Whenever Sweet Polly Purebreds (aka Palisades residents) are being victimized by developers, L.A. City Planning, the Planning and Land Use Committee and L.A. City Council, we sing “Oh where or where has my UNDERDOG [Mike Bonin] gone, oh, where oh where he can he be?”
And just like that, UNDERDOG (aka Shoeshine Boy), Bonin’s heroic alter ego, jumps into a telephone booth and emerges a superhero to fight evil.
Episode One: PALISADES VILLAGE (https://www.circlingthenews.com/palisades-drb-ta…ruso-project-why/).
You remember when that nasty Pacific Palisades Design Review Board wanted to ensure that Caruso’s Palisades Village project reflected the architecture here (e.g., mid-century modern? Well, that was ridiculous because it would have taken far too many meetings and had far too much input from residents, so:
“There’s no need to fear—UNDERDOG is here!” and just like that the Design Review Board was removed from the project.
Well, that pesky contaminated dirt from the Palisades Village project that was supposed to help fill in Potrero Canyon wasn’t granular enough, and now it will cost about $500,000 to have it removed (https://www.circlingthenews.com/landscaping-bids…t-potrero-canyon/). But never mind, UNDERDOG was there and in December 2016 he received a check from Caruso for $100,000, directed to Bonin’s L.A. Forward Committee (City WatchLA https://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/cw/los-angeles/17465-palisades-drb-taken-off-caruso-project-bonin-has-not-replaced-them-why)
Episode Two: HIGHLANDS ELDERCARE FACILITY
Those nasty Pacific Palisades Residents Association members and some members of the Pacific Palisades Community Council dared to question building an Alzehimer/dementia facility in a very high fire severity zone in the Highlands. A raring wildfire? Those senior citizens could shelter in place – or just put them on bikes and it’s all downhill to Sunset. Don’t stop this project!
“When Polly’s in trouble (or when help is needed), I am not slow, It’s hip-hip-hip and AWAY I go!”
UNDERDOG snapped into action and contacted a member of the Coastal Commission, demanding approval (the commissioner said she would not accept texts, but took Underdog’s). Those stupid, stupid people who opposed the project also pointed out the other senior living facility in town had vacancies.
UNDERDOG, ever the hero, may have benefited from the $500,000 that was spent by the lobbying firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, employed by developers Rony and Moshe Shram. (https://www.circlingthenews.com/want-action-with…-hire-a-lobbyist/ .
Episode Three: JACK-IN-THE-BOX
Those miserable PPRA members, the sinister PPCC, frightening Self-Realization Center members, the toadies at the Waldorf School, and those spooky residents in the Edgewater Towers Condominiums Homeowners Association rejected plans to replace the Jack-in-the-Box site with an oversized project that doesn’t follow the Community Plan and is located in a very high fire density zone.
But “There’s no need to fear, UNDERDOG is here!”
And Bonin jumped out of his office and spoke to the Planning Commission on behalf of the community – no wait, he didn’t listen to local residents and organizations. But somehow, the commissioners got the impression that there was no low-income housing in Pacific Palisades. Now where would they get that idea?
Luckily UNDERDOG stood right up to the PLUM committee and set them straight. No, wait, he didn’t show up at that meeting, nor the one that followed. The first meeting was a violation of the Brown Act and had to be reheard.
Episode Four—MARQUEZ MEGAMANSIONS:
Those menacing villains (aka residents on and near Marquez Avenue) expect developers to follow the law, be honest on applications and insist that the City not automatically give Coastal Commission approval, until the Planning Department actually sees the building plans. Well, I never!
Luckily, UNDERDOG sings:
“I am a hero who never fails,
I cannot be bothered with such details.”
Unconscionable. How can UNDERDOG deal with these residents who pay taxes, but refuse to donate to certain reelection committees or special funds?
How can UNDERDOG let the misguided masses know that houses the size of Westminster Abbey are totally appropriate?
Our hero snaps into action in 2020 and urges City planners to establish a new law, singing:
“When in this world the headlines read
Of those whose hearts are filled with greed
Who rob and steal from those who need
To right this wrong with blinding speed
Goes UNDERDOG! Underdog! Underdog! Underdog!
Speed of lightning, roar of thunder
Fighting all who rob or plunder”