Our two overdevelopment-hungry Redondo Beach City Council Members are attempting to divide the city while pushing thousands of condos again at the AES Redondo Power Plant site. This time it’s under the guise of compliance with ridiculous housing bills coming out of Sacramento meant to force high-density housing across the state.
In reality the AES Power Plant site is the worst location for any such housing development:
First, the land is contaminated and requires significant remediation before being safe, viable and certified for housing.
Secondly, the AES Power Plant site is naturally a lake; it’s wetlands, and it has been for tens of thousands of years. Their giant concrete catch-basins have filled with water and coastal flora and fauna, even nesting geese. Even Google Maps show them as bodies of water have a look. The California Coastal Commission has mandated that an approximately 6-acre natural salt lake and wetland buffers have to be restored to the site. The natural lake water flowing into the site from the inland and uphill aquifers is being pumped out to the ocean by AES, against the orders of the Coastal Commission and in violation of the Coastal Act. Prosecution ensues, and courtroom enforcement actions are in progress.
Thirdly, an important criteria for the state-dictated new housing is that it is located with close, easy access to regional mass transit and transportation arteries (read: “freeway access points and light-rail stations”). There are many broad Redondo Beach family neighborhoods to cut through between the AES power plant property and major transportation arteries. The traffic impact created citywide by the addition of condos on the AES site would be disastrous. Even the 2006 traffic study (the most recent) commissioned by the city predicted that before 2030 the PCH/Herondo-Anita-190th intersection would rank an “F” (the worst), and anyone who drives through there at rush hour or during a weekend day knows it clearly grades as “F”.
The last major point, conveniently left out by councilmembers Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath, is the state won’t believe increasing the overlay housing zoning to this area would result in housing built any time soon. So, the site won’t be accepted to satisfy the state requirements anyway – it isn’t being considered by those familiar with the state’s criteria and working on this issue. So it’s just a game of smoke and mirrors for these council members to get their names out for future runs at political office (RB Mayor).
If this latest game coming from council members Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Their goal appears to be to fuel a fire to divide the city, get their names out there for future citywide office, and bring back big developer money to Redondo. It’s the same big money used to help campaign war chests to get more “like minded” officials elected who will continue to push overdevelopment. This is the successful model the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce has operated under for decades. It’s also why we have one of the most densely populated cities in the South Bay at over 11,000 people per square mile, and we are the only southbay beach city with high-rise, high-density condominium and apartment buildings along the coast. “Don’t go condo like Redondo” is the warning slogan used by our neighboring cities.
Redondo Beach residents instead should be united against their common enemy: the state officials pushing these arbitrary and capricious housing bills. We shouldn’t be fighting each other, and dividing the city.
For the new enablers of Emdee and Horvath, parroting their theatrical words of indignation and fairness, please remember the following:
- The entire city voted 6 times against placing residential development on the AES site – 6 times! It is zoned as parkland, as a result of citywide votes.
- The entire city voted 4 times to put a park on the AES site – 4 separate citywide votes of the residents.
- Council member Emdee has been in clandestine communications with the real-estate developer who bought the AES site.
- Commuter traffic generated from residential development at the AES site will be cut-through traffic in your neighborhood.
- These same councilpersons wasted $12 million of taxpayer money voting to buy out the Fun Factory lease for a shopping mall and movie-theater-on-the-pier that the residents voted down just weeks later. Our city had to borrow the money to pay the $12 million, mortgaging Harbor Drive, and costing about $15 million total with interest.
- These same council members voted to contract a mall developer for a harbor shopping-mall and movie theater mere weeks before the voters rejected it. By some estimates, this foolish vote has cost the city close to $20 million from the many continuing lawsuits filed by the mall developer, Redondo Beach Waterfront LLC (CenterCal Properties, and Westport Capital principal Gregory Geiger). These 5 years of lawsuits have prevented the city from being able to upgrade the pier and harbor to what they really should be today.
With their abysmal track record, how can councilmembers Laura Emdee and Christian Horvath be relied upon to make good land-use decisions and commitments for the city?
We need to do the right thing: fight the misguided politicians in Sacramento, not our fellow Redondo Beach residents. Please write to our State Senator Ben Allen and Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi to oppose this misguided housing effort that will swarm Redondo Beach, and choke the city with market-rate, high-density condos.
Senator Ben Allen – (Please note he has two)
Senator.Allen@senate.ca.gov (Staff Looks At This one)
Ben.Allen@sen.ca.gov (This is the one he personally looks at)
Assembly Member Al Muratsuchi
Anthony Portantino – 25th Senate District in Pasadena
A State Senator who is actively fighting the RHNA process.
Here’s a story about Anthony Portantino and how he can use our help.
ROW needs your help to defend Redondo Beach residents from unscrupulous developers and crony corruption, and to help build the future you voted for at the ballot box, so please donate Here.