Each year since the Grand Prix of Long Beach staged its first rip-roaring races in 1975, the association has had to apply for a new permit from the California Coastal Commission.
On Wednesday, January 11, the California Coastal Commission issued a four-year permit to the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach to hold the race through 2020, according to the office of Councilmember Roberto Uranga, who pushed for the multi-year permit as the South Coast representative on the coastal commission.
This year’s race weekend will start on April 7 and culminate on April 9.
The Grand Prix was one of the first events to be issued a Coastal permit in 1975, and now is one of the first events to be issued a multi-year permit. A permit is required because the race occurs on State Tidelands within the Commission’s area of jurisdiction.
“After 40 plus years of consecutive applications, it made sense for the California Coastal Commission to provide a multi-year permit that recognizes the Grand Prix as an annual event,” said Uranga in a statement. “I wish to thank my colleagues on the Commission for their diligence in making this process efficient and expedient.”
The new permit mirrors permissions from previous, single-year permits, including street closures and ensuring maximum public access to Shoreline Park and the Rainbow Harbor area, the release stated. However, changes to race events would require the permit to be amended, or a new permit to be requested.
“I am pleased that the Long Beach Grand Prix, our biggest event of the year and a major economic driver for the City, will have one of the first multi-year permits for their event,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. As the first City to certify a Local Coastal Plan with the California Coastal Commission, Long Beach continues to lead the way with multi-year permits.”
The new permit also maintains requirements, such as variable message signs to alert the public of restrictions and closures, bicycle access along the shoreline with a temporary detour, a parking management plan and fuel and waste management to ensure water quality protection, according to the release.
“We’re pleased with this multi-year approach to create a more efficient streamlined permitting process for the Grand Prix that also ensures public access to the coast,” said Acting Executive Director John Ainsworth in a statement.