Land use in the South Bay

Our beautiful South Bay is under siege from multiple directions and we have been fending off these attacks with mixed results: Max height increases, gentrification plans in Redondo Beach pier, the lot on Herondo Street and Downtown Redondo, consolidation efforts to turn homes into multi-unit mixed-used shopping centers in Manhattan Beach, even some brazen realtors trying to change the name of neighborhoods to better market their properties.

These efforts only indicate the value of our land which is strategically and conveniently located in the heart of Southland. Center Cal Properties and its subsidiary Topgolf just doubled their offer in less than two years! This shows how far these people are willing to go to take a chunk of our precious real-estate and still make a profit. Sadly, some city representatives are blinded by short-term gains with terrible long-term effects.

Now we the residents, as the patrons of our town have a dire duty to protect our assets with vigilant hawk eyes, so our children can live in similar or better conditions. Today we live in a comfortable environment, less traffic compared to the west side, sustainable density, and world-class schools. True, some improvements are required in our neighborhoods, but mindless constructions disguised as renovation and housing crisis efforts are not one of them. Frankly, the City should be doing more in informing the residents about important issues with modern available tools such as mobile social media platforms, so voicing our concerns would be easier and more robust. I strongly urge the residents to take a more proactive role in these manners and not elect real estate agents to top city posts.

 —Ari Mir, Manhattan Beach

Don't blame landlords

I could not disagree more with the Nov. 7 letter which ascribes landlords as “greedy.” 

With rent caps established by AB1482, those landlords who were kind enough to not keep their rents at market rates will effectively be punished. They cannot increase their rent to market rates due to the retroactive clause in the legislation. If they wish to protect the value of their investment, their only choice is to evict tenants because this is the only way they can reset to market rates. Highly unfortunate, but the grim reality of the consequences of this legislation. 

I’m sure many landlords did not want to be forced into this situation—particularly those who had not been raising rents for longterm tenants. Landlords are not nameless, faceless people. Many are people who worked hard and saved in order to own investment property.  They are not the enemies Sacramento would have you believe them to be.  Sacramento politicians are ever in search of a scapegoat for problems they have created. 

The high cost of living in California is not an accident. High taxation, costs associated with Cap and Trade, high energy costs, ever-increasing labor costs and the inability to institute any type of tort reform (remember when this was actually discussed in California) have led to unbearable costs for businesses, including property owners.  This has led and will continue to lead to the stratification of California into two classes, leaving the middle class behind. That is not the fault of landlords. 

—Carolyn Petty, Hermosa Beach

Walk streets in MB

The Manhattan Beach walk streets were created as view corridors, but many have become overgrown due to inconsistent code enforcement.

The date palms at 34th and Bayview are absolutely in violation of the Pedestrian Walk Street Standards. The developer wants to comply, but some neighbors would rather look at shrubbery than the ocean.

The solution is simple: The city must enforce their code, and for tree lovers, we have the "Tree Section."

Earl Waggoner, Manhattan Beach

Politics in Hermosa Beach

Political participation in the politics of Hermosa Beach is the reason Advocates for Hermosa Beach exists. Political organization is hard work, takes time, effort and energy. While overall voter turnout under-performed expectations, passionate votes were cast. Keeping the focus on Hermosa Beach is challenging when national politics gets purposefully injected into the conversation.

Party affiliation is not registered for city council.  Non-partisanship was once considered a strength. Now state and national elected democratic leaders eagerly punched down in the Hermosa Beach city council race. Diversity of thought, experience and opinion goes from one side of the democratic party to the other. No compromise, no push-back, no taxpayer protection.    

Advocates for Hermosa Beach offers constructive pathways for city hall to consider. Focusing tax dollars on visible and usable improvements.  Exposing corruption such as Thrive secret meetings and pressuring city government to do more than currently expected. Productivity improvements joined with narrow-casting priorities will allow tax payers see and use the projects city hall tackles. Protecting and defending the quality of life in Hermosa Beach includes keeping our own Police Department, relieving homeless persons from homelessness, public park restoration, street resurfacing and much more. 

Advocates for Hermosa Beach will carry on the effort in challenging our local government to do more with the same. Modernity of concept combined with willful cooperation and simplification of priority marks the sweet spot. Cleaning up Hermosa Beach and making it more beautiful will help us see our way for what to do next.  

—Trent Larson, Hermosa Beach

Transparency in MB

The exploration of a Los Angeles County Fire contract is officially over! So declared current Mayor Pro Tem Richard Montgomery, also a member of the prior Council. Well, that begs the question of when that exploration began?

I know the residents of Manhattan Beach were recently surprised to learn, many of them shocked, that a feasibility study had been completed by LA County Fire. Did the prior Council keep the approval of that contract a secret in 2018?

Of course, the fact that this Council was even considering allowing a takeover by LA County spread like wild fire in our community, with many residents angry about such a prospect.

Here’s how it should have worked back in 2018 with an exploration of a LA County Fire contract. The prior Council should have convened a town hall meeting to inform the community that they were going to consider a contract for a feasibility study and explaining their reasons for such a study. The prior Council should have then placed the feasibility contract on a City Council agenda for approval. Now, that’s open and transparent government.

Instead, our community was recently surprised by a completed feasibility study!

No surprises, no secrets! Isn’t that what our community expects from our Council? Council fully informing our residents is the foundation for public trust.

Local control of our Police and Fire Departments is paramount in keeping us safe, the primary duty of a city government.

Council finally listened to the residents.

—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach

Beach Cities Health campus versus 'age in place'

No responsible agency should proceed with a project without undertaking a reputable Needs Assessment survey to justify a change in the charter plan that residents support and indeed fund the Board members to adhere to. You have produced no reputable Needs Assessment that you can cite. You put forth that many senior citizens will need these 400 assisted living units, an additional 60 units going to memory care. This is counter-cultural as AARP, that represents the majority of residents 50 years and over, has for decades found that senior citizens much prefer to “age in place” in multi-generational neighborhoods, procuring in-home health assistance as needed, not isolated on a campus that is expected to take $500 million over 15 years to construct. I am one of them.
Additionally, Mr. Tom Bakaly and staff have not been able to establish the cost for a resident to live in his assisted living campus. This suggests that an ordinary, middle-class resident could not afford to live in the proposed assisted living units, so that this is an elitist undertaking that the City of Redondo Beach cannot afford the fiscal burden to provide sewage and infrastructure services to this population on a vastly enlarged campus when the City is already in debt for the cost of employee benefits.
The City is “carrying” these costs already for nine such facilities, with adjacent large facilities already supporting this population.
City services will not be sufficient to protect the children who attend schools adjacent to the BCHD plant: two elementary schools are largely impacted, Beryl Heights and Towers Elementary, one on either side of the campus, Parras Middle School one and a half blocks away, and the youth attending the two high schools east and west of the site. The Prospect Ave, Beryl, and Del Amo Blvd. travel corridors are already a threat to pedestrian traffic. Your EIR must take this into account as the liability is all yours. Your profit motive cannot be offset by this grave consideration to protect our children.
—Mary R. Ewell, Redondo Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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