Letters to the Editor 5-18-23
Georgia on my mind
I just got back from Savannah Georgia, where I stayed at the JW Marriott Riverfront (“Council denies Pustilnikov appeal of builder’s application,” ER News May 11, 2023). It’s an old power plant converted into a hotel. Why can’ Redondo do something like that with the AES power plant?
School of ROC
Kudos to Easy Reader and Redondo Beach Unified for showcasing SoCAL ROC, formerly known as SCROC (“Career tech crossroads,” ER May 4, 2023). As a longtime substitute teacher, mostly in Manhattan Beach, I am flabbergasted by the fact that more students do not take advantage of this valuable resource. I’ve been to the Torrance campus only a few times, but was immediately impressed by the professionalism, and high level of training. Imagine being a teenager without the desire or means to pursue a university degree, but who has received vocational training, and even a license or certification that allows them to earn a decent wage (certified welders earn over $30 an hour) or even start their own business. Academic fundamentals are certainly important and should be the priority of our educational system. But vocational training serves an important function, as well. Both are critical for the future success and well-being of today’s youth.
Path to nowhere
From even the most casual review, the Beach Cities Health District has spent around $500,000 in planning the bike path from Beryl and Flagler; along Flagler in Torrance; and then a 200-foot long strip in Redondo Beach. Based on the distance and work planned, well over half of the expenditure is for Torrance. BCHD announced it plans to spend $1.8 million to improve that 200-feet in Redondo Beach, from Diamond and Prospect to the Torrance city border at Flagler Alley. That is both an unreasonable, exorbitant expenditure and also a stranded segment because Torrance has rejected the work from the Torrance border to Beryl and Flagler. BCHD should not be allowed to waste $2 million of scarce taxpayer resources on a 200-foot strip of stranded bike path. BCHD needs to stop playing real estate developer for a 100% privately owned building and get back to basics — providing benefits to the residents who reside in the District (Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Manhattan Beach).
If you build it, they will come (“Skateboarder alleges excessive force in Pier arrest,” ER May 18, 2023). The skatepark is a permanent trouble magnet.
In response to your story about a Council decision, the City Council did not vote on the Vibe Hermosa matter (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023): It was not on the agenda, and the Council is not able to take action on public comments on matters not otherwise listed on the agenda. The City Council did add a future agenda item requesting that staff provide an informational item on the topic of home occupations. We recognize that Vibe Hermosa is an important resource that has touched the lives of many in our community, and City staff remains willing to work with the business owner to identify alternative solutions for the business that are consistent with City regulations. It is important to note that Vibe Hermosa operated in violation of City Municipal Codes. In addition to operating without a local business license (Code 5.04.202: License required), the business also operated without the required provision or maintenance of off-street parking spots (Code 17.44.050: Unlawful to reduce available parking), effectively taking up local parking spaces that otherwise could be used by the public. After the business owner was notified of these violations, the owner applied for business home occupation, and was informed that the business was not eligible. Specifically, the business did not meet criteria for a home occupation. Some of the criteria for home occupations are as follows:
- Such occupation shall be carried on only by occupants of a dwelling, and shall involve the use of not more than four hundred (400) square feet, not to exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the total area of the permitted buildings on the premises.
- No display of any kind shall be visible from the exterior of the premises.
- No foot or vehicle traffic may be generated to or from the premises except for traditional uses such as tutors and day care centers as approved by the planning director.
Staff has discussed several potential solutions with the business owner that would allow the business to be permitted while preserving local parking and licensing requirements, including applying to convert the property for commercial use, securing a location in a commercial building, or operating the business on public spaces including the beach and parks. We hope that we can work collaboratively with the business owner to support Vibe Hermosa’s ongoing success while remaining consistent with City regulations and ensuring adequate parking for the public.
City of Hermosa Beach
That is crazy (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023). I used to live and own the duplex three houses from Vibe Hermosa. The owner is using his own private parking spots, not public parking. They are on the privately owned property, and those properties are grandfathered residential, but are now zoned commercial. He is using it under the current commercial restrictions. Whoever submitted the initial complaint is a fool for being mad at someone running a business in a commercial zone.
It’s time for the Hermosa Beach Community Development Department to think outside the box (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023). Allow Vibe Hermosa to pay a business license fee, and let people enjoy the benefit of its physical training classes.
Keep Hermosa Hermosa
Cities and businesses need to be flexible in order to be successful (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023). You can’t just crack down on a business after allowing it to do what it has been doing for three years. How about providing some time to adjust to the “law.” What happened to “Keep Hermosa Hermosa”?
It works for restaurants
The city should give Vibe Hermosa some parking spaces to set up their gym just like they did for the restaurants (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023). We don’t need more parking. I never have a problem getting a spot on a Friday or Saturday night.
Joshua E. Imhoff
In its place
How about doing the business at a business location (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023)? That would be cool.
All too familiar
The city destroyed the Horsepower Crossfit gym and now is giving the Vibe Hermosa gym a hard time. Does someone in Hermosa have a problem with gyms (or happiness)?
Room with a view
Does Vibe Hermosa have the right permits to run a business in its parking spots (“Popular activities go one for two before council,” ER May 11, 2023)? I’d be kinda ticked if I lived overlooking a gym outside my apartment window.