Judge sides with city in lawsuit over Belmont Shore pool complex

Long Beach can proceed toward the final hurdle for a new pool complex in Belmont Shore after a judge sided with the city this month, ruling the project does not violate state environmental rules.

The City Council approved the Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center in May 2017, and the Citizens About Responsible Planning filed a lawsuit a month later, contending the city had improperly granted height variances and other approvals for the project.

An attorney for CARP, Doug Carstens, said Tuesday he would not be available to comment until Wednesday.

The city said in a statement that it would now seek approval from the California Coastal Commission, which had expressed some misgivings about the project given its proximity to the coast. The pool complex, estimated to cost over $100 million, will replace the former Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool facility, which was demolished due to seismic concerns.

The Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center Project will include 125,500-square-feet of space for recreational and competitive swimming and diving.

City officials said they have spent the last year going through the Coastal Commission’s comments related to sea level rise, erosion, height, view preservation, and whether the facility will provide opportunities for disadvantaged communities.

Officials now expect the project team to finalize the permit application and submit to the Coastal Commission within two weeks.

More to come.

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.