I SUPPORT THE NEW PONTE VISTA
AND I WILL TELL YOU WHY!!!
BY JOHN M. MAVAR
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.