Posted January 20, 2016 by The Argonaut in Columns
Affordable Housing Should Be Affordable

Over the years I have bid on, bought and built on so-called “surplus” properties from the county and city.

It is not too late for local governments to dedicate some of this property for the creation of affordable or homeless housing. Governments could even trade for or purchase private properties that make for appropriate low-cost housing sites.

Low-cost housing for low-income and homeless residents can and should be built much less expensively than as happens now. Let’s restrain bureaucracy and high-priced designs. Let’s not repeat the Taj Mahal project recently done on skid row.

All urban and suburban neighborhoods should have some buildings that offer basic housing units. For a single person, 300 to 350 square feet. For a couple, 400 to 500 square feet. Add 100 square feet for a household with one child, and 60 square feet for each additional child.

I would personally invest in such projects — especially SROs (single-room occupancy buildings).

The idea is that we not ghettoize any particular area but instead spread basic, low-cost housing all around the region, increasing the economic diversity of our neighborhoods.

Peter Griswold
Marina del Rey

The Great Cost of Marina Improvements

Re: “Tiny Wetlands Turn into Battleground,” News, Nov. 25, and “Refugee Fatigue,” Opinion, Jan. 6

I admire the long list of humanitarian situations that the current L.A. County Board of Supervisors will attempt to improve. However, at a recent meeting I attended the board showed no interest in environmental problems and the effect of climate change in Los Angeles.

The board voted to approve construction of a 288-room hotel on a wetland area at water’s edge adjacent to the Ballona Creek, having already approved three extremely large apartment complexes within two blocks of this new hotel.

Five hotels already exist in Marina del Rey.

I hope the California Coastal Commission will not approve construction on a wetland, with all of the hazardous waste, pollution from construction, excessive water use and traffic this hotel would engender.

Yes, we need to pay for social improvements — but not at excessive cost to the environment. This area was developed for the recreational benefit of L.A. County residents.

Residents pay high property taxes, and rents in the marina are also high. The county can be assured of lengthy commercial leases. Another hotel is just bad public policy!

Lynne Shapiro
Marina del Rey


Re: “Marina del Razed,” Opinion, Dec. 31

William Hicks’ opinion piece on “killing” trees is one of the most bizarre essays I’ve ever read. Whatever he’s smoking, I’d like to try (under medical supervision, of course)!

His criticism of county management would turn 180 degrees if a diseased tree limb snapped and crushed a passing kid on a bicycle. Enough said.

David W. Kay

Well said! It’s becoming clear that, either due to ignorance or the desire to burn year-end budgets, the Department of Beaches & Harbors cannot be entrusted with MdR’s trees. They are not only adding to climate change and destroying the natural beauty of Marina del Rey, they are also impacting local and migratory wildlife that depend on this area. The time has come to finally pass some laws restricting the mindless removal of mature trees without compelling cause.

KC in MdR

Re: “Three Teens Die in High Speed Crash on Via Marina,” News, Dec. 31

I live a quarter mile off Via Marina and hear speeding traffic like this at all hours, including emergency response vehicles responding to God knows what. Via Marina currently is a 45 mph zone that could certainly use a speed reduction among other things.

As time goes on and the weather begins to warm up, we will see an increase in bicycle and pedestrian traffic on this street. The new apartment construction, Saturday farmers market on the corner of Via Marina and Panay Way and Thursday night food trucks at Mothers Beach will also add to more non-vehicular traffic and so goes the risk of similar accidents. I hope the planners have enough forethought to manipulate traffic patterns sooner than later before we see another incident like this.

This may not be the solution, but I would like to see Via Marina at 35 mph, bicycle lanes added, the addition of speed humps at the end of Via Marina where this accident occurred and more traffic policing. I’d figure that speeding violations and excessive noise from all the clapped-out sports cars and motorcycles is enough right now to keep at least two CHP officers busy from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly.                            Nick

Don’t you think the fact they were going 80 mph was a factor? People have to take responsibility for their own actions not keep blaming others. That’s why there are signs for speed, like “Slow Down,” posted. That’s why you take a driving test.



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