Redondo Beach is at a crossroad. Over the next four years decisions on major land use decisions will shape our town’s destiny. What will happen with the AES site? What type of development will we allow on the waterfront, the Bristol Farms site, and the Knob Hill school property? Will we change our outdated mono-purpose zoning? Will we change our failed vertical mixed-use high-density condo zoning standards? Will we put any teeth in our preservation ordinances or allow more of our history to be bulldozed over? Your vote this March will determine the future of our town for generations to come.
Voters basically have two choices. You can vote for the status quo or you can vote for positive change. The election outcome will lead our beloved town down one of two distinct paths.
The first path is the easy, no-risk path—voting for the status quo, avoiding any risk of lawsuits, abdicating our future to the whims of the developers of each project. This leads to more of same…. A blighting polluting power plant dominating our waterfront for the next 50 years. Cookie-cutter, soulless overdevelopment. A suboptimized harbor revitalization. The slow but constant erosion of our history, our quaint seaside village appeal, and our quality of life. If this low-risk, slow, inevitable slide of our town appeals to you, you should vote against Measure A and vote for the Chamber recommended candidates.
But, there is another path. A path that requires more heavy lifting and involves some element of risk. This path requires the people and the elected officials establish a vision and then put in the effort to drive that vision to reality. It will require leadership from the City elected officials and the support of City staff and residents.
This path can create a Redondo that would be the envy of the Beach Cities. This path can lead to a well-integrated, showcase waterfront free from an unneeded blighting, polluting, industrial eyesore. New views of the harbor and ocean would open up that have not been seen since the 1940s. Residents could reconnect to our waterfront without the wall of industrial blight that separates us today. Business revenues, property values, and city revenues would increase. We could attract quality development rather than overdevelopment. With hard work and the right incentives, we could bring a university marine science program, or a museum or art gallery, or a maritime institute, or something similar that would be a game changer for the character of our harbor. This path can embrace, preserve and enhance our sense of community and our unique history. This path can lift our town to become the Crown Jewel of the South Bay.
And yes, this path incurs some risk. We may have to live through a lawsuit. We may have to slow down some of the current efforts a little bit to make sure we do it right the first time. But the path to great success is seldom free of risk and toil. Most of us got to live in Redondo because we worked hard and tackled challenges in our careers. In a town full of over-achievers, it would be an embarrassment to accept mediocrity. For me, it is worth the risk and effort. I would rather work hard and fall a little short than keep on the current path of slow but inevitable decline. This is doable. Other great towns have taken the risks and tackled the hard work to reap the rewards. We can do it too.
When casting your vote think to the future. Twenty-five years from now, would you rather confess to your grandchildren that you voted for the blighting, polluting power plant and the slow decay? Would you rather warn them not to cave into the fear mongering and intimidation as you did? Or would you rather take them down to the harbor and brag that you were a part of making it so great, that you voted for the hard work and change that resulted in a town that you are proud to pass on to their generation?
It is now or never! The opportunity is fleeting. Our time is now!
Vote for candidates with the vision, leadership, commitment, ability and track record to be a force for positive change in our town. Vote YES on Measure A.
Vote to leave a legacy we can all be proud of.