My family has a long history in San Pedro going back three generations, and was influential in creating the city as we now know it. Bringing new people to our town is part of what makes this place so unique. San Pedro is a vibrant and diverse community because it welcomes people from far and wide, whether visiting through the Port, or coming to live and be a part of the community.

I’m proud of my family’s legacy, started by my grandfather, who built apartment buildings for working San Pedrans. Generations of families have grown up in the homes my grandfather built here in town. One of the reasons I have chosen to be active in the community is because of this legacy from my grandfather, who has always believed in—and invested in—this community.

I would like to challenge my fellow San Pedrans to think about the future of our community. We can look forward to a redeveloped waterfront and a revitalized downtown. Our Port will continue to be a source of employment and economic growth. But where does housing fit into the picture?

As part of my work in the community, I used to be a member of the Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council, and I participated in many of the discussions about the Ponte Vista project over the years. We finally have a development team that has listened to what we have been saying all along. We wanted less density, a smaller number of units, and reasonable traffic improvements. We wanted more single-family homes, open space, and for the Ponte Vista community to feel like part of San Pedro.

With the new plan for Ponte Vista, San Pedro has a golden opportunity to write its future. The former Navy site, which has been closed off for over 15 years, will be opened up for the community to live in and enjoy. Both residents and neighbors will be able to take advantage of walking trails, playgrounds and open space. We will all be able to come in and enjoy the views. And, finally, we will have beautiful new housing for San Pedro families, seniors, and working folks.

We got what we wanted. I believe there are people in the community who may never be satisfied with any proposal, but I think we have come such a long way—from over 2,300 units to 830 units. And they heard us about including more single-family homes (208). The plan includes such a wide range of housing types and sizes that everyone from a large family with four kids, to a single guy like me, could find a home there.

So the new plan for Ponte Vista is not designed for the rich, giving them the option to lock themselves away in an exclusive R1 development. It’s designed for all of us-that’s why they have included housing, like townhomes and condominiums, that will be accessible to working people. It’s designed for San Pedrans, many of whom, like me, work at the Port.

Kids used to play at the Navy housing, families lived there, it was part of the fabric of this town. We have a moment now where we can get that back and move forward at the sam time. Let’s build Ponte Vista and bring new families to San Pedro, and make space for families that are already here but need a new home. Let’s put out the welcome mat and welcome people home, just like our families were welcomed in the past.

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Comment by Justa Guy on August 25, 2013 at 9:37am

I agree that Pointe Vista needs to be developed and we need to bring new families into San Pedro.  What I disagree  with is that Pedro needs more dense development.  We have tons of apartments, condos, townhomes, low income housing, and projects in San Pedro.  We do not need to make Pointe Vista a community within a community.  

It is really a simple thing to develop Pointe Vista.  Go with the R1 zoning that it is already approved for and move forward.  Instead, it looks like the developers bought the property assuming they can change the zoning.  That in itself is a little fishy.  And our city leaders are no help either.  They like the extra property taxes the more dense development will bring in so they don't come our firmly against the proposal that is a lightning rod for the community (just look at all the no 830 signs around town and the old R1 signs).

Let's move forward.  Go with R1.

Comment by S. Hernandez on August 19, 2013 at 8:27am

Ponte Vista is a testimony to government waste.  While it is true that kids lived and played there, instead of selling those home to families that needed homes when the Navy moved out, they left them dormant and decaying.

I love San Pedro and I am from a generation of families who were born and raised here.  I have no objection to welcoming new families to our town, what I do object to is the clutter and the waste brought on by "unnecessary" over-building.  Just south of Ponte Vista are some condominium units at 28000 Western Ave., that have yet to be sold as condominiums.  For the most part the few occupants are leasing the spaces.  The design was impractical and the fact that they even obtained a building permit is a mystery to many of us.  The only entrance and exit into this massive complex is a single driveway.  This is completely unsafe if there were ever to be any kind of emergency.

We have become a growing city over the years that I have lived here.  I have been here on and off, from the time you could look up at the hills and see greenery, and drive down and park at White's Point for free, until now with the filled hills and the cemetery is expanding it's space.   We have made a lot of changes in this town and those who have lived here a long time are loyal.

Yet in all the changes taking place in San Pedro today, are primary entrances and exits into this town are Gaffey Street and Western Avenue.  Both of these streets have a high density traffic volume.  Increasing the density of housing, especially during these financially troubled times is not an answer that is good for our city.

The developers are NOT listening to the people or they would have dropped the request to remove the R1 zoning and they would be building single family units.  As for the need for townhomes and condominiums that Mr. Mavar feels would be accessible to the working people....there is always 28000 S. Western Ave.  I know that they are leasing condos they want to sell.

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