Trees, views, development, beauty, and disaster

Tree/vegetation views aired at February 11 RHA General Meeting

On February 11, the RHA hosted Ms. Linda Cessna and staff from the city Community Development Department to discuss the city’s proposed Tree and View Ordinance.

A packed Richardson auditorium discusses options for a view ordinance

A packed Richardson auditorium discusses options for a view ordinance

The RHA started the meeting by showing several pictured examples of view obstruction and spite trees in the Riviera, noting how an ordinance would resolve these problems.  Ms. Cessna stated that the city is looking at existing tree/view ordinances in the South Bay and California, and will draft an ordinance after all of the community meetings are completed, and community input has been noted.   After the presentations, there was lively input from several Riviera neighbors, who gave valuable input to the process the city will use to pursue this.  Not just private trees, but also city trees were blamed for view loss in many cases.  Apologies to those who could not find seats and chose to leave early.  We will continue to keep Riviera residents posted as these ideas make their way to the City Council, and hopefully, into an ordinance.

Linda Cessna covers the implications of an ordinance

Linda Cessna covers the implications of an ordinance

It’s a long process, but we’re on our way!!

        If you missed the Feb 11 presentation, you may attend a hearing Monday, March 2, at the Torrance Airport Meeting room from 7 to 9 pm.  City staff will be making the same informational presentation as previously, and then taking input from attendees.   If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to comment, feel free to send an e-mail to LCESSNA@TorranceCA.gov  with your views, questions or concerns.  These will become part of the public record as the process progresses, so you can be sure that your views are represented.  (If you cannot Monday, there is a final hearing tentatively scheduled a the Katy Geisert (main) Torrance library on Tuesday March 31.)

Thank you to all the new and renewing neighbors who updated their RHA memberships at the meeting!

Update on Legado project (old Bristol Farm property at PCH and Palos Verdes Blvd)

Summary:  the Legado development company is pursuing construction of a mixed-use (residential/commercial) development consisting of 180 residential apartment units.  Concerns have been raised over density, view impairment (for apartments to the north in Redondo Beach), and increased traffic congestion. The Planning Commission of the City of Redondo Beach is scheduled to hold a public hearing on this project on March 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible, in the City Council Chambers, 415 Diamond Street.  Click here for a link to the hearing notice. Hollywood Riviera residents are advised that there will be a community meeting on Thursday, March 5 at the Palos Verdes Inn from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.[corrected from original post]  to prepare for that RB Council hearing. As we saw during the recent Rock & Brews planning process (and, earlier, for the condos on PCH between PV Blvd and Colinas), a series of meetings between the developer and Riviera residents provided fruitful communication opportunity for our comments and concerns.  Most would agree that the final project ended up being far better than had we not had the opportunity for that dialogue.  We are certainly hopeful that this meeting will encourage the same give and take with Legado.

PCH beautification efforts moving at the speed of government

The PCH Fencing and Landscaping Project is still in the works, but is being slowed by a soil sample requirement by CalTrans.  CalTrans is testing the soil in the median for lead content, and will determine what to do next based on the results of the soil testing. While waiting for the results, RHA board members contacted State Senator Ben Allen to try to help expedite this process.   Senator Allen’s District Representative, James Reina, has been in contact with both Caltrans administrators and Craig Bilezarian of Torrance Public Works.  While the soil sample process cannot be waived, Mr. Reina confirmed that the funding is in place for the project and “appears to be ready to go” as soon as Caltrans and the City deal with the results of the soil survey.

Landscaping along PCH, during construction, and after.

Landscaping along PCH, during construction, and after.

We applaud the city and Caltrans for completion of the re-landscaping on the north side of PCH fronting South High, and look forward to resolution on the residential south side.  The RHA will continue to encourage progress on the part of the agencies concerned.

Refinery reminders

The recent accident at the ExxonMobil refinery north of us is a reminder to know about Torrance’s shelter in place notifications.  Read this summary  so you’ll know what to do if disaster strikes and you’re in harm’s way. For additional information, visit ExxonMobil’s web site: www.ExxonMobiltorrance.com Please share this information with your friends, family, and co-workers.

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