Legado Plays the Race Card

Re: “More Trouble in Paradise,” News, July 5

In a world where there is no shortage of genuine racism and pain, I’m sickened that Legado chooses to insert tension and toxicity into our community. The opposition movement has always been focused on the scale of the building, and only Legado and its PR representatives have created ties to income and race.

At first, I nervously tolerated their narrative of people opposing the development because of racist and elitist views. Earlier this year, I learned they were voicing this at their PR pop ups and when going door to door to collect signatures. I figured it wouldn’t take hold, due to its falsehood.  However, once this disgusting lie emerged at the public hearing with the Planning Commission and also was front and center in The Argonaut’s article, I could not stay silent.

These tactics are not only toxic and damaging, they also propagate false black-and-white choices: this development or an empty lot; this development or you don’t care about the economically vulnerable; this development or you’re a racist. It’s grandstanding for a self-serving solution based not on altruism but on greed and profit.

Community members on both sides of the debate share a desire for new housing, affordable housing, fresh energy and new businesses. The only obstacle to all of these is Legado’s refusal to address concerns about building scale and character, environmental hazards, parking, traffic and the legal regulations for development along the coast. In the process they are not only stalling progress, but stirring up tensions and toxicity by introducing notions of racism into a friendly, peaceful, welcoming beach community that locals want to share with all visitors and potential new residents.

Sara Kay

Playa del Rey

Don’t Just Complain, Get Involved

Re: “More Trouble in Paradise,” News, July 5; and “Westchester is Being Overdeveloped,” Letters, Aug. 2

I am very disappointed in what The Argonaut has recently been publishing about the Legado project and the way that you have promulgated a one-sided narrative that our community is racist, non-inclusive and opposed to affordable housing. If readers of this letter are among those who feel The Argonaut has not been unbiased in their recent reporting, I urge you to write a letter to the editor. It would be great to read letters from members of our community who aren’t out to bash Bonin at every turn and who take offense at
our community being portrayed as racist.

As for last week’s letter from Mr. Kacena, I agree with parts of what he is saying but cannot agree with placing the blame on Bonin. Most people don’t understand the tremendous amount of time, commitment and money it takes to impact the outcome of projects brought before the city by well-funded developers. Unfortunately, it is not up to the councilmember to decide what projects a community will accept and what projects it will not. It is up to the community to be aware of what is coming their way, to gather support or
opposition, and to inform our elected officials where we stand. We must give our leaders the tools they need to mount their opposition, in the form of good arguments and more.

It is unrealistic to think that one only needs to express their displeasure with a project and something will be done about it. Nor is it realistic to blame a community’s lack of interest, involvement or participation on their elected official without having given that elected official the tools they need to fight for you. The council office is not our concierge, they are our partner.

It is this defeatist attitude from a community that developers rely upon to shove their projects through the public process. In the years that Playa del Rey has been opposing the Legado project there have been several similar projects that have not been as publicized as Legado, and Mike has consistently stood with the community and these projects have been rejected. He is and has been our greatest ally in the fight to stop inappropriate and irresponsible development in Playa del Rey.

It is because the community has done their job for Mike that Mike can now do his job for us. That is why it is very important that the community turn out for the Aug. 14 appeals hearing before the Planning and Land Use Management Committee at City Hall and stand with Mike. For more information on the hearing, visit savepdr.org.

Julie Ross, Playa del Rey

Slow Down the Scooters

Re: “The Summer of Scooters,” Cover Story, Aug. 2

The problem is that the rules are not being enforced. There are rules against people riding with no helmets, riding on the sidewalk and leaving scooters everywhere. It is becoming both
a nuisance and a safety issue. While on our walks we’ve had several speed by in the opposite direction on the sidewalk without even slowing. It is clear we can’t count on the riders to obey the rules, and we certainly cannot count on the companies to enforce even their own rules.

While municipalities work to figure out how to best use this new mode of transportation, which appears to have promise, how about imposing a lower speed limit built into the scooters — say, five miles per hour?

Bill Hart, Marina del Rey