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See Full Document: City Releases Initial Study Describing New 2nd/PCH Proposed Development (Seaport Marina Hotel site) And What City Staff Believes Likely Impacts Would Be, Seeks Public Comments

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(Mar. 19, 2014) -- On Wednesday morning Mar. 19, city staff released an initial study inviting public input on areas it says require or otherwise merit discussion as posing potential significant impacts in an Environmental Impact Report for a new proposed development at the SW quadrant of PCH/2nd St.

Image from Initial Study

Image from Initial Study provides access below to the Initial Stufy in full, which indicates that the project applicant "proposes to replace the current Seaport Marina Hotel and associated amenities and surface parking with "a commercial development comprising approximately 245,000 square feet of floor area, including approximately 216,000 square feet of retail uses and approximately 29,000 square feet of restaurant uses."

Initial Study, 2nd/PCH proposed development (Mar. 2014)

The Initial Study acknowledges that the proposed project "could have potentially significant impacts under the CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on the following environmental factors: "Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use and Planning, Noise, Public Services, Transportation and Traffic, and Utilities and Service Systems."

Image from Initial Study

Image from Initial Study

Release of the document triggers a "public review period" (starting immediately) in which City Hall accepts public comments (in oral testimony and in writing) and ending on April 17, 2014. During this period, City Hall invites public comment and concerns regarding the proposed scope and content of the environmental information to be included in the project's EIR [Environmental Impact Report.] Additional public input will follow after a draft EIR is prepared and released.

[Initial study text] ...The proposed uses would be provided within several one- and two-story buildings ranging in height from 20 feet to a maximum height of 35 feet. A total of 1,172 parking spaces would also be provided within a surface parking area and a three-level parking structure. Landscaped courtyards and open space areas would also be provided throughout the Project Site. The Project would have a total floor area ratio of approximately 0.5:1. In addition, setbacks of approximately 20 feet would be provided along all adjacent streets.

Some of the conceptual site plans are below; there are additional illustrations in the document.

The new proposed development has been downsized in height to meet the current coastal development limits of 35 feet. In December 2011, the City Council voted 3-5 to reject a zoning change/development entitlements for a proposed mixed use development with some midrise (some argued high rise) buildings that would have exceeded the coastal development height limits

Voting "yes" in December 2011 to approve zoning changes to enable the previously proposed development were Councilmembers Garcia, DeLong and Gabelich; voting "no" were Councilmembers Lowenthal, O'Donnell, Schipske, Andrews, Neal; Johnson was absent.)

The previous proposal was opposed by a number of coastal protection and environmental advocates, who voiced concerns about (among other things) impacts on the adjacent Los Cerritos wetlands (east of PCH adjoining The Marketplace commercial center.) Other residents voiced objectios based on traffic impacts at 2nd/PCH, which is already one of the most congested intersections in LB and regionally.

Supporters of the previous proposal said the location, currently home to the aging Seaport Marina Hotel, is under-utilized, and said the location could be transformed into a lucrative and attractive gateway into Long Beach.

The initial study text says in part:

[Initial study description] [T]he retail and restaurant uses would be located within a series of one- and two-story st ructures situated primarily along 2nd Street and and Marina Drive with landscaped setbacks along the adjacent street frontages. Specifically, the 2nd Street frontage would be characterized by extensive landscaping and one-story structures ranging in height from 20 feet to 25 feet and featuring a variety of retail uses. Along Marina Drive, the Project would provide a landscaped setback and would include two-story structures ranging in height from 29 feet to 35 feet, which would include retail uses at the ground level and restaurant uses at the upper level. A large retailer located in a freestanding two-story, 35-foot-high building would be developed along the southern boundary of the Project Site, south of the retail and restaurant uses along Marina Drive.

Additional retail uses would be provided in two-story structures ranging in height from 25 feet to 35 feet located near the intersection of 2nd Street and PCH and south and east of the structures fronting 2nd Street and Marina Drive, respectively. Parking for the Project would be provided within a surface parking area and within a three-level parking structure measuring 35 feet in height located along the eastern portion of the Project Site, along PCH.

The proposed retail and restaurant uses and associated parking within the Project Site would be linked via landscaped pedestrian walkways. The Project would be designed in a contemporary architec tural style with elements that would visually integrate the various buildings and create a community destination. The new structures would include building fenestration, a variety of surface materials and colors, and varying rooftop designs to createhorizontal and vertical articulation, provide visual interest, and reduce building scales...

Vehicular access to the Project Site would be provided via driveways on PCH and Marina Drive. Specifically, along the southern Project Site boundary, a cross lot vehicular access drive aisle with entries from PCH and Marina Drive would allow access to the parking structure and to a loading zone for the large retailer. An additional driveway along PCH, just north of the parking structure, would provide access to the parking structure and surface parking area. A third driveway along PCH, north of the surface parking area, would provide general loading and service access. Along Marina Drive, existing curb cuts would remain and would be repurposed to provide a designated loading zone. No driveways are proposed along 2nd Street.

Pedestrian access to the Project Site would be provided via pedestrian pathways along PCH, Marina Drive, at the intersection of PCH and 2nd Street, and at the intersection of Marina Drive and 2nd Street.

Parking for the Project would be provided within a three-level parking structure and a surface parking area that would accommodate a total of 1,172 parking spaces. The surface parking area would provide 128 parking spaces and the remaining 1,044 spaces would be provided within the parking structure.

The Initial Study acknowledges a "Potentially Significant Impact" on Transportation/Traffic (that must be studied in a forthcoming Environmental Impact Report)


...The Metropolitan Transporta tion Authority (Metro) administers the Congestion Management Progr am (CMP), a State mandated program designed to address the impacts urban congestion has on local communities and the region as a whole. The CMP provides an analytical basis for the transpo rtation decisions contained in the State Transportation Improvem ent Project. The CMP for Los Angeles County requires an analysis of any Project that could add 50 or more trips to any CMP intersection or more than 150 trips to a CMP mainline freeway location in either direction during either the weekday peak hours. Implementat ion of the Project would generate additional vehicle trips, which could potentially add more than 50 trips to a CMP roadway intersection or more than 150 trips to a CMP freeway segment. Therefore, further analysis of this issue in an EIR is required...

And regarding wildlife habitat and the nearby wetlands, the Initial Study states:

[S]everal waterways and open space areas, which could provide habitat for sensitive species, are located in the general vicinity of the Project Site, including the Los Cerritos Channel, located north of the Project Site; the San Gabriel River, locate d south of the Project Site; the Los Cerritos Wetlands, located northeast of the Project Site; and the Alamitos Bay Marina, located west of the Project Site, across Marina Drive. While unlikely, the Project could result in an indirect impact to potentially sensitive species in these surrounding areas. Therefore, the EIR will provide further analysis of the Project's potential to indirectly impact off-site sensitive species.

...As previously described, the Project Site is located within an urbanized area and is current ly developed with a hotel, surf ace parking areas, and landscaping. No riparian habitats or other sens itive natural communities are located within the Project Site. Therefore, the Project would not have a substantial adverse direct effect on any riparian habitat or other sensitive natural community. The Los Cerritos Wetlands, which contains wetland habitat, is located northeast of the Project Site. While unlikely, the Project could result in an indirect impact to the Los Cerritos Wetlands.

Therefore, the EIR will provide further analysis of the Projectís potential to indirectly impact off-site riparian habitat.

[T]he Project would have no significant direct impact on federally protected wetlands. However, several waterways surround the Project Site, including the Los Cerritos Channel, the San Gabriel River, and the Alamitos Bay Marina. While unlikely, the Project could result in an indirect impact to these waterways. Therefore, the EIR will provide further analysis of the Projectís potential to indirectly impact the surrounding waterways.

Developing...with further to follow on

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