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    News

    Councilmembers Carroll & Kell Agendize Council Resolution Expressing A City Policy Of No Airport Expansion Beyond City's Current Airport Noise Ordinance; Measure Would Not Legally Bind Future Council Action


    (Dec. 19, 2003) -- 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll and 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell have jointly agendized an item for the December 23, 2003 Council meeting seeking a "resolution expressing a city policy of no Airport expansion beyond the city's current airport noise compatibility ordinance."

    We post the text of their agendizing memo verbatim below.

    A Council policy resolution does not legally bind City Council policy in the future. The Council would remain legally free to change its declared policy at any time.

    In recent months, lawn signs stating "Say No To Airport Expansion" have appeared in the 4th and 8th Council districts in which incumbents Carroll and Webb have both announced they intend to seek reelection.

    As previously reported by LBReport.com, on May 14, 2002 Councilmembers Carroll and Kell, along with Councilmembers Webb and (now Vice Mayor) Colonna, jointly agendized a request for a report (passed 9-0 by the Council) on the health and home value effects of LB Airport. The report was never delivered.

    Instead, on December 2, 2003, the Council approved having its "Airport Advisory Commission" deal with such issues. The Advisory body has no legal power but, with Council approval, is currently roughly half comprised of members with aviation or travel industry ties or current or former licensed private plane pilots or owners.

    At the same Dec. 2 Council meeting, Councilmembers were previously scheduled to vote on the scope of issues to include in a formal Environmental Impact Report that City Hall will use to justify construction of permanent expanded Airport terminal facilities. However on October 21, the Council referred that issue to its Airport Advisory Commission. Its report and a subsequent Council vote are now not expected until after the April 2004 City Council elections.

    Also on the December 2 agenda, Councilman Carroll agendized a resolution expressing a city policy of "No Airport Expansion" along with a proposed Charter Amendment (no text attached) to require a vote of the people prior to any amendment to the city's Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance. Both items indicated that "At the request of the Mayor, and due to the length of the agenda" the items would be continued to the next regular City Council meeting on December 16, 2003.

    Neither item appeared on the Dec. 16 Council agenda...and a proposed Charter Amendment -- which would be binding on future Councils if approved by voters -- does not appear on the Dec. 23 Council agenda.

    The December 23 Council meeting will take place at a special time: 1 p.m.

    [begin Carroll-Kell agendizing memo text]

    December 23,2003

    Honorable Mayor and City Councilmembers

    Councilmember Dennis Carroll
    Councilmember Jackie Kell

    AGENDA ITEM: Resolution Expressing a City Policy of No Airport Expansion Beyond the Cityís Current Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance

    BACKGROUND

    Controversy related to aircraft noise at the Airport has existed for more than 20 years. The City has consistently attempted to strike a balance between the concern for the quality of life in our neighborhoods with the recognition that the Airport is a significant economic asset of the City. The City has exercised its propriety powers to control aircraft noise by imposing some of the strictest flight and curfew limitations of any airport in the country. These restrictions are embodied in Chapter 16.43 of the Municipal Code, which contains the Cityís "Airport Noise Compatibility" ordinance which was adopted after many years of contentious and divisive litigation. Recently, the FAA has acknowledged that the City is exempt from the provisions of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 ("ANCA"), which provides further assurance that the City will be able to maintain local control over the workings of the Airport.

    The Cityís adopted "Strategic Plan" recognizes the need to expand Airport business opportunities, but only within the context and limitations of the Airport Noise Compatibility ordinance. The Airport, which exists within a fully built out urban environment already bears a disproportionate share of the regionís air traffic. In order to maintain the quality of life that exists in our neighborhoods it is imperative that the City adopt a policy of "No Airport Expansion" beyond the current "Noise Compatibility" ordinance. Such policy will help to protect and maintain local control of the Airport into the foreseeable future.

    A reaffirmation of the City Councilís airport policy will provide appropriate assurance and comfort to neighborhoods and families impacted by the Long Beach Airport.

    ACTION REQUESTED Adopt a resolution establishing a policy of "No Airport Expansion" beyond the Cityís current Noise Compatibility Ordinance.


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