Parkview Village Principal Responds to Corliss Lee Claims

Benjamin Efraim

Ms. Lee’s letter contains incorrect information, claims and assertions that are simply not true. Her representations are flawed, and inaccurate at best. Her account is one-sided and self-serving. She has never reached out or spoken to Benjamin Efraim, and it is abundantly clear that she did not make any independent inquiries to verify her claims. She has not supported her accusations with evidence. Instead she chose to jump on the mis-information train that is conducted by mis-informed parties with their own agenda.

If she was genuinely interested in the issues she would have first contacted Christopher Koontz, the senior city planner or other senior planners at the city who participated in preparing the LUE and its corresponding maps.

(1) The LUE is not an approval for any building or project. The LUE as I understand it sets forth what types of uses could be proposed. Once the LUE establishes for example that in addition to commercial uses residential uses could also be considered, then a zone change or a formal application with specifics of the proposed project would be formally submitted. Once these are reviewed and evaluated by the city planning staff, with input from residents and property owners, a decision could be made regarding the project application. This is a multi-step and detailed process.

(2) The proposed Draft Master Plan of Parkview Village was and remains exactly what it says it is: A draft of a vision, a master plan for the next 20-years. The future. There are no imminent or immediate plans, nor any building applications by Parkview Village. There is only a draft of an overall plan of the next 20 years. The master plan will be finalized with input from the stakeholders, with more community meetings, forums, and information.

What was presented to the city planners was merely a draft proposal to explore a master plan, much like an overlay zone that defines a specific area within a broader zone, to set forth what can and cannot be built, what types of buildings are allowed, how high the structures may be, how many residences, how many square feet, types of shops, offices, stores, restaurants, etc., where parking would be located, how many spaces, where access to and from parking areas and streets would be, and a host of other large and small details.

The master plan would be the guiding document that would be adopted and govern the future of the land parcels subject to the master plan. Once the master plan is complete, Parkview Village could submit its formal application consistent with the adopted master plan.

(3) The Parkview Village Draft Master Plan calls for:

  • 3-story buildings along Viking Way, with commercial on ground floor, and residences on floors 2 and 3.
  • 2-story townhomes along Montair and Greenmeadow, instead of parking lots or parking structures.
  • Parking and traffic circulation to and from Bellflower and Carson, not through residential streets.
  • A maximum of 54 dwelling-units per acre along Viking Way.
  • A maximum of 54 townhomes along Montair and Greenmeadow.

If the approximately 3.25-acres of Parkview Village properties along Viking Way, and the approximately 0.4-acre parcel of Triangle Eye Care along Viking Way are all re-developed into mixed-use, and if the approximately 1.1-acre of Parkview Village surface parking lots along Montair and Greenmeadow are re-developed into townhomes – over the next 20-years – then the maximum number of residences could be 260.

To my knowledge the existing properties north of Viking Way were not included in any 3-story commercial/residential LUE Plans.

Note: According to the 2017 LUE maps prepared by the city, all properties located North of the alley behind Viking Way, including the post office, the McBride Dentistry building, Irlen Institute, White Realty, the laundromat and dance company building, and other buildings were not part of any 2017 LUE changes. Everything north of the commercial-alley behind Viking Way was two-story commercial.

I encourage all responsible parties to verify the information directly with the city planners who prepared the LUE maps. Ms. Lee’s other claims, such as social media postings are false. Parkview Village does not participate in and has not posted on “Nextdoor” or any other neighborhood social media platform.

In conclusion, I find it unfortunate that those who have the duty and the responsibility to properly inform the public have chosen to rely on incorrect and incomplete information to serve their own agenda. It would be well advised for those who seek public office to know the facts before they make false allegations and unsubstantiated claims. Such inflammatory and self-serving tactics do not benefit the community, and set very low standards.

Benjamin Efraim, Principal Parkview Village, LLC





IN RESPONSE TO Benjamin Efraim’s Letter (dated 02/12/2018)


Changes to the Land Use Element (LUE) in August 2017 succeeded in changing the defined use of The Triangle Shopping Center in Lakewood Village to a new Mixed-Use PlaceType. This new PlaceType (NSC-Moderate) would have allowed up to 54 dwelling units per acre, and up to 7 stories or 75 feet. (Footnote A on the August 2017 maps may have limited the Maximum Height to 4 stories).

The Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association opposed this in a letter to Development Services and the Planning Commission. The LVNA request resulted in The Triangle being returned to the same use it has enjoyed for the last 60 +/- years, which is 2-story Community Commercial.

Mr. Efraim, Owner of 13 parcels (renamed Parkview Village) in The Triangle, almost succeeded in "sneaking" his Parkview "Vision" through City Hall without any notification to the neighbors or their elected Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association. On November 18, 2016 (yes, 15 months ago), he submitted his "Suggested change to 45' Height Limit at Parkview Village specifically, and all Neighborhood Service Center Corridors." Mr. Efraim goes on to explain that it is "imperative" that 45' structures be constructed to "offer strong architectural statements with taller structures to announce the presence of the Village." Mr. Efraim's proposed 45' height limit would nearly double the present height of the commercial buildings at the corner of Bellflower and Carson (Panvimarn, et al).

At the same time that Mr. Efraim submitted his development plan to the City (November 18, 2016), he had Parkview Village listed for sale at $33.5M. Mr. Efraim asserts that he listed the property for sale for the purpose of refinancing the property. That is disingenuous at best and would not make any difference in an Appraisal of Parkview Village. I am a State Certified Appraiser (ret) and very familiar with Commercial and Residential property valuations.

Mr. Efraim purports that Corliss Lee's “Letter To The Editor” (dated 02/11/2018) contained "incorrect information." I have reviewed her letter and have found none. Mr. Efraim might want to detail just exactly what that "incorrect information" is. I have complete documentation of all information Corliss Lee provided.

Mr. Efraim asserts that the conversion to a "Mixed-Use" PlaceType would apply only to his portion of The Triangle Shopping Area (which he has renamed Parkview Village). When, in fact, a "Mixed-Use" PlaceType would apply to all 24 properties the City has identified as The Triangle, not just Mr. Efraim's 13 properties.

This has been verified by Fern Nueno, AICP Planner at Long Beach Development Services / Planning Bureau, in an email dated February 28, 2018.

Fern's Response was, “All 24 parcels that I mentioned before are designated as Community Commercial in the draft PlaceType map. I have not confirmed ownership, but based on your list, there are several parcels designated as CC that are not owned by the Parkview Village property owners."

Bottom line, Mr. Efraim is only interested in a "Mixed Used" designation in order to get the residential component. Although Mr. Efraim is stating he only wants to build 260 apartments, the entire Triangle could accommodate up to 432 apartments (8 acres at 54du/acre).

Mr. Efraim has repeatedly "threatened" to build a "Big Box" store on his portion of The Triangle. Sorry, Mr. Efraim, your threats are just that, only threats.

The LVNA has conducted an informal Ballot/Questionnaire asking residents if they do or do not support Mr. Efraim's Parkview Mixed-Use "Vision." I have received hundreds of Ballot/Questionnaires and have received not even one Vote in support of Mr. Efraim's Mixed Use "Vision." Copies of all Ballots (private info redacted) will be delivered to the City Council for the March 6th LUE decision.

It appears very certain that residents in Lakewood Village and surrounding Neighborhoods do not support ANY Mixed-Use residential component for The Triangle including Parkview Village.

Bruce DeMille
President – Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association

Add new comment


Copyright 2020 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.