Long Beach to Bring Home Six American Planning Association Awards • Long Beach Post

400601 184575438360191 1105178739 nThe City of Long Beach announced today that it will receive six awards by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) on June 16, when the APA’s annual awards will be presented “to recognize exceptional planning achievements by individuals, cities, agencies, nonprofits, and businesses in the Los Angeles region,” according to the announcement.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the American Planning Association among the many contending cities in Los Angeles County,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “This achievement reflects our commitment to innovative, safe, and attractive development that supports sustainability in Long Beach.”

“These prestigious awards are a testament to the City’s growing leadership role in sustainable planning to implement neighborhood-focused programs and initiatives,” said Amy Bodek, director of Long Beach Development Services, in a statement. “These projects represent the right balance of new development and essential services, protection of the environment, and innovative change which provides a real opportunity to enhance our urban fabric and people’s lives for the better.”

The following Long Beach projects, provided in the release, have been recognized:

  • Alcohol Nuisance Abatement Ordinance (ANAO); Implementation Award, Large Jurisdiction, Award of Excellence. The ANAO was adopted in 2013 to address community concerns regarding public safety, nuisance activity and poor site maintenance and appearance. The second phase began in May 2015, and has resulted in tangible improvements to many liquor stores.
  • Terminal Island (TI) Freeway Transition Plan; Urban Design, Award of Excellence. This plan addresses environmental concerns and reflects the community’s vision for converting a 1-mile underutilized section of the freeway into a local-serving road with an associated green space. The TI Freeway is the first of its kind to be studied by a local jurisdiction for decommissioning in Southern California.
  • Billboard Ordinance; Hard Won Victory, Award of Merit. Since its adoption in July 2014, the Billboard Ordinance provides reasonable billboard control, including incentives for the removal of 48 nonconforming billboards, particularly in residential zones and other sensitive areas.
  • Long Beach Civic Center Project; Urban Design, Award of Merit. This project will consist of a new City Hall, Port Headquarters, Main Library, Lincoln Park and Civic Plaza, along with commercial development. The project will have no new tax burden on residents, and is expected to generate 8,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • West Long Beach Livability Implementation Plan; Neighborhood Planning Award, Award of Merit. A joint project between the Port of Long Beach and Development Services, this plan seeks to identify, prioritize and strategize the implementation of projects and initiatives that will provide a variety of neighborhood benefits, including improved accessibility and connectivity, and a cleaner environment especially for those who live in proximity to the Port.
  • Century Villages at Cabrillo Gateway and Anchor Place developments; Opportunity & Empowerment Award, Award of Merit. Century Villages at Cabrillo is a 27-acre campus development providing housing and assistance to the homeless and those at-risk of becoming homeless. In October 2015, the City celebrated the grand opening of Cabrillo Gateway, which includes 80 units reserved for special needs residents. Last month, construction began on Anchor Place, a 120-unit affordable housing development for homeless families and veterans.

This is the third year that the APA has recognized Long Beach Development Services. The Downtown Plan received an award for the 2013 Comprehensive Plan and an Award of Merit for the Comprehensive Planning Award at the 2013 State APA Conference. In 2014, the City’s Mobility Element received the Transportation Award of Excellence at the 2014 State APA Conference, according to the release.

The APA is a professional organization representing the field of city and regional planning in the United States and offers leadership and support in developing vital communities. The organization follows planning projects around the country and recognizes outstanding efforts through local award ceremonies.

For more information about the Los Angeles section of the APA, click here.

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