The City of Redondo Beach was
founded in 1892
Chronology the Land Use Initiative in Redondo Beach:
How We Got Here
2002 - The City of Redondo proposes a massive $49 million development in the harbor area of Redondo Beach called the Heart of the City
- RB Planning Commission, which included current 2008 councilmen Steve Aspel and Matt Kilroy, passed the Heart of the City unanimously despite strong citizen opposition.
- Data from hours of public workshops are basically ignored as the plan moves forward.
- The Plan includes 2998 homes and 657,000 square feet of commercial space to be set on the site of the AES power plant.
- RB Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Redondo and local corporate sponsors are all onboard in support of the Heart of the City as well as Governor Gray Davis who praised the plan and Catalina Blvd's. massive Tech Center, calling it a “model for the rest of the state”
- City Council led by Mayor Greg Hill and including Councilman Mike Gin (current Mayor as of 2008) and John Parsons (current 2008 Planning Commissioner) passes Heart of the City unanimously ignoring continuing strong citizen opposition
- Chris Cagle (current 2008 Councilman) starts referendum drive that calls for a public vote and with the help of locals Jim and Ellen Allan and hundreds of Redondo volunteers, collects over 6000 signatures in two weeks to stop Heart of the City rezoning
- Redondo Beach Officials Drop Contentious Project for Harbor.
- Chris Cagle starts citizen group that begins exploring an initiative that would prevent repeat of Heart of the City (HOC) - Cagle hands out initiative handbook and hundreds of volunteers step up.
- While the HOC is stopped in the harbor area, the City Council:
- passes rezoning of industrial area for over 220 condos in North Redondo
- leases a large portion of the harbor to MarVentures, the main Heart of the City UK-owned development company
2003- Residents stop Council from making the Heart of the City Area a redevelopment free-for-all
- City Council passes resolution to make Heart of the City area a “redevelopment area” threatening the area with further over-development
- The Allan’s lead second volunteer referendum drive that gathers over 5000 Redondo residents' signatures to stop establishment of Redevelopment agency in the HOC area
- Discussions on initiative among residents continue exploring five different strategies
- Council starts a new Heart of the City style “visioning process” (workshops) that result in two options: Heart Park and Village Plan
2004 – Residents get to vote on two alternatives: Heart Park or Village Plan
- Council decides to put the two alternative visions up to a non-binding advisory vote
- Council produces lopsided financial analysis and ballot wording favoring Village Plan
- Council publicly supports Village Plan
- Heart Park alternative wins despite ballot language
- Initiative activities halt for campaign and awaits City action on park
2005 – The Year of the Initiative - The Culmination
- City does nothing on Park and publically dismisses the results of the advisory vote
- City Planning Department begins piecemeal approach to Heart of the City, proposing conversion of commercial and public property east of Catalina Ave to zoning allowing over 89 condos – almost 30 units per acre.
- Planning Commission approves lower R-3 designation after residents express concerns, however,
The new Council, including Chris Cagle, unanimously overrides Planning Commission approving this dense project
- City begins process to convert Torrance Blvd commercial zoning to allow nearly 400 condos
- City staff stalls on getting promised traffic data to residents for month then produces flawed environmental analysis that says there will not be significant impacts.
- Residents including BBR Chairman Jim Light present their own environmental analysis showing significant impacts to traffic and air quality.
- Staff changes recommendation the night of the Council meeting from approving a negative declaration to calling for focused Environmental Impact Report on traffic and air quality.
- Staff has yet to come back with focused impact reports
- Council approves conversion of gas station site to high density condo zoning
- Planning Department begins advocating high density condos with "Transit Oriented Development" zoning at current commercial sites along PCH and elsewhere in City gearing up for high-density zoning changes
2006 - Residents form Building a Better Redondo and begin drafting of initiative
- Appointed resident Jim Light as BBR Chairman
- Through open meetings explored several successful referendums from other cities
-- Did not want to take away property rights
-- Allow good development
-- Ensure a balance between developers and residents interests
-- Ensure honest environmental assessments
-- Prevent need to referendum bad City Council decisions on zoning that ignored resident concerns and impact
- Participants settled on "vote for major zoning changes" Initiative
-- Engaged former City Planner to make first draft
-- Conducted several open meetings on draft
- First BBR Initiative Drive
-- BBR hires land use attorney to finalize initiative
-- Two town hall meetings on final draft
- BBR starts signature drive and residents gather 7,100 resident registered voter signatures
- BBR meets with largest businesses in Redondo to discuss their concerns with initiative, but businesses could not come to consensus on compromises
2007 – The Decision - A Second BBR Signature Drive !
- First initiative drive comes up 372 signatures short
-- BBR Volunteers vow to do it again if necessary
- Mayor Gin offers to start a group to come to compromise
-- Kept changing group size and make up
-- Postponed second meeting multiple times and could not settle on date
-- City produced no constructive ideas on compromise
-- Time running out
- BBR starts second signature drive gathering over 9,000 signatures and getting Measure DD on the Nov 08 Ballot
2008 – Successful Qualification and Desperate Council reaction
- BBR signature drive collects over 9000 signatures and qualifies for ballot
- At the last moment, two City Councilmen and Mayor develop City measure behind closed doors
-- Two authors publicly state they do not support resident vote but felt they had to counter Citizen initiative
- City survey shows majority of residents surveyed wanted public vote on zoning changes
- After minimum public review period, City Council passes their own ballot measure on first council review with less than one hour of deliberation after 11PM at night
- Clear intent of Measure EE to diffuse vote so neither qualify
- BBR YES on Measure DD Campaign BeginsThe City's "Save Redondo" Scare Tactic Campaign Begins
Building a Better Redondo - All Rights Reserved
Contact Us at firstname.lastname@example.org