The closed session item states it is "for the purpose of a conference with the City's real property negotiator Gerald R. Miller, City Manager, and Boeing Realty Corporation concerning the price and terms of payment for portions of APN [Assessor Parcel Number] 7149-003-010, 7149-003-009, 7149-003-008 (generally in the area of Lakewood Boulevard and Conant Street)."
LBReport.com used the L.A. County Assessor's web site to decipher the area involved. (Our graphical rendering above is unofficial.)
Exactly why LB's City Manager would be discussing the price and terms for this Airport-adjacent piece of property was not immediately clear.
The Douglas Park Environmental Impact Report (EIR) indicates the company has proposed to use the strip of land for "specific aviation-related uses...east of 3rd Street [western end of area] and south of A Street [aligns with Conant St. west of Lakewood Blvd.]...These uses will primarily serve as an amenity to businesses at the project site and may include hangar space for corporate jets and maintenance 'A' checks."
On October 12, 2004, LBReport.com reported that the office of a high ranking FAA DC official had sent a letter to a local third party contending that 1,400 residential units proposed at the northern end of the project "would represent an incompatible land use." The FAA letter said that as part of LB's Airport Improvement grant assurances, City Hall is required "to take action to restrict the use of land next to the airport to uses that are compatible with normal airport operations"...and indicates the FAA will be monitoring the planning process "to ensure the city's compliance with its Federal obligations."
On October 26, City Hall announced that a November 9 City Council hearing on the Douglas Park project had been postponed at the request of Boeing Realty. Boeing Realty released a statement indicating that the company had sought the postponement "so it may respond to an FAA inquiry about the project’s compatibility with the airport." The release quoted a company official who said "[b]ecause we are fully compatible with airport-related guidelines and regulations, we are confident that any remaining issues regarding Douglas Park’s residential neighborhoods will be resolved."
LBReport.com has separately learned that Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais and LB City Hall's manager on the Douglas Park project, Amy Bodek, travelled to Washington, D.C. recently to confer with FAA officials on the Douglas Park project.
Government Code § 54956.8 says in pertinent part that notwithstanding other parts of CA's Brown (open meetings) Act, "a legislative body of a local agency may hold a closed session with its negotiator prior to the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real property by or for the local agency to grant authority to its negotiator regarding the price and terms of payment for the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease..."
The CA First Amendment Coalition, a non-profit group that supports journalists and others in Brown Act and other open government issues, says on its web site:
The CA Attorney General's office has noted, "Since closed sessions are an exception to open meeting requirements, this exception to open meetings (and others) should be narrowly construed. The law evinces a strong bias in favor of open meetings, and court decisions and opinions of this office have buttressed that legislative intent." The Brown Act: Open Meetings for Local Legislative Bodies, CA Attorney General's Office (2003), p. 30.
Also listed for closed session Council discussion on November 9 is an item under Gov. Code section 54956.9(b) "for the purpose of a conference with legal counsel regarding anticipated litigation -- matters which involve significant exposure to litigation -- one matter." It's not clear whether this item pertains to the FAA/Douglas Park issue or some unrelated matter.