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City Hall Sets Showdown Council Votes 2nd/PCH Project For Dec. 20...Five Days Before Xmas

Enjoy LB's 58th annual Daisy Ave. Christmas events, organized by the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance. The Daisy Avenue Parade is the ONLY holiday parade that runs down a residential street and not a commercial corridor.
Fri. Dec. 9, 6:30-8:15 p.m.: Tree Lighting & Home Decorating Contest, Daisy Ave. @ 20th St. on the green.
6:30 p.m.: Tree Lighting
6:45 p.m. Stearns Musical Theatre Co performance
7:10 p.m.: Pics w/ Santa
7:20 p.m.: Santa’s Songbirds
7:45 p.m.: Caroling Sing-Along with performers;
8:15 p.m.: Home Decorating winners announced.
Dec. 10, 5:00 p.m.: 58th Christmas Tree Lane Parade
Parade runs along Daisy Ave. between Burnett St. and Pacific Coast Highway. Step-off time: 5:00 p.m. Bring blankets, chairs and bundle up. This year’s parade is expected to be the largest in many years, with even more entries than last year’s parade which drew 17,000 people. Be sure to stop by the new Community Tent for hot chocolate and coffee to keep you warm and meet with your neighbors.
(Dec. 6, 2011) -- LB City Hall staff has scheduled showdown Council votes on public appeals filed and developer-sought zoning changes and entitlements, plus an enabling Environmental Impact Report, regarding the proposed 2nd/PCH development (Seaport Marina hotel site) for Dec. 20...five days before Christmas.

Developer provided image

The notice (below) indicates that a city staff report accompanying the item isn't currently available and won't be until on or about Dec. 12.

The holiday-period scheduling was anticipated by some veteran activists who note that public participation tends to wane during holiday periods; some Councilmembers may be absent; news coverage tends to be less intense...and the clock starts running on the periods in which to file appeals (beyond City Hall level), consuming days during the Christmas-New Years period,

In 4-3 votes, City Hall's non-elected (Mayor chosen, Council approved) Planning Commission voted in October and November to recommend changing zoning on the Seaport Marina Hotel parcel (part of the SEADIP planned zoning area) to allow a mixed-use development that includes a 12 story building where current zoning limits building heights to 35 feet.

Developer provided image

Developer provided image

The Planning Commission's action rejected city staff's October 12 recommendation to apply height averaging to the proposed development that would produce an average building height of 55 feet with the tallest building at 75 feet.

City staff's report accompanying the Planning Commission's Oct. agenda item stated in part that said a SEADIP text amendment changing zoning to accommodate the proposed development on Subarea 17 (the Seaport Marina Hotel site) "would also set standards that could be applicable to other nearby properties for future development proposals."

In November, a similarly split Planning Commission approved a site plan and other project entitlements and voted (6-1) to certify an "Environmental Impact Report" enabling the project with a "State of Overriding Considerations," ackowledging that it creates significant impacts -- including traffic -- that it says can't be mitigated below significant levels.

The long-term costs and benefits of this project -- as well as (appellants argue) its precedent setting impacts that would effectively encourage landowners of nearby parcels to seek developments with similarly increased densities and heights -- will now come to the Council just days before Christmas.

Among the appellants is the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, which has testified at the Planning Commission that the City was pursuing a process contrary to law that won't pass muster with the Coastal Commission (which they said would result in further delays in an already long-delayed project) on grounds the proposed development isn't consistent with the area's current certified Local Coastal Plan (SEADIP area zoning for Subarea 17).

Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais responded in Planning Commission colloquy that the City views the issue as one of sequencing, and the City Council would first vote on approving changes to the current Local Coastal Plan (SEADIP) for the Seaport Marina Hotel parcel (Subarea 17) using the proposed development as the mechanism for doing so and then vote on other project related items.

The Council recommended zoning changes and project approvals are subject to approval by the Coastal Commission.

Developing, with further to follow on

Dislcosure: The Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, which opposes the project as proposed by the developer, has an advocacy ad on's front page..

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