Letters to the Editor 4-7-22
Dolphin Park dogs
I wish we had signs warning of fines for unleashed dogs in Redondo Beach (“Sign pollution,” ER Letters, Mar. 31, 2022). Dolphin Park has become the dog park of the area, which seemed tolerable even though owners let their dogs dig huge holes all over the park looking for gophers. Now it has become an unleashed dog park with many dogs racing all over, and quite a hazard for walkers. Especially the elderly. Today was an eye opener. I saw a lady pick up her dog and let him drink out of the people’s water fountain when there is an attached one for dogs. And of course there are dogs on the beach everyday, leashed and unleashed. I wish people were mindful of others and realize that dogs do not own the world no matter how much you love them.
Have dog, will bite
My big dog is well trained, but will not tolerate an unleashed dog approaching him, regardless of the intent (“Sign pollution,” ER Letters, Mar. 31, 2022). The last one required 33 stitches, all of which the owner was responsible for. Unfortunate? You bet. Completely avoidable? Absolutely. There are dog parks for free roaming with like-minded dogs. You won’t find my dog there because he doesn’t belong there. Your dog belongs on a leash when out in public no matter how docile. If you think $250 is excessive just wait til you see your vet bill.
Much adoo about nothing
This debate about dogs on the beach is much ado about nothing. The signs are much bigger than the bite (“Sign pollution,” ER Letters, Mar. 31, 2022). Hermosa Beach does not enforce any of these laws. Hermosa Beach not only has a prohibition against dogs on the beach, but electric bikes and vehicles on The Strand, excessive noise from vehicles and motorcycles traveling through town, leaf blowers (both gas and electric) and smoking on the Strand and Pier Plaza. I support these prohibitions and find it abhorrent that the Hermosa Beach Police department makes no effort to enforce any of them. This only leads to total disrespect of the law and more serious crime. I have no problem with a debate over whether dogs, leashed or unleashed, should be allowed on the beach. But the laws must be enforced. Until the law is changed, dogs should not be on the beach or anywhere else where they are prohibited.
Land (mis)use plan
Has our City’s Community Development Department (CDD) gone astray (“Plan for Project Verandas approved by Manhattan Beach,” ER Mar. 31, 2022)? With the recent approval of the Highrose Luxury Apartment project, and the previous approval of the Sunrise Senior Assisted Living project, I, and several other Manhattan Beach residents have concerns regarding our CDD’s support of these projects. Here’s why. If you review our General Plan and zoning code, commercial properties are important to our community and its residents. Simply put, commercially zoned properties provide sites for retail and service businesses that serve the daily needs of our community. Since we are first and foremost a residential community, these commercially zoned properties are few. We really don’t want to lose those that we have. Our Goat Hill commercial site on Pacific Coast Highway is now forever lost with the Sunrise Senior Assisted Living project. The Verandas commercial site on Rosecrans Avenue may be soon forever lost, as well, with CDD’s approval of the Highrose Luxury Apartment project. The Goat Hill properties, and the Verandas properties were zoned commercial, yet the CDD approved residential projects. That makes no sense. Shockingly, the luxury apartments proposed on the Verandas site rise four stories, a behemoth of a building. These approvals by the CDD are clearly not in the long-term best interests of our residents or our community. Interestingly, our current Community Development Director came from Long Beach, not a small residential community like Manhattan Beach.
I am very disappointed with the City of Redondo City Council for doing this (“North Redondo’s Springfest canceled without city subsidy,” ER Mar. 31, 2022). The city had the money, it could have done this. So these things won’t happen: “Proceeds from Springfest supported causes such as scholarships for Redondo Union High graduates, the North Branch Library and NRBBA events to promote community and commerce in North Redondo. ” Springfest was also a draw for folks to visit Redondo and spend money here.
Don’t spring for Springfest
Last week it was reported the Redondo Beach Springfest will no longer be subsidized by the city of Redondo Beach (“ North Redondo’s Springfest canceled without city subsidy,” ER Mar. 31, 2022). What wasn’t reported is the NRBBA is a political organization, which its own past presidents have said is ineffective, and should be composed of business owners, not part time hobbyists. The best example of how it should be run is the Riviera Village Business Improvement District (BID), which is able to hold large events without being fully subsidized by the city. We should not be surprised that no one in the NRBBA sought alternate funding sources for Springfest, or even bothered to pick up a phone and speak with the Riviera Village BID for ideas because it isn’t a business organization. While a reporter noted scholarships issued by the group, when were those done and how much was given to students? Also how did the NRBBA donate nearly $10,000 to the Redondo Beach Police K-9 program. We need to form a new group of business owners interested in promoting business along the Artesia Business corridor. What we have now isn’t effective and all you need for proof is to take a drive along Artesia Blvd.
Shady is good
Redondo Beach’s new tree ordinance will create a comprehensive plan for increasing our vital tree canopy far into the future (“$15,000 sign proposed for taking out trees,” ER Mar. 31, 2022). The challenge will be to repair the harm done in the bad old days of “build, baby, build,” mindless development that left much of the city with tiny lots, no parkway easements, and minuscule side-yard setbacks. Redondo was cemented over, leaving no room for trees. The tree ordinance would have us dragged backwards. I have been following tree issues ever since I met Mara Lang in 2018. Her passion for the beauty and healthfulness of the trees she remembered from her hometown spread through social media, creating the idea for an essential, long-needed tree ordinance. The public response has been overwhelming. I support this tree ordinance and know that the greatest thought and care will continue to go into it.
Shady shade law
This ordinance will do absolutely nothing to increase the tree canopy in Redondo Beach (“$15,000 sign proposed for taking out trees,” ER Mar. 31, 2022). It only punishes property owners who must maintain their property. It discourages property owners from removing overgrown trees. The mayor and council members who support this all live in condominiums or rent. They have no personal responsibility for maintaining trees where they live. It’s okay for the new council majority to punish property owners to fill the dwindling city coffers because the ordinance does not affect them. Recall Fourth District City Councilman Zein Obagi, who proposed the ordinance, and this insanity ends.
Every other beach city has a tree ordinance (“$15,000 sign proposed for taking out trees,” ER Mar. 31, 2022). Even Redondo Beach’s city staff agreed it would be good to codify what they are enforcing. Redondo Beach has lost over 2,000 trees in just the last five years, and more further further. The proposed $15,000 fine for illegally removing trees was due to comments from a landscape architect who worked with the City of Manhattan Beach. He testified the fine had to be high enough for people to actually follow the process. But none of it is final. The Council did not approve a new ordinance. They sent staff back to draft one.