Spring Newsletter 2006 - South Bay Parkland Conservancy
S O U T H
PA R K L A N D
C O N S E RVA N C Y
the B L U E H E R O N
L E AV I N G
L E G AC Y
O P E N
A Note from our
S PAC E
S P R I N G
2 0 0 6
I am often asked, "Where will we get our power if the Redondo Beach AES plant shuts down?" and "Where
is the money going to come from for this harbor front park/wetland?" Two very good questions.
Answer to the first question may surprise you: AES does not supply electricity directly to the residents of the
South Bay. In fact, AES Redondo operates infrequently and produces a very small fraction of California's
electricity. The power they do produce is routed to the Independent System Operator, or ISO. This agency is
responsible for distributing it over a power grid that serves the entire western region of the United States.
Therefore, the exact source of power in our homes is unknowable.
So, will we suffer from ‘brown outs’ and high electricity prices if AES Redondo is removed? Absolutely not.
Several new and more efficient power plants have come online in the last five years. While power generation
in California during the hotter months of summer always reaches full capacity and service cuts are threatened, this has become a way of life for us which will continue unless the industry is re-regulated and/or
excess capacity is built.
The more often asked question is, “Where will the funds come from to compensate AES for their land and
restore this entire area for public use?” Like many large public projects in California and around the country,
the funding will come from a variety of private, local, state and federal sources. In the last 6 years alone,
over $10 billion in state funds were approved by the voters of California for parks, clean water and open
space acquisitions. And another $5 billion worth of funding will be up for approval this November - as an
initiative, or part of a larger infrastructure bond.
California residents have set clear priorities in support of open space for several decades now, and this philosophy is not likely to change. South Bay residents have contributed far more to these bonds than we have
benefited. Projects like Heart Park will succeed if our local officials show a sustained effort and lobby for
this future funding source BEFORE it becomes available.
Acquiring funds for wetland restoration and a regional park on the AES site requires a long term commitment
by our elected officials, as well as the residents of the South Bay. If we want this site as a restored wetland
with open space and a nice park for generations to come, we must insist on it by sending this message continually to our elected representatives - so they know which direction we want them to take. Don’t take ‘No’
for answer! ‘No’ is too easy! ‘Yes’ may be hard, but it’s the right thing to do.
As landscape architect Katherine Spitz, who provided two beautiful open space visions for this AES area, so
aptly put it, “This place wants to be restored!”!
- Bill Brand
T h e
L a t e s t
H e a d l i n e s :
Powerful Progress In One Year!
It’s been one year since Heart Park
and Open Space advocates
successfully won the Measure J
Advisory vote. And what a year it
BY DON VANG
SBPC Vice President
E LO F F
REDONDO BEACH After the advisory vote On March 8, 2005, the
SBPC Board had two main objectives:
1) Fix the zoning discrepancies with the City
of Redondo’s General Plan in this area;
2) Get the California Coastal Conservancy (a
State agency) involved with the City for
The great news is that now, one year later, we
have achieved both!
Blue Heron Readers will recall last summer,
pre-Heart of the City (HOC) zoning was
restored for the main ‘Prop J’ parcels, including
the AES plant. In the fall, high-density 16-55
units/acres zoning was also removed for HOC
areas East of Catalina Ave.
And now last month, our Redondo Beach City
Council voted unanimously to invite the Coastal
Conservancy (CC) to evaluate Open Space
funding options for this area!
We recognize this was a tough decision for
some Redondo Council members and we thank
them for their support. At times during this past
year, even the CC staff seemed to move a bit
slow on their part in securing enough support
from State government officials, to bring the
City and the Coastal Conservancy together and
start the next step in this process.
While many people can disagree (and they do!)
on the ultimate cost of bringing a major piece of
parkland to this site and where the funding will
come from, we say ‘why not have the CC experts involved’. Ultimately, it comes down to
trying to achieve as much Open Space in this
area as we can afford.
None of this progress would have happened
without the support of so many people who
voted for the Heart Park option a year ago,
worked hard in years previous to defeat the
original HOC plan and now supported the
SBPC’s efforts this past year. A big “thanks” to
all of you and please continue your involvement
in the years ahead.
We are thrilled and grateful for State Senator Debra Bowen’s support. Here is an excerpt from her
January 10, 2006 letter to Mr. Sam Schuchat, Executive Director of the California Coastal Conservancy.
“The City of Redondo Beach is presently contemplating a resolution to
request the help of the Conservancy in turning the water-view property
currently owned by AES into regional parkland. I thought I’d take this
opportunity to express my strong interest in this effort and let you know
how much I would value your continuing involvement.
As you know, this area of the South Bay is densely populated and a waterfront park would be a tremendous asset to the region. The residents
of the City have expressed their strong support for a park at this location.
The Conservancy’s expertise in working with local governments and
communities to transform blighted or under-utilized land into inviting
coastal open space would be a tremendous asset to the planning process.
I look forward to seeing a fruitful partnership between the Conservancy and the City of Redondo Beach.
Please feel free to let me know if I can assist in any way.
State Senator, 28th District”
Councilman Clark Speaks to the SBPC
On March 31st, the SBPC was honored to host an evening with Larry Clark, a councilman from the City
of Rancho Palos Verdes and the newest member of the 12-member California Coastal Commission, the
primary regulatory authority of California’s 1100 mile-long coastline.
Councilman Clark gave us a history of how RPV was
incorporated as a City in 1973, to prevent the County of
Los Angeles and various developers from building what
could have been as many as 50,000 condos and homes along
a 7-mile stretch of the PV peninsula coastline. Concerned
residents of the entire area fought hard; all the way to the
California Supreme Court for the right to incorporate and
determine their own destiny.
Today, over 900 acres on the PV peninsula are permanently protected; the largest amount of protected
open space on the California coast from the Santa Monica Mountains down to the Mexican border!
And discussions are ongoing about a remaining 300 acres in the Portuguese Bend area.
In the next edition of The Blue Heron, look for a longer report of this fun, informative evening,
including Councilman Larry Clark’s suggestions for what we need to do for our own mission to
preserve and restore open space in the South Bay.
Photo by Jerry Kotler / jmkotler.com
S O U T H B AY
PA R K L A N D
C O N S E RVA N C Y
In the News...
...This February the AMGEN Bike Race in
Redondo was the place to be! Thanks to all who
helped in the SBPC area, and kudos to Director
Jillaine Force who got the SBPC banners for our booth!
...Don’t miss this year’s Earth Day, April 22 at
Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach & at the
SeaLab in Redondo Beach. See you there!
Special Thanks to...
State Senator Debra Bowen
Assembly Member Ted Lieu
Rancho Palos Verdes Council Member and Coastal
Commissioner Larry Clark
Spectrum Catering - RB Veterans Park Comm. Center
Beach Cities Health District
Flossie Horgan - Bolsa Chica Land Trust
California Coastal Conservancy
Redondo Beach City Council
Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin
Bill Brand, President
Charlie Szymanski, Don Vangeloff,
Flo Swiger, Jim Vaught, Jillaine Force,
Jim Light, Lisa Falk,
Mimi Andersen, Dave Wiggins
SBPC, PO Box 7000-408,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Annual Membership $25
h www.southbayparks.org h
SOUTH BAY PARKLAND CONSERVANCY
PO Box 7000-408
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
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