Lone chance for public input

ULI report set for Friday

by George Wiley

After five days of touring, interviewing and studying, a planning team from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Washington, D.C., will present its preliminary findings Friday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to about 11 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach and Marine Hotel at 300 N. Harbor Drive.

According to Aaron Jones, economic development manager for the City of Redondo Beach, questioning from the public will be "a major part" of the ULI presentation. This will be the public's only chance to make themselves heard before the ULI team heads back to Washington. ULI's final written report is expected to arrive 60 to 90 days after the Friday summarization.

Jones said about 2,200 notices went out to Redondo residents near the harbor to let them know about Friday's meeting.

A team of ULI planning experts spent the last several days talking to developers, city council members past and present, business leaders, school administrators, and others.

The city has asked ULI to determine what sorts of development make the most sense in the long term for rejuvenating the harbor. The trigger for the ULI visit is the announced intention of AES to downsize its Harbor Drive power generating plant and convert about half the site to new commercial and other uses.

The city is hoping that the ULI report will serve at least as a jumping off place for further and more specific planning efforts.

Beginning in April and continuing into June, a series of Saturday meetings to collect community input on specific AES site plans and specific harbor and pier developments will be held. The city's strategic plan for the harbor calls for most of these meetings to be held by May 15.

Under a memorandum of understanding between AES and the city, the adoption of a specific plan for the development of the AES site must be completed by Dec. 1, and both power plant officials and city officials have said they want to adhere to the Dec. 1 deadline.ER