BY NICK DIAMANTIDES
In spite of objections from Fantasy Castle, during its July 22 meeting, the Signal Hill City Council took the next step toward building a new police department headquarters. The council voted unanimously to change the zoning designation of the site upon which the facility will be built. The council also approved a “negative declaration” for the site, which is a document stating the zoning change will not significantly impact to the environment.
When the council action takes effect, the approximately 2.7-acre site will be zoned for “public institutional” use.
The city plans to build the new police headquarters at 2745 Walnut Avenue, almost directly across the street from Fantasy Castle, a nightclub that features semi-nude exotic dancers. Roger Jon Diamond, an attorney who represents Fantasy Castle, asked the council to delay approving the zoning change until the city had complied with several state laws that he alleged had been violated in the preliminary planning process.
According to Diamond, the city needs to conduct a full environmental impact review and prepare an environmental impact statement pertaining to the site. He added that there would be environmental problems from the site’s storm water runoff as well as dirty water from the washing of police cars. He also alleged that changing the zoning designation for a single small site violated the overall purpose of zoning laws.
After Diamond spoke, City Attorney Dave Aleshire and Director of Community Development Gary Jones explained how, in their view, the city had complied with state laws and the project would not significantly impact the environment.
The next meeting of the Signal Hill City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m., August 12 in the City Hall council chambers.