To put it mildly, the City of Redondo Beach is known for being averse to development.

In 2017, city officials enacted a more than 10-month moratorium on the construction of new mixed-use buildings, citing complaints from residents about increasing traffic congestion. That same year, Redondo Beach voters struck down a proposed project which would have rebuilt the city's crumbling pier as part of a more than $300-million commercial development.

View from Harbor DriveGoogle Street View

With that background in mind, developer Leo Pustilnikov acquired one of the city's most prominent sites in 2020 - the AES power plant located steps from the Redondo Beach waterfront. And thanks to state housing laws, his plans for the more than 50-acre property could move forward despite the objections of local elected officials.

The Easy Reader reports that Pustilnikov applied on August 10 to redevelop the power plant into a mixed-use complex dubbed One Redondo. Proposed plans call for the construction of more than 2,300 residential units - including 1,832 market-rate homes and 458 affordable units. A hotel and offices are also planned, with roughly 22 acres of the property to be left as open green space. The plant's main building on Harbor Drive is to be retained, and either reused as event space or possibly as a museum.

Directly across the street from One Redondo, Pustilnikov applied in July to redevelop a property flanking the S.E.A. Lab building into a more modest project named Ten21 Harbor. That project would consist of a six-story structure featuring 30 residential units - six of which would be set aside as affordable housing - above 7,124 square feet of commercial space and basement parking.

Elevation of Ten21 Redondo projectCity of Redondo Beach

According to the Easy Rider, Pustilnikov's projects are made possible due to state housing law. Specifically, the City of Redondo Beach has yet to receive certification from state officials for its housing element. During the time where the housing element is non-compliant, the city's ability to block projects which do not comply with existing zoning rules is curtailed.

Pustilnikov is also pursuing vesting rights under SB 330, which would preserve his ability to develop the property in the event that the City of Redondo Beach is able to obtain state certification of its housing element.

The project may also have impacts to another stretch of open land near the waterfront - the empty right-of-way below the power lines connecting to the non-operating AES plant.