Letters to the Editor 12-8-2016
Low and loud
There seems to be many more low flying commercial airliners from LAX over North Hermosa Beach. This seems to occur mainly late at night. Some of these giant planes sound like they are going to land on our roof. Didn’t the beach cities install a device that would record the number of these planes not following the flight pattern and report this to the FAA? Does anyone know what happened to this device??
Editor’s note: LAX flights can be tracked at webtrak5.bksv.com/lax4.
One step at a time
The Manhattan Beach Downtown Specific Plan (DSP), if approved, would allow increased building heights, increased tenant frontage, private dining in public right of ways and second story outdoor dining (“Common ground: City Council vote looms on Manhattan Beach’s Downtown Specific Plan,” ER December 1, 2016). This will almost certainly increase downtown traffic and increase the demand on the already insufficient downtown parking. I would request that the approval process for the DSP be separated into three sequential stages, specifically:
Stage 1: implement only the traffic congestion/parking elements of the DSP to prove that these plans will eliminate the current traffic parking and congestion issues
Stage 2: If Stage 1 is successful, develop a set of metrics to define the likely increase in traffic parking and congestion if the balance of the DSP is implemented.
Stage 3: If the traffic elements of the DSP resolve the current and projected incremental traffic issues, then implementation of the balance of the provisions of the DSP should be considered.
The City needs to prove it can at least solve the current traffic/congestion/parking issues before consideration of any changes that would increase our traffic issues.
Remember the Walkstreets
Current city codes are indeed not protecting the unique qualities of Manhattan Beach’s Walkstreets (Ultrafication of Manhattan: The absence of limits,” ER November 17, 2016). My neighbors and I have approached the city repeatedly about this issue. We have spoken out at planning and mansionization meetings (which always seem to be scheduled at times when most residents are unable to attend). A presentation to the City Council more than a decade ago, including a handout illustrating the impact of overbuilding on the Walkstreets, went unaddressed. A recent offer to lead Planning Committee members on a tour of the Walkstreets was ignored. And attempts to engage builders and architects in meaningful dialogue engender eye rolls and patronizing comments about property rights and profits. Walkstreet residents have been trying to get the City’s attention for years. Meanwhile, our neighborhoods have continued to erode as more and more out-of-sync houses have been built. The City and developers are destroying the true beauty of the Walkstreets. These car-free neighborhoods are unlike most any in the world. Protecting their charm can only enhance their value. In order to do that, houses must be built in a manner that preserves light and air, and encourages interaction with the neighborhood. If someone does not desire to be a part of the Walkstreet lifestyle, they should purchase a home in one of the other lovely areas of Manhattan Beach, so this unique and wonderful environment can be preserved for those who appreciate it. The City must act now, before the Walkstreets become another anonymous someplace people just pass through instead of live on.
Global Carbon missprint
Unless the Hermosa Beach City Council can be convinced otherwise, it is about to adopt the PLAN HERMOSA general plan, which includes making Hermosa Beach 100 percent Carbon Neutral. I feel the City Council is overstepping its authority and infringing on my Constitutional and property rights. While “Going Green” should be encouraged, it should not be mandatory. A big step to that PLAN is the Community Choice Aggregation for our energy source. It is an expensive undertaking and not without risks. The PLAN would mandate expensive retrofits on new construction, rebuilds and in selling a home. It even affects what kind of car you drive. If compliance is not met, one must pay a penalty (yet to be determined) in the form of credits to offset emissions. It is irresponsible of the Council to agree on such an extreme plan, which will likely have negative impact on our property values. Kudos to Hermosa Beach Planning Commissioner Rob Saemann, for his common sense presentation at the last Council Meeting.
PLAN HERMOSA seems determined on being “the first” to be Carbon Neutral. Our 1.4 sq. miles won’t be a speck in the Global Carbon Footprint. Unless, you are competing in the Olympics or sports event, I don’t see the need to be “first.” You can learn a lot by others’ mistakes. It is time for PLAN HERMOSA to re-evaluate its PLAN. I love Hermosa Beach, but dislike the radical direction it is headed. As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”.
Thanks for the “deconstruction,” but I’m just not that interested in surfer etiquette or paying my dues (“Bay Boys’ perch deconstructed,” ER December 1, 2016). Fortunately, we have the California Coastal Conservation Act, which guarantees free access to our coastline to everyone, from the shredder in the pink wetsuit and multi-fin thruster (remember Allen Sarlo?), to the pasty Iowa tourist with the beach umbrella and boogie board. Enjoy the waves everyone.
Brian “Spongebob” Hittleman
I hope everyone comes down to Lunada Bay (“Bay Boys’ perch deconstructed,” ER December 1, 2016). There is plenty of room for everyone. A bit of SCUBA with leopard sharks, surf for kooks and old timers too, freediving for lobs, paddle surf on your new SUP, sit on your rig and drink a beer (whiskey, yes?), shoot a few pics of egrets and harbor seals. The place belongs to you so get out there and enjoy it.
There is a hostage situation unfolding in Redondo Beach. Martin Holmes, Councilman Bill Brand and Jim Light have decided that the democratic process by which our great city is governed doesn’t suit them (“Seas and desist: Halting the planned redevelopment of Redondo Beach’s waterfront,” ER November 24, 2017). They have decided to take the city, its future and our quality of life hostage until they get their way. They are using the same sleazy tactics class action attorneys and other sore losers use. They are suing the city, wasting tax dollars and mounting a campaign to overturn the wishes of the citizens, who voted for Measure G, the elected City Council that approved the Waterfront and an appointed Harbor Commission by citing an arcane piece of legislation they think they can use to coerce the city. If Holmes, Brand and Light have their way and overthrow the democratic process, Redondo Beach and the decaying pier area will continue to be a leftover hulk of the ‘70s and confine Redondo Beach to being a third rate beach community.
Stuck in the ‘70s
Redondo Beach Measure G, passed in 2010, gave new guidelines for building and redevelopment of the harbor area (“Redondo Beach Council places King Harbor CARE Act on ballot,” ER December 1, 2016). Now, Rescue our Waterfront and Building a better Redondo (Martin Holmes and Jim Light ) are unhappy with the plans for the harbor and want to change Measure G , the same measure they put on the ballot. These groups are like pouting, whiny kids who didn’t get their way. They asked for a report on the financial impact of their new C.A.R.E. (Coastal Access Revitalization and Enhancement) initiative. The report found its passage would cost Redondo $200 million. They didn’t like that answer so now they say “it could only be $87 million.” These clowns have to go. Redondo Beach is stuck in 1970, just where these groups want to stay. Also, Bill Brand should step down from his District 2 council seat because he is not speaking for his constituents by recusing himself .
Brilliant Redondo Mayor Aspel recently pontificated that “all special interests are the same.” This falsely equates the 7,000 plus citizens against a mall, to a small (compensated) political group that is the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. There’s actually a big difference between the interests of concerned citizens, versus the chamber. The chamber’s small but vocal “political special interest group” gets money from the city ($800,000 a year). Other money comes from developers (CenterCal) and big donors to elect candidates to continue the game. Citizens aren’t lobbyist, work for free, and care only about what all the people of Redondo want. The special interests the Mayor appears to represent have bought votes, which means these non-elected people continue to run our city. That’s a big “special interest” difference.
Staff of logic
Thanks to the City of Redondo’s dedicated and tireless staff, we now know the real impact of the CARE initiative, proposed by “Rescue Our Waterfront” (ROW) (“Redondo Beach Council places King Harbor CARE Act on ballot,” ER December 1, 2016). This initiative is just one more stall tactic designed to block CenterCal’s development plan to beautify this community. Staffers plowed through the initiative’s 450-plus pages, enabling all of us to see the true and massively negative impact of the CARE initiative. Don’t get fooled by the rhetoric crafted by the ROW people. Go to the Redondo Beach City website and read the City’s Initiative Impact report.This Initiative will cost the City of Redondo and taxpayers $200 million in needed capital improvements. ROW’s Initiative will also keep Redondo squarely in last place among neighboring beach cities in terms of revenue and it will take at least decade to realize any improvements to Redondo’s decaying infrastructure. Where’s ROW’s alternative plan? There is none and no funding. Without the CenterCal plan, the City will have to issue bonds to fund the basic band-aids needed to fund any improvements.