The Belmont Pool replacement project can move forward after winning approval from the California Coastal Commission Thursday, closing a seven-year process that started after the closure of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in 2013.
The replacement project has changed dramatically since plans were initially released in 2016, and with those changes the projected cost was reduced by about $60 million to the current estimate of $85 million.
Next up for the pool is the California Coastal Commission, which could consider the project later this year.
The city was hoping to have it on the Coastal Commission’s February agenda which will be held in Long Beach but now that’s looking unlikely.
The project has been tied up in legal challenges and appeals by residents since 2016, but city officials said changes made over the last few months have reduced the cost and should alleviate concern from the state.
The new design will likely strip away the previously approved dome covering, place the pool complex higher up on the beach and could reduce the costs by tens of millions of dollars.
A meeting of the city’s planning commission Thursday night could propel the Belmont Plaza Pool replacement project closer to completion as the commission is set to certify the new pool’s environmental impact report and approve various permits for the project to move forward.
The Belmont Plaza Pool project will inch closer to fruition on September 1, when the Long Beach Planning Commission meets at City Hall next Thursday for an expected approval of the final environmental impact report (EIR).
It’s been over a year and a half since the Long Beach City Council approved a $103 million budget for the construction of a new Belmont Pool complex and at Tuesday night’s meeting the draft environmental impact report was the subject of a study session held by the council.
Almost exactly one month ago, the City of Long Beach unveiled its plans for the new $103.1 million Belmont Pool, that long-awaited structure set to replace the historic facility used for many an aquatics-related, Olympic-qualifying event.