On Saturday afternoon, March 18, approximately 300 San Pedro residents came together at Peck Park auditorium.
For 300 San Pedro residents to gather on such a lovely springlike day, the reason had to be important. It was, for today San Pedro has a crisis brewing. The crisis is a building industry that has gone crazy.
Anyone who has to travel on Pacific Avenue or Gaffey Street in the mornings and early evenings or wants to park his car in front of his residence knows what I am writing about.
Unfortunately, the problem is greater than just morning traffic or parking. The problem is that San Pedro is losing the small-town community atmosphere we are famous for. We are losing our identity. We are losing our homes. These architectural treasures and single-family homes are being replaced with brand-new stucco multi-unit residences designed by people who should be looking for another line of work.
What is going on in San Pedro? It is the rape of this town by a small but very powerful building industry, with the help of Los Angeles city officials who choose to ignore the views of the vast majority. These Los Angeles bureaucrats, with the help of developers, have created plans that, if allowed to be put into operation, would have flattened Barton Hill, turning it into Marina del Rey South.
These are the same officials who, in their infinite wisdom, decided that a large section of Pacific Avenue should become Apartment Row.
The result of this ongoing rape of our lovely little town is 300 caring, disgusted and angry citizens giving up their Saturday afternoon to sign petitions, form groups and join committees in an attempt to right a wrong that has been allowed to go on way too long.
If the local Los Angeles city officials continue to ignore the needs of the citizens of this small town, then maybe the actions of two decades ago, which succeeded in stopping an illegal war, should be thought about. Or maybe the time is fast approaching to tell the bureaucrats in Los Angeles, "It has been real great, but we San Pedrans are sick of being treated like a necessary but unwanted stepchild." It's time to cut the cord.