Letters to the Editor 6-13-19
It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Randy Angel [“Easy Reader sports editor Randy Angel left it all on the field,” ER June 6, 2019]. Randy was an excellent sports writer. He cared a great deal about highlighting the accomplishments of the young people who participated in sports in the South Bay. Randy would go out of his way to advertise fundraisers and special events that supported the local teams. He always looked to put a positive spin when writing about our home teams. He would go out of his way to write about all high school sports. He he once told me that kids in the “minor” sports are doing some great things and deserved to be recognized. His quality writing brought a sense of professionalism to Easy Reader that many local newspapers are in short supply of. Randy will be missed greatly.
Head Rugby Coach
Mira Costa High School
Thank you for the kind words about my dad. His Celebration of Life will be at Torrance First Baptist Church on Saturday, June 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. Hawaiian shirts are highly encouraged. We would love if you could attend and share some memories of him!
Old school South Bay
The photo of the Third Street Apartments on last week’s cover [“Density Bonus: Can the South Bay learn to love more housing?” ER June 6, 2019] brought back a lot of memories. Around 1970 my brother-in-law moved from West LA and was living in the second or third unit on the left with some of his surfer friends. There was hardly enough room for their sleeping bags and boards but it didn’t matter, they were living at the Beach! It was a fun place to visit and there was always something happening.
I moved to the South Bay in 1984 and was sorry when it was gone in 1990. When I pass the spot I wish it was still there, because we could really use a place like it instead of one of those McMansions. It would be perfect for an Airbnb.
Oasis of objectivity
Ryan McDonald does good work for our community with his reporting of varying viewpoints and options on population density [“Density Bonus: Can the South Bay learn to love more housing?” ER June 6, 2019]. Objective journalism is becoming more and more rare these days. Personally, I like local control best when it comes to community/housing development. Central planners, with elite viewpoints, give me the cold shivers of winter.
Keep housing decisions democratic
The logical fallacy that we don’t have enough housing and therefore housing is too expensive does a disservice and is a simplistic approach to complex problem [“Density Bonus: Can the South Bay learn to love more housing?” ER June 6, 2019].
Did thousands of additional units drive down rents in Downtown LA? No. Here too is the argument that defeat of the “NIMBYs” will be the solution to housing affordability. Bumper sticker arguments and derisive terms directed toward neighbors hardly adds to constructive discourse.
The reporter further misses the larger picture of affordable housing being a national issue and not California specific.
A quick search reveals hundreds of stories from Rapid City, Austin, Iowa, Miami, Corpus Christi, Seattle, Falls Church and on and on. Does CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) impact these locales? Hardly. Does CEQA come into play, in California? Certainly. Is it the devil incarnate? Absolutely not. We can’t rely on profit-only motivated players to dictate policy impacts to our environment. Where are the affordable units from the building industry? They aren’t worth building and yet we want to strip important CEQA protections for this industry? Dangerous and irresponsible.
Convinced they can’t win democratically within the local model of governance, our state legislators reject democracy to impose a one size fits all “solution” to a diverse set of problems. Local councils and residents are best situated to evaluate circumstances and decide what works for them.
Let’s take a fresh approach, and reject the imposition of high density housing as the one and only solution to housing affordability.
Yes, people who vote trend older. Yes, people who show up at City Council meetings disproportionately affect policy. Why disregard their input in favor of what you imagine those who don’t vote or participate want or need.
You want to change that decision making dynamic? Get people to vote. Get people to show up and participate. Don’t unilaterally determine the people who don’t show up want “X.” That’s not democracy but rather an imposition of your assumptions onto everyone in one broad stroke. Perhaps the wrong assumption at that.
The South Bay is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Along with that we have an incredible entertainment and aerospace industry that attract people who earn enough to live in this paradise. To think that there will ever be affordable housing in paradise is just not logical [“Density Bonus: Can the South Bay learn to love more housing?” ER June 6, 2019]. An alternative that would still be controversial would be to subsidize housing for some such as is done now with Section 8 vouchers, or through public housing. That doesn’t require higher density, but would address the issue of affordability more directly.
Even if we were able to get to the point of everyone working from telework centers or home we’d still have infrastructure issues such as water and sewage as limiting factors. SB50 does not address those issues, and thankfully has been set aside. However, there are other bills in the State Legislature that are still being considered, that would have much the same effect.
The devil in SB 50 is both in its actual purposes and in the details [“Sandbox: California SB 50 bill ignores zoning’s fiscal impact on Redondo Beach”, ER June 6, 2019]. It is designed to enable developers to build high-density housing for high tech workers with little or no onsite parking for the economic benefit of the corporations importing the workers.
The developers would choose whether to build multiplexes or condos for sale, for millions of dollars, that would be “affordable” only to well-paid high tech workers, or apartments not subject to any rent control (except for any units under-priced as part of a deal for still-higher development).
Brand-ing the SeaLab loss
You can draw a straight line between the closing of the SeaLab and the choices made by Redondo Mayor Bill Brand [“LACC’s SEA Lab to close its doors at the end of June,” ER June 6, 2019].
Brand was a huge influence on AES’ settling on Pustilnikov as developer. Pustilnikov has no record of new development and has made only very vague statements about his plans for the AES site. We have no idea what his complete plans are for the AES site. There is a prevailing thought among Redondo city staff and those close to the harbor that Pustilnikov does not have the financial resources to pull off what he is attempting.
Of course SeaLab is a casualty. Putilnikov has no intention of developing anything in the harbor. He is buying up any leases to resell to someone else. This is as far from a comprehensive development plan as you can get. It is unfortunate for Redondo we are now stuck with this developer. Brand resisted all other suitors for the AES property because he said he would not approve any proposal that included residential.
I was in the room with Bill Brand for a presentation of a very nice proposal from a well financed Hermosa-based equity firm. This proposal was low impact development. It was one third open space, one third residential and one third commercial. None of it was over four stories.
Brand shot it down because of the residential. By the way, Pustilnikov has made statements that his proposal may now include 100 units of residential.