Following a series of standing-room only community meetings to discuss the city’s future land use element an upcoming meeting in North Long Beach has been moved to a bigger venue to accommodate the anticipated crowd.
The October 18 meeting has been moved from the Expo Arts Center to Scherer Park where it will be held in an outdoor tent area adjacent to the Long Beach Police North Division station, at 4891 Atlantic Avenue.
City officials also announced that due to a scheduling conflict the October 19 regularly scheduled planning commission meeting, typically held at city hall, has been moved to Veterans Park Community Center.
Both events will offer free parking.
The October 14 workshop on the LUE is still scheduled to be held at Golden Sails Hotel at 6285 Pacific Coast Highway from 11:00AM to 1:00PM.
The land use element has come under fire in recent months as the proposed density and building height allowances drawn up in the plan have roiled community members who say that the plan would irreparably damage the character of their neighborhoods and cause traffic congestion as well as parking challenges.
Under the proposed element much of the city’s single-family zoned areas would be allowed to build up to two stories high and certain commercial corridors could see height allowances several stories above what they’re currently zoned.
City staff has maintained that the density increases and parking requirements will fall in line with what’s expected to be a future generation that embraces public transit and walkability. The planning commission voted to delay sending the land use element back to the city council in mid-August but was overridden by the city’s director of development services, Amy Bodek, who advised the commissioners that she was taking the land use element to the council “with or without your recommendations.”
Her comments caused an uproar among those residents already upset with the proposed height allowances and place types described in the land use element as well as those who questioned the city’s genuineness in its attempts to gather the public’s input while compiling the document. This led to Mayor Robert Garcia issuing a statement the day after Bodek’s comments to the commission where he pledged to extend the public engagement period to ensure that residents’ voices were heard before the land use element received a vote from the city council.
The October 18 meeting at Scherer Park, in an outdoor tent area adjacent to the Long Beach Police North Divisiion station at 4891 Atlantic Avenue, will begin at 6:00PM.
The October 19 Planning Commission meeting will begin at 5:00PM at Veterans Park Community Center located at 101 East 28th Street.
Editors note: Only one of the two remaining land use element workshops has been moved with the October 14 meeting still being held at the Golden Sails Hotel at 11:00AM. The story has been updated to reflect those changes.