The Long Beach City Council Tuesday night during a public hearing voted to approve the proposed land-use element (LUE) and urban design element (UDE) PlaceType and Heights maps after making several revisions, including further reductions in density, to address specific neighborhood concerns and needs. The action is part of the comprehensive effort to update the City’s General Plan and achieve the vision and goals of the community, according to officials.
“I’m proud of the community and the city council for adopting a responsible and forward-looking plan that protects residential neighborhoods and invests in our future,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.
A press release the City issued this week reads: “The LUE is a plan that encourages significant housing and commercial development in the city’s downtown core, invests in future housing opportunities along the City’s Metro Blue Line and identifies areas for modest growth through the entire City. The LUE looks at additional housing opportunities, as well as plans for commercial, open space and industrial development to help grow the City’s economy and creates opportunities for jobs in Long Beach.”
In December 2017, the Long Beach Planning Commission voted to advance the proposed PlaceType and Height Maps, with recommended changes for height reductions and reduced-density land-use designations. These recommendations were in addition to the 686 acres of reduced height and density proposed by City staff in previous maps issued in November 2017.
On March 6, 2018, as part of their review and adoption of the plan, the city council approved numerous additional revisions to the maps. Summaries of the changes, by council district, are available to the public at longbeach.gov/lueude2040. Revised maps to reflect the approved changes will be made available next week, officials said.
“The City has heard the input of the community and is committed to moving forward with the amended plan that celebrates the current character of our diverse neighborhoods while planning for future residents,” said City Manager Patrick H. West. “Like I have said before, Long Beach is a place for everyone to call home.”
The General Plan, which includes the LUE, is a document the State of California requires to provide a framework for the long-term physical development of a city. The proposed update draws on physical and demographic changes and broader advances in culture and technology to meet the City’s housing and economic goals, and appropriately plan for population increases, job growth and climate change, according to the City.
The revised LUE outlines allowable land uses and guides where growth and development will occur and what it should look like. The proposed update to the LUE will replace the current 1989 document and provide greater flexibility and promote future investment and development opportunities. Additionally, a UDE has been prepared to establish high-quality development standards and create a more forward-looking, sustainable urban environment.
The General Plan update involved 13 years of planning and public engagement that included more than 100 community meetings, workshops, roundtable discussions and several Planning Commission study sessions. Various outreach tools, beyond in-person engagement, were used to generate public input in the planning process, including surveys and a project webpage.
As part of the March 6 motion, the city council has requested additional studies, feasibility reviews and data to return to the council as the process proceeds. This includes:
• Data on affordable housing
• Future State law changes
• The City’s future community outreach process and community involvement in the planning process
• An equity analysis
• Traffic studies and information
• Parking information
• Information on historic districts
• Information on future development
• The feasibility of an educational element to the General Plan
The city council also directed the preparation of an annual report to the Planning Commission and council on the status of the General Plan implementation, a review of the General Plan with the council every two years and the opportunity for a major revisit of the General Plan after five years.
The next steps for the General Plan update include revising and recirculating the Program EIR. The LUE, UDE and Program EIR will then go before the council for final adoption in spring 2019. Additional opportunities for public input will be provided throughout each of those steps. Following its adoption, City staff will begin the process of updating the zoning code to implement the updated LUE.
For more information on the General Plan update, visit longbeach.gov/lueude2040. For questions or to share feedback, contact Alison Spindler at (562) 570-6946 or email LUEUDE2040@longbeach.gov.
Source: City of LB