Manhattan Beach building height limit

I was at Ed McPherson’s appeal to the Manhattan Beach Planning Commission. As per Ed’s letter ("MB Building Height Appeal," The Beach Reporter, 10/17/19), the new residence by the developer on 3009 Manhattan Ave. is proposed to be higher than the city limit of 30 feet. The crux of their 4-corner height argument on the steepest hills of Manhattan Beach is that 3 points are measured on a severe slope, but the fourth point in based on an old raised patio. Because of this fourth point, the developer can gain the height above the 30-feet maximum. During the appeal, the chairman, who is an architect, and another commissioner voted to grant the appeal, and proposed a re-evaluation. Two of the three remaining commissioners who rejected the appeal are real estate agents, whose final decision was not to inconvenience the developer's timeline and money, and to approve the current project. Clearly, there is an error in the past measurements that is recognized by two of the commissioners who argued to review the case. MBMC 10.60.050 mandates that the city “minimizes, to the extent reasonably possible, adverse impacts on adjacent properties and encourages some degree of consistency in the maximum building height limits of adjacent properties” and to preserve the aesthetic integrity of the neighborhood.  This has not been done. Besides, the project will not personally affect the developer, where the residents around them will feel the inconvenience of the construction, traffic, their height violation etc. for months and years to come.

—Juan Ruiz, Manhattan Beach

Redondo Beach leaf blower citations

Well I had a good laugh when I read the article, "After more than 1,700 calls, only 3 leaf blower citations in 14 months" (The Beach Reporter, 1/24/19). The article mentions that both Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach have had the ban in place for years which, for Manhattan, I know to be true. I was and still am a big supporter of the ban as the noise and dust pollution are unacceptable in my view. However, it appears that the adverse effect on the gardeners and the lack or city resources has, at least in Manhattan, rendered the ban dead. I don’t know for sure, but I would be willing to bet that the number of citations issued in Manhattan during the last 14 months would be similar to the Redondo experience. If the City of Manhattan Beach is not going to enforce the ban, it should remove it from the books.

Paul Dorr, Manhattan Beach

Support for Massey and Detoy

Is oil at bay? Trent Larson strongly supported oil drilling in Hermosa Beach when it was on the ballot in March 2015. 80% of Hermosans disagreed.

“Never mind,” we’re now told. Oil is “over.” It’s “divisive” to bring it up again. Really? As part of its war on California, the Trump Administration has issued Executive Order 13795 to encourage oil drilling in federal waters off the California coastline, including Santa Monica Bay. Conveniently, the exact locations will not be disclosed until after the 2020 election.

Larson, a strong Trump supporter, has called fossil fuel “one of earth’s greatest gifts to man.” (Facebook, 2/13/19). He’s never said anything against Trump's plans.

On January 23, 2018 and again on April 23, 2019, Councilmember Justin Massey successfully moved to have Hermosa Beach oppose federal offshore oil drilling. Larson commented at the April 23 council meeting, but was silent on this. At the Leadership Hermosa debate, Michael Detoy spoke against "oil derricks in our offshore" from this federal plan. Again, crickets from Larson.

On September 11, 2019, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1941 to prohibit new oil leases in the Pacific outer continental shelf. Regrettably, all California’s Republicans sided with the Trump Administration.

Do we really want to elect a councilmember who apparently sees nothing wrong with opening our coast to oil drilling? The battle goes on. Please join the Sierra Club and other conservationists in supporting Justin Massey and Michael Detoy for the Hermosa Beach City Council.

—Bob Wolfe, Hermosa Beach

Supporting Larson

Knowing Trent Larson for sixteen years has allowed me to really understand him as a person. Trent is a hardworking, community caring, thoughtful, good natured man who is trying his level best to help make Hermosa Beach better. Trent embodies the spirit of Hermosa and is a living testament that the road to success is long, challenging, and very rewarding. Trent cares deeply about Hermosa Beach and will be an outstanding City Council member. Vote for Trent Larson.

—Joseph Verbrugge, Hermosa Beach

Beach Cities' Health Living Campus 

The reports, plans and meetings that Beach Cities Health District publicly facilitates relative to the Healthy Living Campus, evidence with crystal clarity that they have done, and are in the process of doing the research and preparation necessary to prepare for a future that will not only maintain the healthy status of our community, but improve that health in significant, measurable ways.

It is not an accident that Beach Cities residents’ Well-Being Index Composite Score “exceeds both national and state levels.” That our community holds the third highest health score nationally is the deliberate result of the forward-thinking adoption and implementation of programs and practices by BCHD. The Blue Zones Project, Live Well Gardens, workshops and councils, e.g., Purpose, Mindfulness, social-emotional wellness, Youth Advisory, Families Connected Speaker Series, Parent Advisory Group, Brain Health, etc., all contribute to our community health.

BCHD is in the business of community health, and has empowered our community with the knowledge and confidence to be proactive in our individual lives to help us achieve optimal health. The Healthy Living Campus will be the center for the maintenance and heightened empowerment of our community members: a trusted and reliable resource.

Simplistic, small changes in the way we eat, move and socialize have enabled our community to accomplish big improvements to our health. Static, selfish, short-sighted reasoning in considering improvements to our community health has never, and will not accomplish anything but the decline of our health and well being.

—Arnette Travis, Redondo Beach

RB vs county fire services

Why is there suddenly so much passion for using L.A. County fire services instead of maintaining our own independent fire department? If we switch to county services it’s almost impossible to ever switch back but we can move to county services any time we want. Shouldn’t we ensure such a move is beneficial to our community first? This really feels like a manufactured crisis strictly motivated by the ugliness of local politics and the desire to remove from office someone who didn’t give in to special interests.

There should be overwhelmingly conclusive reasons to give up our local control and outsource core city services like public safety to the massive bureaucracy of  L.A. County. The financial savings promised are muddled at best though. L.A. County Fire is already considering a parcel tax to cover a $1.4 billion shortfall, is that really what we want to sign-up for and give up local control? When there’s a disaster, do we want L.A. County allocating life saving resources or do we want a say?

Our first responders put their lives on the line for us and I appreciate their service particularly given the difficultly with contract negotiations. If we have trouble negotiating with our own Fire Department though, how do we expect to do better when dealing with L.A. County? I understand why outsourcing to L.A. County is beneficial to our firefighters but what’s unclear is whether there’s any benefit to Redondo Beach. A recall is the wrong way to find out.

—Dan Elder, Redondo Beach

Outsourcing MB fire services

I recently learned that some of our city council members in Manhattan Beach are proposing that we move forward with a study of the feasibility of our city contracting with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for our fire and paramedic services. What could possibly be their reasoning besides saving money? Guess what? We have plenty of money and you get what you pay for! Plus we love our M.B firefighters and paramedics.

Why would they even consider for a single second that the citizens of M.B. would desire to relinquish control of our fire and paramedic services and turn that control over to the county of Los Angeles!? Manhattan Beach would no longer have our own Fire and Emergency Department as most other affluent communities do and the excellent service that is rendered when you have local control! We don't want to be connected to a county dispatch system instead of our own system when we call 911. We don't want less paramedics on duty, a likely consequence if the county is in charge of our service.

Our outstanding firefighters underwent a stringent hiring process to select the best possible candidates. Every single one of them could eventually be replaced by a higher in seniority firefighter in the county system who would like to be assigned to one of our Manhattan Beach Fire Stations. Also, do you remember that the citizens of M.B. passed a bond initiative in 2004 to finance the building of our state-of-the-art fire station facilities? These facilities would be turned over to the county! One council member suggested we hold a town hall meeting on this subject. Please do so, so we can storm the gates!

—Julie Snow, Manhattan Beach

Contact Lisa Jacobs or follow her on Twitter @lisaannjacobs.

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