|(Jan. 30, 2018, 8:50 a.m.) -- LBREPORT.com has learned that following widespread public push-back that brought Planning Commission recommended roll-backs to some city staff-sought Land Use Element (LUE) density increases, and with a
LBREPORT.com has learned that the draft document, dated Jan. 15, 2018 [which includes a reference to Jan. 18 revised maps] and titled an "Economic Analysis of Future Housing Needs in the City of Long Beach-Phase I," is scheduled for review by DLBA's Executive Committee on Feb. 1 (which DLBA Directors and Advisors are customarily encouraged to attend.)
[Scroll down for further.]
The "Economic Analysis," labeled as prepared for the Downtown Development Corporation is a 90 page document with Power Point-style bullet-pointed text and graphics, currently labeled a draft. (LBREPORT.com plans to report its contentions and our analysis of them separately.) Downtown Development Corporation Executive Director Kraig Kojian (who is simultaneously DLBA's President and CEO), contacted by LBREPORT.com prior to our publication of this story, acknowledges the draft document (prepared by "Beacon Economics") "can be used to establish or support an advocacy position" but said the draft document "presents an independently developed forecast of housing stock that will be required to meet anticipated job and economic growth in the city through 2040; contends LB needs more housing density than the LUE allows, based on that forecast; urges public-limiting CEQA changes and revisiting parking requirements, and commends Sacramento housing-related land use dictates in recently enacted SB 35 and now-pending SB 827 and SB 828 to the extent that these policies create incentives for municipalities to more fully address housing needs."
Mr. Kojian said the document "was commissioned to evaluate the information the City had used for its housing projections and the set of 28 recommendations established by the City Council re: its proposed Affordable Housing Policy...[It] was designed to provide information as cited above, not as an advocacy document."
On January 16, 2018, the City Council voted
LBREPORT.com has learned that the Downtown Development Corporation's boardmembers and officers for 2017-2018 are Ryan Altoon, Chairperson; Toliver Morris, Past Chair; Tony Shooshani, Chair-Elect; Allison Kripp, Secretary; Derek Burnham [former City Planning Administrator], Treasurer; Linda Tatum [current City of LB Planning Bureau Manager] and Silvano Merlo, all of whom are listed as holding present, past or incoming positions on the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) Executive Committee (webpage here. Clicking on their names displays their backgrounds.)
The Downtown Development Corporation is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) entity that isn't bound to any geographical boundaries, meaning it can re-brand itself in the coming weeks or months without a downtown-centric name. Mr. Kojian confirms that "The exercise in developing a strategic plan for the DDC will also include reorganizing its governance structure."
Asked if the agreement with city management, authorized by the
City of LB Director of Economic Development John Keisler told LBREPORT.com that the Downtown Development Corporation "has already been involved in a few contract for services with the DLBA and managed a project that included leasing land from the City that currently houses the temporary art installation known as The Loop located at the corner of Ocean Blvd. and Pine Ave. It has also worked with the DLBA on some of its economic development projects promoting business recruitment and retention, and job creation. He said the group "was incorporated in 2011, became inactive in 2012 when the State of California dissolved the Redevelopment Agency and re-activated its status following the legal rulings delivered by the California Supreme Court upholding lower court decision to abolish RDA."
At the Jan. 16 Council meeting, Mr. Keisler summarized a city staff report (text here); Mayor Robert Garcia likened the action to groups in other cities and to the "L.A. County Economic Development Corporation" [whose leadership can be can be viewed here] and said "this is really the beginning of the formation of this type of effort locally." Councilmembers Uranga (responded to Mayor, stated "I totally agree with everything you've said") and Mungo (seconded motion "This is something that I have looked forward to since the day I was elected") were joined by Councilmembers Pearce, Austin and Richardson speaking in support, and Mr. Kojian brief remarks at the Council podium. No members of the public spoke. To hear audio of what took place, click here.
At 2:40 p.m., LBREPORT.com corrected Mr. Keisler's title to Director of Economic Development.
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