Saturday, November 22, 2008

Planning Report Rejects Ponte Vista Development

The L.A. City Planning Department has effectively voted “no” on the Ponte Vista proposal.

The 37-page document released late Friday is the staff recommendation to the appointed city planning commission.

The report serves to advise the commission ahead of next month’s vote on the Bisno Development proposal to construct a 1,950-unit condominium complex on Western Avenue.

Staff concludes that the developer should go back to the drawing board and start over.

The report states the proposed plan is inconsistent with the community plans. Among the findings is that a large amount of senior housing is not appropriate at this site.

The report suggests the property be designated “Low Medium I Residential,” which would allow up to about 886 units. By providing affordable units for low-income families, that number could increase to 1,196.

The Ponte Vista blog posted a message expressing disappointment about the staff report.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn said, “I have always felt that the proposed project of 1,950 units was just too big for this location in San Pedro. I am still hopeful that we can see a smaller project that delivers good jobs, mixed-income housing and fits better with this part of San Pedro.”

Pat Nave, a proponent of keeping the project at its current R-1 (single-family) density, called the staff report “a mixed bag.

“While it says that Bisno’s plan meets none of the goals of the city’s general plan, it also says that a development twice as dense as the Gardens might be all right. It makes no sense,” Nave said.

Other recommendations are that Ponte Vista be public (not gated) and that only two access points to Western Avenue be allowed at Avenida Aprenda and Green Hills Drive.

The report was released in advance of the Harbor Area Planning Commission meeting set for Dec. 2. Although it has no jurisdiction over the issue, the local panel may “review and comment” on the plan.

The city planning commission is expected to vote on the matter on Dec. 11. The commission vote can be appealed to the city council.

For further reading, view the full report and the Daily Breeze story, “Ponte Vista project gets thumbs-down.”

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