners, businesses, unions, environmentalists, social-service agencies, non-profit groups, neighborhood councils and youth sports organizations were among those who testified.

Opponents stressed concerns about traffic, emergency preparedness, public safety and other effects on community infrastructure and quality of life.

Supporters testified about the expectations of union jobs, housing for senior citizens, Little League fields, the “American dream” of homeownership and an overall boost to the San Pedro economy.

ABC TV Channel 7 covered the story on the evening news and posted the report online.

“San Pedro forum more heat than light” is the headline of today’s Daily Breeze story.

The city has extended the deadline for written public comment until July 11. Follow these instructions to submit written comment.


Anonymous said...

June 2008 San Pedro Magazine – Moving Forward

"Camilla Townsend, John Ek and Anthony Santich are leading the SP Chamber of Commerce in a Bold New Direction"

However, there is no mention that Board Director John Ek is a registered Lobbyist for Mr. Bob Bisno.

Anonymous said...

KPFK Midday News also did a story on Ponte Vista.

Log on to

Go to the audio archives link and look download the Midday News for Friday, June 27.

Anonymous said...

Nor is there mention that the talentless Anthony Santich hijacked the Chamber for his own self-serving, obvious 'political' aspirations, alienated the entire Women's Auxiliary and hundreds of longtime residents who actually love this city.
And how does his tearing down, perpetuating of lies and attacking of the much loved and appreciated Janice Hahn help improve San Pedro? It doesn't. It's another transparent tool used by Santich to bolster a dilusional ego for his personal agenda. How transparent and pathetic. Our community deserves better, Mr. Santich.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Santich is an attention-seeking narcissist who arrogantly thinks this city will somehow benefit from his personal, baseless attacks on others. That's no way to bring positive change to San Pedro and doesn't reflect well on our city in the press!

Mr. Bisno's record speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

On a positive note, can I add Camilla Townsend should be applauded for all she does for San Pedro. Kudos to Councilwoman Hahn as well for her tireless work. There are 2 people we as a city can be proud of!

Anonymous said...

I can't agree I've been all together pleased with Councilwoman Janice Hahn; there've been big ideas with small results so far. But in all fairness, she is trying tirelessly and does her due diligence.

I continue to watch and wait.

I do agree with other commenters, shameless personal attacks, Mr. Anthony Santich (who are you and who cares???), doesn't solve problems. Neither do 'not so hidden' agendas. Such blatant self-promoting is NOT what San Pedro needs. You do not try to ruin the good name of others - or arrogantly insert yourself into an issue falsely created in the first place - by coat tailing on unfounded Fox 11 stories. You don't do it by grandstanding at local ABC Forums to try to make 'a name' for yourself.

All the bad press that has been created as a result of short sighted, self-serving minds, Anthony Santich, makes San Pedro look like a bunch of in-fighting bozos!

Anonymous said...

I just think this Anthony Santich, a local never promoted above low-level manager at his age with no legitimate professional accomplishments, 3x divorced with serious personal issues and children from multiple, failed marriages, who is trying to get a little community attention (when the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and every key, local business individual, and even his closest personal friends, are distancing themselves and embarrassed by his actions)doesn't deserve the attention he is desperate to attain. I've heard the stories going back over 34 years and I don't want to hear any more!

Please, can't we just focus on SAN PEDRO and rebuilding, protecting and improving!!!???

Anonymous said...

What is Robert Bisno (Ponte Vista) getting in return for his generous donations to Los Angeles politicians?

It appears Bisno paid Lobbyists, including former Councilmember Rudy Svorinich who turned lobbyist, $270,000.00. Svorinich has contributed $354,369.92 to L.A. politicians between 2005 and 2007. Another paid lobbying firm, Irell & Manella LLP, has contributed $116,063.00 during the same time period. Bisno also contributed $20,000.00 in support of Proposition R, TERM EXTENSION for Los Angeles Councilmembers in 2006.

This is a total of $760,432.92 and does not include the public relations firm, Tom Tomlin & Associates, or the additional lobbying firms, Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, Psomas, Ek & Ek, and Afriat Consulting Group Inc, that have or are contemplating future contributions.


March 3, 2009 Los Angeles Municipal Election

Seats on Ballot:

City Attorney
City Controller
City Council Districts: 1, 3, 5,
7, 9, 11, 13, and 15.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious... isn't the bottom line on Ponte Vista this: how will it improve our local economy? Will these new funds help improve our streets, safety & overall value?

If not, forget it. I'm not thrilled about the notion of worsening traffic in the area. I really don't care who lobbies who, only hot-air-wannabees seem to want to make it about 'them', not about us. All that matters is WILL PONTE VISTA IMPROVE OUR OVERALL WELL-BEING? Will it bring better value to San Pedro?

Anonymous said...

Let’s hope Ms. Janice Hahn does the same for Northwest San Pedro area as she did for Vista Del Oro Neighbors Against Condos, restricting development to R-1 density and preserving a good quality of life issue. This will be a WIN, WIN situation as the property is already zoned R-1.