We’re not a one-trick pony.
That’s the message the secretary of the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association [MBNA] delivered last week in response to criticism that the sole reason for his group’s existence is to advocate for neighborhood-wide rezoning.
“We’re not about one thing, we’re about the whole package,” Edmond Dweck told members gathered inside P.S. 195 on Irwin Street.
It was only the group’s second meeting since breaking away from the Manhattan Beach Community Group [MBCG] earlier this year in a bitter dispute over non-conforming home expansions projects and membership eligibility.
“There are problems, but we don’t want to be labeled as a group concerned only about zoning,” Dweck said.
Dweck, who also serves as chair of the MBNA’s Public Relations Committee, said that the newly-formed civic organization is concerned with park safety, schools and a wide-range of other quality of life issues.
“We’re not about changing what exists, we’re about fixing what exists,” he said.
What many in Manhattan Beach believe needs fixing is the construction fences left standing around numerous building projects throughout the neighborhood that have been put on hold because they fail to conform to existing zoning regulations.
“Yes, we are concerned about zoning,” Dweck conceded. “How did those boards get up there? We don’t know, but we want to see all the boards removed somehow.”
The MBCG maintains that those found to be in violation of the housing code must bring their projects into compliance.
The MBNA will soon form a zoning committee to take on the issue, according to Dweck.
“If you want something, you’ve got to say something,” Dweck said. “We don’t have the power to flip a switch and change things.”
A Borough Hall study of Manhattan Beach zoning conducted last year has yet to be publicly reviewed.
Some local elected officials like City Councilmember Mike Nelson have already begun to align themselves with the new group.
On Monday night State Senator Carl Kruger addressed the MBNA with a detailed overview of his political career going back to his days as a neophyte community activist opposing the Georgetowne shopping mall.
“Neighborhoods need an infusion of new families,” Kruger said. “We have to be willing to listen. Change is always good if it is not revolutionary but evolutionary.”
The next meeting of the MBNA will be held at P.S. 195 on June 3. Start time is 8 p.m.