StopBCHDs Comments to the ER on May 26, 2022
The ER had been proactively provided with a backgrounder on StopBCHD and the failures of BCHD's project.
To Garth Meyers / 5/26/2022
StopBCHD.com was formed out of frustration from local members of the BCHD Community Working Group who didn't feel heard, me included.
At first (2017), BCHD recruited a group of surrounding neighbors only from Redondo and eventually added some folks from Torrance as well. Torrance homes to the east of BCHD are up to 60 feet lower than BCHD's elevated site, so they really take a hit with a 110-foot building overlooking them. We were solicited by BCHD starting in 2017 for the Community Working Group (CWG). The CWG was made of a lot of what I'd call "ringers" that were going to vote with BCHD on any issue. Those folks were from local government (kin to the District if you will) and long term relationships like ex-board members, etc.
In 2017 BCHD showed us a design that was conceptually in the center of campus, with a buffer zone of green space and parking all around to shield the neighborhoods from the noise, vibration, glare, etc. Especially from the construction. By 2019, BCHD completely abandoned that and put forward the "great wall of redondo" version that was 60-feet tall, had 160,000 sqft of underground parking, about 730,000 sqft of surface buildings, and pretty much ringed the site. By April of 2019, I wrote a memo to the Board describing how disappointed the locals were and how unacceptable the design was in a number of ways. Many other folks commented similarly.
Despite comments against the design, BCHD used that design in its environmental impact report notice of preparation (NOP) in June of 2019 - and as the story goes, Covid was on the horizon, we just didn't know it.
BCHD was supposed to have public, sit in the room, face to face meetings, in March of 2020 - but of course that was all cancelled and all communications with BCHD pretty much ended. By June 2020, we found they were in FULL SPEED AHEAD mode, and they hit us with a new design that none of us had ever seen. In 2020, BCHD released a never before seen design to the CWG on Friday June 12th at 6PM and then approved it at their Board meeting on Wed June 17th with only 3 business days of time to review and roughly 150 negative comments from community members during those 3 days. The June 2020 design removed the underground parking, added an 8-10 story ramp at Prospect and Diamond and raised the height from 60 to 76-feet. NOTE: Only 968 sqft of the 312,000 sqft campus buildings are at 76-feet tall today. That room is called the Penthouse, and it's likely a mechanical room. The other 99.7% of the campus is at 52-feet or below. So BCHDs claim that any material part of the campus is 76-feet as a maximum height is complete nonsense. It's like claiming your home's height is the top of your fireplace stack - for example. Also, the net size of the above ground buildings increased with the 8-10 story parking ramp instead of the 160,000 sqft of underground parking. The size was (and is in the current design) 792,000 sqft. For perspective, the current site has 312,000 sqft. The CenterCal Mall-by-the-Sea that voters nixxed was 550,000 sqft and 45-feet tall. BCHD is really out of scale. There has not been a 109 foot building since the Delphi Apts on Esplanade in 1973. That was in the days of ReCondo Beach. From our local member perspective, the CWG was cancelled by BCHD when it was clear any member from the local area was in violent opposition to the plan. There were 6 or 8 of us, and most of us still stay in touch. One has since become so fed up with BCHDs behavior that he sold his home on the east side of BCHD and moved rather than put up with the construction, cut through traffic, etc. In March of 2021, when the Draft EIR came out, BCHD had increased the height to 103-feet and said that was 133-1/2 feet above Beryl St. We had lost all faith in BCHD by then. They literally increased the height between the 76-foot Board approval in June 2020 and the EIR document in March 2021 and TOLD NO ONE. BCHD was COMPLETELY UNINVOLVED in the 510 or 520 N Prospect building construction or permitting. The City of Redondo took the lead on that. BCHD was going to let the City do the EIR for the Wealthy Living Campus, until BCHD found out it could hire its own consultant and approve (certify) its own EIR. So it hired Wood PLC (a UK company) that gets most of its BILLION$ in revenue from oilfield type work to do the environmental analysis. Of course the public and some CWG fought the use of such an industrial company, but BCHD did what it wanted. Once they certified the EIR, we locals moved the focus to Torrance and Redondo. So here we are today. BCHD needs a Conditional Use Permit, Planning Commission Design Review and Residential Design Guidelines approval from Redondo, and who knows what from Torrance. BCHD wants to tear out all the trees along Flagler, and they're in Torrance, so at least that needs to be permitted by Torrance. We have several hundred signs out, there's a good chance we could hit 1000 if we wanted to. The signs at the current density are serving their purpose as recruiting tools so that folks can get signed up for our Action Alerts on the website. BCHD is being very dismissive of Redondo's municipal code and design guidelines as we see it. There's a host of conditions in the CUP, PCDR and DRG that BCHD needs to adhere to, and we take great objection to BCHDs view that they don't need to be consistent or compatible (the words change in the codes) and instead, they just have to not conflict. Arrogance comes to mind. I added a few links to CUP and PCDR comments we filed that might be good background also. They are all public record at the City of Redondo at least, maybe Torrance or BCHD as well. As you can infer, our focus is on the City, since BCHD hasn't been forthright with the neighbors. APR 17 BCHD Pre-CUP Comments Transmittal bit.ly/BCHD-PreCUP-Trans-Memo-04162227 APR 17 Pre-CUP Redlines 041522 bit.ly/BCHD-Pre-CUP-Redline04152240 APR 17 Errors and Omissions in BCHD Pre-CUP Documents bit.ly/BCHDPre-CUPErrors04152230 APR 10 Public Comment - BCHD Transparent Communications.pdf - Google Drive bit.ly/BCHD-Permit-Transparency1 APR 10 Public Comment - BCHD Pre-CUP Filing.pdf - Google Drive bit.ly/BCHD-PreCUP-Comments4 MAR 29 BCHD-CUP-Detail-Comments-1 bit.ly/BCHD-CUP-149 MAR 29 BCHD-PCDR-Detail-Comments-1 bit.ly/BCHD-PCDR-140 MAR 29 BCHD RMBC PCDR Line-by-Line Comments-1 bit.ly/BCHD-PCDR-Grid-Comments-133 MAR 29 BCHD RMBC CUP Line-by-Line Comments bit.ly/BCHD-PreCUP-Grid-Comments-1