David Mendez

Redondo Beach Planning Commission sends Legado project back to drawing board

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Legado Redondo would redevelop a 4.3 acre site at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verde Boulevard, adding 180 residential units and 181,373 square feet of new development. Image courtesy City of Redondo Beach.

Legado Redondo would redevelop a 4.3 acre site at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verde Boulevard, adding 180 residential units and 181,373 square feet of new development. Image courtesy City of Redondo Beach.

“What a crock.”

“They’re just greedy.”

“Go back to the drawing board.”

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Those were among the choicest mutterings of adamant opponents to the proposed Legado Redondo development at Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verdes Boulevard. Hundreds turned out in droves on Thursday night, filling the council chambers and spilling out beyond the atrium and into the Civic Center plaza, nearly all of whom were borderline hostile toward representatives from Legado pleading their case to the Redondo Beach Planning Commission.

Ray Benning, a former two-term Redondo Beach planning commissioner, was among the many opposed to the proposal. “It’s out of place with the neighborhood, it’s not compatible with the neighborhood, and it’s too bulky,” he said. The traffic study, which noted that there would only be problems at one of the studied intersections, is also flawed, he said, noting that there are “only three ways” to drive out of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The Legado project, as proposed, would add 180 residential units to the property, along with 181,373 square feet of new development, including up to 24,000 sq. ft. of market space, 7,600 sq. ft. of restaurant space and 6,000 sq. ft. of retail space. It would also renovate the aging Palos Verdes Inn, without adding new rooms or square footage.

The opposition to the development was passionate and occasionally disruptive, as members of the public often shouted to interrupt speakers. Any who dared to speak in favor of the project were drowned by the audience — a gentle suggestion to mitigate pedestrian dangers with a bridge spanning over Pacific Coast Highway was met in boos and hissing.

“I’ve lived in that area for 40 years,” Carol Perry told to the commission. “There’s a good mix of condos, townhomes, apartments, shops, businesses and a real community feeling.”

“This thing looks to me like a subway station in downtown L.A. We aren’t L.A., we’re a beach community and we want to preserve that lifestyle.”

But of all the complaints raised by citizens throughout the evening, the most oft-repeated was an overwhelming claim that the developers of Legado Redondo ignored its neighbors, that its mailers went to disparate neighborhoods and ignored those most affected by the development. That was despite Legado Vice President Heather Lee’s repeated assertions that the company sent out cards asking for comment.

“Those mailers they’re talking about? We didn’t get them,” resident Jeff Mirosavich said. “They didn’t send those to anyone in my complex, and we’re right next door.”

After a near-four-hour hearing, the planning commission ordered to end talks for the evening, picking up discussion at the next meeting in sixty days, noting that Legado needs to take community concerns such as scale, traffic mitigation, parking, design, neighborhood compatibility and outreach into consideration — no short list, but one that the commission was optimistic about.

“The one thing I heard tonight was that no one said ‘We shouldn’t do anything,’” Commissioner Philip Sanchez said. “There’s a lot of open room for dialogue, and in that spirit, I think we have something to work with.”

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