Hawthorne's most important issue.
Larry Guidi's betting that you won't read this...
Hawthorne's population is currently about 30% homeowners and 70% renters. Over the years, many in the city council have blamed rental properties for contributing more than their share of the City's problems. Yet, those very same council members, including Larry Guidi have chosen to do nothing to address the issue.
Meaningful change in Hawthorne is impossible until we can increase the number of property owners in town.
Residents who invest their hard earned dollars in Hawthorne are more likely to care about the appearance of their homes, neighborhood watch programs, schools and city politics. Just look at the list of registered voters. Most own their own homes. Of course they're interested in what goes on, they have a financial stake in Hawthorne. Homeowners are in Hawthorne for the long haul. Selling a home takes time and money. Homeowners are unlikely to cut and run if there's a цветы Железнодорожный. They can't just give a 30-day notice to their landlords and move away.
Mayor Guidi claims to be a proponent of first time home buyer programs. But he's done nothing to increase the supply of affordable homes in Hawthorne. What good are first time buyer programs if there are few suitable properties for first time buyers?
Larry Guidi has repeatedly stated that he's against high-density developments. He claims to be against special interest developers.
Unfortunately, Larry Guidi uses this broad brush to get votes at election time. He correlates high-density development with problem causing apartment buildings while at the same time putting condominiums and planned unit developments into the same category. (A planned unit developments or PUD is similar to a condo project, only the units are separate with fewer built on a given lot.) Sadly, the Mayor is ignorant of the facts, or he has chosen to keep 70% of our citizens in apartments for other reasons. If the Mayor really wanted to help the majority of our population, he would step up to the plate and help them become property owners.
Larry Guidi is against condominium conversions because he says they are "high density developments". Larry voted against an ordinance that would have allowed the conversion of certain apartments meeting rigid criteria to be turned into condominiums. He said the result would be 300 square foot units. That's ridiculous on two levels. First, the conversion of an eight-unit apartment into eight condominiums would not increase density. How could it? Second, no 300 square foot apartment units in Hawthorne would qualify for conversion.
Here are a few more things that Larry has conveniently omitted from his arguments against condominiums and Planned Unit Developments:
The construction of apartments on properly zoned land in Hawthorne requires no special approvals from the city. Plans meeting our current building code are submitted to the Planning Department and are processed for a building permit. If the plans meet the code, they have to be approved! That means a developer can build apartments without getting the city's permission.
All condominium and Planned Unit Development projects have to be approved by Hawthorne's Planning Commission, which will issue a Conditional Use Permit only if the project satisfies the standard of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission may and often does mandate changes to submitted projects before they are approved if they are approved. Apartment building projects are not placed in front of the Planning Commission and cannot be changed or rejected as long as the current building code is followed.
Our building code allows fewer condominiums than apartments on a given sized lot. THIS MEANS EVERY APPROVED CONDOMINIUM OR PUD ACTUALLY LOWERS THE POTENTIAL MAXIMUM DENSITY IN HAWTHORNE. Think about that for a minute. Land that can accommodate 15 apartment units may be suitable for 10 condominiums or just an eight unit PUD.
Who would you rather have next door, fifteen renters or eight homeowners?
Who would you rather have next door, fifteen renters paying $750 per month or eight homeowners spending $1,700 per month each on mortgages and property taxes?
A project that requires no special approvals or one that has to get through our Planning Commission?
One property owner who lives out of town and collects rent or eight voters?
Let's get real.
Today, most of the residential development in areas like West Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, or El Segundo takes the form of condominiums or PUDs. Two individual homes are often built on lots zoned for 3 or 4 apartment units. Larry Guidi claims that condos or PUDs would be rented out at low rates to unqualified tenants. Larry evidently doesn't understand basic economics. He's betting you don't, either. How can a developer spend $200,000 to build each detached PUD and then rent it out for $700 - $800 dollars per month? He can't, unless he wants to lose $1,000 per month on each unit.
Can you name a prosperous city without a majority of homeowners in its population? We need to change renters without identities to investors in our city. I want to help them own a part of Hawthorne.
What about Larry Guidi's cry of no high-density developments and special interest developers? Larry evidently doesn't understand the meaning of high-density development and special interest developers.
After all, he's just against home ownership, not high-density freight forwarding or special interest developers like Lowe's. Or the conversion of revenue producing commercial property on Hawthorne Blvd. into nontaxable schools. Of course, one of Larry's full time jobs is as Assistant Planner for the Hawthorne School District. Maybe that explains the push for schools in commercial zones.
Larry Guidi doesn't understand Hawthorne's most important issue. How can he understand? Does he have a college degree in real estate, planning or architecture? Does he even have a broker's license? He didn't even take the California Department of Real Estate Salesperson's Exam. Larry Guidi has a high school diploma from Lennox.
Larry Guidi does understand campaigning. That's why he constantly talks about voting no on high-density projects. According to Larry, anything "high density" is bad. Larry Guidi's betting that you will fall for the "sound bite" and not understand the underlying facts. Voting "no" on these affordable homes may get Larry reelected, but at what cost to Hawthorne? Evidently, Larry doesn't care.
I do not believe we have yet received enough information relative to the Hawthorne Municipal Airport. The airport provides air support and facilities for public protection of the entire region by DEA, FBI, CIA, Hawthorne Police Department, Los Angeles County Fire and County Sheriff, who bases a helicopter at the field to provide us two airborne officers. I have concerns as to who may use the airspace over Hawthorne if the airspace is not reserved for Hawthorne Airport as it currently is. A comparison of Hawthorne versus Lennox, Inglewood, County Strips, Culver City and Marina Del Rey, reveals that Hawthorne has an airport, but doesn't have commercial jets flying over our homes, business and schools. Those other communities have big jets over their homes, business and schools, because their airspace is controlled by LAX. I am anxious to review any new information as it comes in. I do not favor building stadium on the airport site in such close proximity to residential zones. A high density, heavy traffic project with intensive trucking uses surrounding already narrow streets and residences is a great concern to me as well.
I have always favored "passive taxation", taxes that the residents do not pay. The proposed increase in hotel tax would be paid by users of the hotels and not the citizens and residents of Hawthorne. In most cases, the people paying the tax are from out of town and not residents. I am in favor of bringing this tax in line with what other South Bay cities have already done.
Hawthorne's Trash Contract
The Hawthorne trash contract is currently out for bids and proposals. Anyone may bid and must submit their qualifications along with their bid. I will insist that the widest amount of bidders submit proposals to our city. The bids and proposals will contain information that I think is of critical concerns for the residents. Firstly, will the City be in a position to force resolutions on vendors relative to any problems that a citizen may have, or is the resident "on his own"? Will the bidder be able to accurately track and report recycling to protect the City from fines as high as $10,000.00 per day? Will the residential rates remain at about $4.00 per week or less as they currently are? Will the residents be allowed to put out as many barrels as they want without additional charges as we currently have? Can the residents continue to discard old furniture, refrigerators, etc. every week or would they have to wait for a designated pickup? If residents discard the previously described items, would they be charged extra or would it be free of charge like it currently is? Would there be more trucks on the streets as a result causing damage, pollution and traffic congestion? If the $2,000,000 franchise fee were eliminated, what steps, reduction in other services, or cuts would be necessary, or possible to make up the shortfall? Will the current vendor, a local business taxpayer be allowed to bid or will he be excluded as suggested by one Councilwoman?
Intensive Tucking and Freight Forwarding
Our current Mayor has consistently advocated and voted for intensive trucking / freight-forwarding projects. Apparently, only a claim of a conflict of interest from the City of Gardena's attorney forced him to abstain from the last vote on the Exchange Project. That development is slated to bring 566,000 square feet of intensive truck uses Hawthorne.
Hawthorne already has 1,200,000 square feet of intensive trucking uses within its borders. Since intensive trucking requires huge taxpayer subsidies, why would anyone want more? Additionally, trucking's lack of financial benefits, serious health detriments, environmental damages, traffic congestion, and public safety are of paramount concern to me.
The current administration's support for trucking projects flies in the face of the Council's previous moratorium on intensive truck uses. There currently are no areas in the city zoned for intensive trucking purposes. The moratorium on trucking was put in place for good reasons and I see no reason to allow the special interests of one developer to override it.