California rent cap (Assembly Bill 1482)
I am horrified thinking about all the people who are being treated so badly that have been good tenants. Those who have had no idea what was going to hit them, while greedy landlords couldn't feel any empathy toward their tenants. There was no need to evict the good long term tenants who cannot afford to move. I am a landlord. I wouldn't treat good tenants the way the greedy landlords have done. As a landlord, you are also responsible for the tenants. I have read many stories of renters who are being evicted, being made to move before January 1, 2020 due to the new AB 1482, who would have still been in these units, paying the affordable rent they have paid (with small increases yearly) for years (some 10-19 years), and the landlords would not have done anything extreme until they moved out. Why now? Greed! Friends of mine were treated horribly in 2017 and 2018, when an owner died and his wife took possession of the apartment building. She decided to increase the rent at one time. Some of the renters had been there 15-30 years, paying a very low rent. The rents were increased 28-150% at one time. No upgrades were done, termites were not eradicated, and the units are very old. After the rent increases, many people moved because they could not afford the increase. This is why AB 1482 is needed. Greedy landlords.
—Vicky Oetzell, Redondo Beach
Topgolf plans for El Segundo
Interesting to read of the changes TopGolf has planned for the Lakes at El Segundo ("Referendum effort launched against Topgolf plans," The Beach Reporter, 10/31/19). l looked on the TopGolf website to get an idea of the facility. Not a fan. Some sort of arcade facility with a huge bar and lots of television. Taking out two holes of an actual golf course? Laughable to think people will actually play there.
Being aware that the Lakes, like so many public golf facilities, operates at a deficit, this seems like move to add to the city coffers more than a move to aid the recreational opportunities in the area. That having been said, just like a favorite restaurant closing, people will bemoan it and all of a sudden, the place will be crowded where it never was before.
My pals and I play golf twice each week and the Lakes is always a favorite. Showing up for arcade game golf, overpriced driving range balls, and a sterile environment doesn't sound all that attractive. I suspect, once built, TopGolf's entry will be short-lived.
—Reggie Kenner, Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach desalination
In 2015, our City Council demonstrated strong leadership by unanimously voting to oppose West Basin’s proposed desalination plant. Soon thereafter, Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica and several others cites joined in the opposition. It was the right decision then, and it’s the right decision now!
Yes, things have changed between then and now. In fact, there are more reasons, compelling reasons, to oppose the proposed desalination plant.
Storm Water Capture: In California and Los Angeles County, government leaders and water experts all agree that storm water capture is the future as far as our water supply. In LA County, the voters approved Proposition W to provide funds for storm water capture infrastructure.
Increasing Recycle Water Capacity: West Basin is more that doubling it capacity to recycle water. Yes, from 30 million gallons a day to 70 million gallons a day! West Basin is the national leader in recycling, and they should be commended to more than doubling down in its capacity. In conjunction, Los Angeles has committed to recycling all of the wastewater currently discharged into the Santa Monica Bay.
More Potable Water: In a few years “showers to flowers” will be approved by the California legislature, allowing recycled water to be used for potable purposes. The science has supported the same for years.
Desal Wastes Money: Desalinating water costs up to three times as much as storm water. Adding a billion dollars of debt for ratepayers is just fiscally irresponsible.
—Mark Burton, Manhattan Beach
Hawthorne Airport flight paths
When government agencies come to town to make big changes (DOT-highways, road diets, new metro-trains paths, housing), this brings incredible impacts. The Federal Aviation Administration is granting additional growth and expansion at Hawthorne Airport. There will be public workshops to address the airport updates. Please try to attend the Hawthorne Airport Part 150 Noise Compatibility Studies.
The first Community Workshop open for public input will be on Nov. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., 3901 W. El Segundo Blvd., Hawthorne – Polaris Room – (parking in the back).
Part 150 comprising NEM (Noise Exposure Map) and NCP (Noise Compatibility Program), is is a federal regulation airports need to meet for continued FAA approval and FAA grants to expand business uses and fleet changes (types of aircraft).
This mandated community outreach program is designed to evaluate the existing and future (forecasted) aircraft conditions, and prepares a plan to study ways to reduce aircraft noise impacts through the application of noise abatement techniques and to mitigate noise impacts on existing land uses.
The workshop will introduce the public to the study process and provide opportunity for questions and comments.
Please take the time to reach out to your district representatives via email and at City Council meetings to let the community know the importance of attending these workshops to be informed and provide comments on the proposed flight paths over our neighborhoods.
I have attended a number of meetings and the Beach cities are going to get hit hard.
—Roxanee Ferebee, Redondo Beach
MB Plan Commission response
I would like to thank Mr. McPherson and Mr. Ruiz for two very important reasons regarding their letters in reference to a Planning Commission decision on Oct. 9. ("MB building height limit," and "MB building height appeal," The Beach Reporter, 10/17/19 and 10/31/19). First, although they found fault with the ultimate decision and publicly expressed their displeasure, as is their right, they were gentlemen and did not single out the names of the commissioners they disagreed with. Second, they were right, when they referred to what seemed logical given the visual and potential historical facts they thoughtfully and logically presented in this case. Mr. Ruiz, I also find it exceptional that you took the time and paid the fees required to submit your concern.
The reason I voted for the city's recommendation was two-fold. Material facts and mathematical formulas trumped observational assumptions in my opinion based on what was presented. In addition, allowing for a new standard of visual interpretations without material justification as a variable for denying a building permit would be an unfair burden on the community as a whole. There was an inherent problem here when a commissioner had to ask the question of an applicant as to what he “thinks” a measurement should be. I don’t find fault with the question at all, however it established in my mind the lack of substance relative to material facts.
Manhattan Beach originally was built on sand dunes and a very loose understanding sometimes about how lots should correspond. After 42 years in town I get that. The city planner was allowing for a building permit that fell within the guidelines of the height restrictions that everyone is subject to. No exception was given here. If a builder meets all requirements as per the city code and passes rigorous inspections, which is the norm here in Manhattan Beach, as a commissioner I am required to recognize those material facts and rule solely on that basis. Misleading the public to believe that this project could have been rejected outright with no impact on the affected properties adjacent to the subject lot is irresponsible. I have tremendous respect and high regard for all the commissioners regardless of any disagreement.
I absolutely encourage transparency and thoughtful challenges whenever the public has an issue they feel the city falls short on. In addition, the City Council can always overrule our decision and I encourage Mr. McPherson and Mr. Ruiz to seek that alternative given they felt my logic was lacking “common sense.”
With that said I am comfortable talking with anyone about my decision and do my best to express it on the dais given our time restraints.
—Stewart Fournier, City of Manhattan Beach Planning Commissioner
Leaf Blower Ban Enforcement
("After more than 1,700 calls, only 3 leaf blower citations in 14 months," The Beach Reporter, 10/24/19): While I agree that enforcement of the ban on leaf blowers is difficult, I don’t think the answer is removing the ban. The answer is to modify the enforcement. I know for a fact that Manhattan Beach will enforce the ban if a violation is witnessed. The tricky part is the witnessing. It is unrealistic to expect that code enforcers are spending their entire work day driving around looking for gardeners using leaf blowers. Code enforcers respond to complaints (in MB, call 310 802-5159), but it takes time to arrive. I suggest that the person calling in the complaint should be able to supply photo/video evidence which includes the violation. If necessary, the enforcer should be able to obtain the gardener’s business information from the homeowner (or whoever pays the gardener).
Gardeners must have a business license to operate in Manhattan Beach. They are told of the ban when they get a license, so they need to adhere to it. Society depends on good citizens respecting the laws.
—Kim Lewis, Manhattan Beach