Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wrigley Action

I don't usually post on political issues. There are plenty of blogs out there to do that for me. Although I have been reading The House On Red Hill , its a nice mix of home and thought.

Last night I attended my first city council meeting. It was quite an experience. I have only lived in Long Beach for about 4 years. So I missed Laura Richardson sitting on the city council but have had my fair share of Bob Foster as our mayor. I will never forget the day me and all my do good neighbors helped clean the LA River and Bob Foster showed up (all 300lbs of him) wearing a suit. I guess he wanted to look good for the photo opps. It would have been a lot more efficient pulling shopping carts out of the river if he was wearing a pair of Dickies. I also met him at our Wrigley Association Meeting. He was lobbying to pass some poorly planned proposition. Not really a fan of the guy. Although last night he was the only person sitting on the board that actually listened to the speakers. Everyone was walking around, talking, texting. I could not believe how rude these people were acting in front of the people, public servants my ass.

Our issue is this. We as members of our association and as residents of a small neighborhood are opposed to a church expansion. The church as it sits now is perfect for the neighborhood the architecture, size and scale blend right in. Most of the houses up there were built in the 50's and news to me this church is one of the oldest church's in Wrigley. While the church developer was greasing the palms of the council members he quickly mentioned that after they tear down the original building they will be happy to erect a plaque stating that there use to be a historical building there, what a joke. And the 7th district council woman, Tonia Reyes Uranga, seemed to be flattered by this. I swear it was like watching a bad movie where you know the ending is going to ruin lives and create blight but none cares.

What I predict will happen is this. They will move forward with this "commuter church", "big box church" whatever you want to call it. The size of the new structure will be built to the very edge of each side of the property line, straight to the gills. Some 40,000+ square feet of it. The church will be under construction for years. First they will demo, survey, break ground, build, landscape. Let's hope in all this time that they do not run out of money or change their minds. Then our neighborhood will be left with a huge mess to deal with. Back to my predictions. After this church (its also a nonaccredited school, gym and 25 offices) is built then the amount of traffic increase to this area is going to be out of control. There is no way there are that many parishioners that live in our area. So now they are being bussed in and that's great for our neighborhood. Especially since we have the nickname of living in the diesel death zone .

I would put money on the fact that in the end the church outgrows the expansion, vacates the site and we are left with a huge monolith building that we need to find tenants for. I can't believe the council members approved this.

Yay for God sad for the neighborhood.


Adriana said...

Firstly, you conned me into being a do-gooder.

Maybe Bob Foster would have been able to make it down to the cleaning area if he wasn’t wearing cowboy boots.

God 1; Wrigley 0.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

Somehow I don't think this is very good for G-d either. It dounfs like a lose-lose.

Why S? said...

First, LB, thanks for the shout out.

Second, my sympathy to you. My neighborhood is also the victim of ill-considered city planning. A number of homes at the end of my street were condemned to make way for a new elementary school. Then, before construction began, the environmental impact report was found to be fraudulent. The whole thing has been tied up in court and the block has turned into one big blight.

I don't think God would applaud your situation at all. Sounds like it's sad for everyone. Keep us updated.