The City of Long Beach is currently considering a new Land Use Plan. This plan will re-zone many areas throughout our city.
This plan will:
- Allow mixed use and residential high- density buildings with sub-standard parking requirements. The building heights can be adjusted upwards above the maximum zoning height regulations by implementing the current State Density Bonus which allows a 35% increase.
- Allow zoning at neighborhood edges, transitions, and key intersections to be increased by 2.5 times from 7 units per acre to 18 housing units per acre.
The new Land Use Plan, and Senate Bill 35, will each change our city irreparably. Combined, they are high density and mayhem on steroids.
SB 35 takes away local control over permitting for new buildings and over parking requirements. This Bill eliminates Conditional Use Permits and Public Hearings.
Senate Bill 35:
- Allows ZERO parking requirements if a development is located within one half mile of a bus stop (which is 98% of Long Beach)
- Dictates permits be issued by a STREAMLINED process if the municipality has not met Regional Housing Needs Assessment goals. These are unrealistic numbers set by the unelected Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). By design, these goals cannot be met and most cities, if not all, have not met them. Long Beach has not met these goals and will be subject to this STREAMLINED process.
- Once a permit is issued, it cannot be revoked as Huntington Beach found out when the citizens elected new council members and tried to reign in the overbuilding along the Beach Street corridor
- Once a permit is issued, it basically doesn’t expire
- Allows developers to use the municipalities General Plan as a basis to obtain permits for high density multi-family buildings even if the zoning will not allow it
SB 35 was updated on August 29, 2017 to add: “(B) In the event that objective zoning, general plan, or design review standards are mutually inconsistent, a development shall be deemed consistent with the objective zoning standards pursuant to this subdivision if the development is consistent with the standards set forth in the general plan.” https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB35
Following are quotes from the Long Beach proposed Land Use Plan (part of the General Plan) which will be used by developers to obtain streamlined permits from Sacramento for high density buildings which will destroy our neighborhoods.
“LU Policy 11-4: Allow new high-density residential growth to occur within Multi-Family neighborhoods in a manner that is context-sensitive and compatible to surrounding uses and buildings and provides a range of housing types and options that meets the needs of Long Beach residents.” Page 118
NOTE: It says Multi-Family neighborhoods. ALL neighborhoods are Multi-Family. It says allow high-density WITHIN. Context-sensitive and compatible have no concrete meanings. It says a range of housing types and options which will include high density.
“The Transit-Oriented Development PlaceType allows for an increase in residential density and commercial intensity around each Blue Line station. This PlaceType may be expanded to serve future transit systems.” page 114
NOTE: SCAG has designated other areas of the city as future transit corridors such as Bellflower Blvd. These are FUTURE transit systems and developers will use this SCAG designation to justify increased height and density along those corridors.
“Long Beach is fundamentally a city of neighborhoods. This Land Use Plan provides the framework for protecting and enhancing low-density residential neighborhoods. These neighborhoods will be diverse, safe, healthy and sustainable places, with a mix of residential building types and connected streets that facilitate walking, biking and transit. From our historic and founding neighborhoods to more contemporary ones, Long Beach endeavors to preserve and enhance our neighborhoods for generations to come.” page 116
NOTE: This paragraph starts out appearing to be about low-density residential neighborhoods but it’s misleading. It says protecting (the next sentence says safe so that would seem to be the context of protecting) and enhancing but it doesn’t say keeping or preserving our low-density residential neighborhoods. The word diverse could imply there should be residents of all income levels. It says with a “mix of residential housing type.” The last sentence says preserving but it doesn’t say preserving our low-density neighborhoods.
“Proposed improvements include: establishing commercial and retail uses on the periphery of neighborhoods or in commercial hubs to better serve residents; integrating public facilities and open spaces into neighborhoods; providing convenient transit connections and walkable environments; and incorporating a variety of design enhancements and sustainable practices.” Page 116
NOTE: What are these public facilities they want to integrate into neighborhoods? What sustainable practices? That opens up the door to a lot of unwelcome development.
“Policies provide for an equitable distribution of housing types for all income groups throughout the City, thus avoiding concentrations of below-market-rate housing in underserved and low-income neighborhoods.” Page 117
NOTE: Sacramento wants low income housing throughout middle and upper class neighborhoods, presumably just not in the politicians neighborhoods.
“LU Policy 12-1: Promote an equitable distribution of housing types for all income and various cultural groups throughout the City; avoid creating concentrations of below-market-rate housing in underserved and low-income neighborhoods.” Page 118
NOTE: Same as above.
The above quotes are from only five pages. There are items peppered throughout this 185-page proposed plan that the developers will be able to use to justify building high density. There is no way to surgically remove all of them.
We must destroy, not alter, this update to the Long Beach Land Use Plan before the council members who are up for re-election and Mayor Garcia’s re-elections in April of 2018. If it’s still a viable plan after the election, we won’t be able to hold them accountable and we lose.
We need to destroy SB 35. Are there any other Assembly Members who can be convinced to oppose it in addition to O’Donnell? There’s not much time left. The legislative session ends on 9/15 so the vote will take place before then.
Attend all the City Council meetings and stay until the end if you can. Bring a book, your knitting, or crossword puzzles and show them that you’re going to outlast their boring, outlandishly long meetings. Speak during public comments. Hold up signs and pass out flyers.
Pack the City Council meeting on 9/17/17 to oppose SEASP.
Contact your city council member and the mayor and ask them to pass a city resolution to oppose SB 35.
Let’s get a flyer delivered to as many houses as we can. We need to keep a master list of where they’ve been delivered.
Support each other. If all the neighborhoods stick together, we’ll have a lot more impact.
Get as many people out to the community meetings and the city council meetings as possible to voice their opposition.
Write Letters to the Editor to all our local newspapers. They have not reported truthfully on the full impact of this proposed Land Use Plan in combination with SB 35.
Make signs and hand out flyers whenever a city official has a public meeting.