In a written statement, Mayor O'Neill said in announcing the special meeting, "Because of the cancellation of the September 11, 2001 meeting of the City Council, due to the tragic events that affected our Nation that day, the Special Meeting is really the only opportunity for a full and open discussion of the land exchange agreement in advance of Monday's State Lands Commission meeting."
Terms of the proposed tidelands designation exchange (commonly called a "swap") have previously been reported on LBReport.com and were devised by respective staffs from LB City Hall and the State Lands Commission. The proposed exchange is now being brought to Councilmembers and State Lands Commissioners for their respective voted actions.
The tidelands designation swap essentially involves removing state tidelands trust designation from certain planned commercial footprints (roughly 3 acres) at QW Bay in exchange for putting tidelands designation on roughly 10 acres of city owned property just west of downtown: a land locked freeway median (presently inaccessible to the public) west of Cesar Chavez park plus a larger swath of land adjacent to the L.A. river's east bank surrounding the 7th St. Shoemaker bridge.
If approved by the Council and the State Lands Commission, the exchange could help facilitate the City Hall-approved retail and entertainment complex by removing tidelands designation from four commercial uses about which two State Lands Commissioners (Lt. Gov. Bustamante and State Controller Connell) voiced concerns at their April, 2001 meeting.
City Hall's chosen developer for the 18 acre retail and entertainment complex, Developers Diversified Realty (DDR), is not a party to the transaction.
The proposed tidelands exchange is agendized for State Lands Commission action on September 17 (after being postponed from a previously scheduled August 29 meeting). However, the State Lands Commission does not have permit authority over the QW Bay project.
The CA Coastal Commission has project permit authority and it has previously granted the QW Bay project a coastal permit. The coastal permit is conditioned on consistency with state tidelands grants, which Coastal Commission staff (citing LB City Attorney and Lands Commission staff representations) deemed satisfied.
City Manager Taboada stressed to the Council at its August 28 meeting that the project has all necessary legal entitlements.
Developer DDR likewise says it has legal entitlement to proceed. A spokesperson for the firm has previously told LBReport.com that any disagreement involving City Hall and the State Lands Commission is a matter for City Hall to resolve.
In an August, 2001 letter to the City Council, posted verbatim on LBReport.com, DDR said is moving forward with the project. To view the letter, click (while on line) on DDR Aug. 14, 2001 letter to Councilmembers.
At the February 13, 2001 Council meeting (detailed with extended transcript excerpts on LBReport.com), the City Council voted (6-1, details below) to approve a 15 month extension to meet certain deadlines by DDR as part of an amended development and disposition agreement.
The Council's vote effectively approved proceeding with the project by giving DDR a 15-month extension of a deadline for meeting predisposition requirements in return for which City Hall accepted certain additional commitments from the developer.
A series of six motions made by Vice Mayor Baker carried 6-1 (Yes: Baker, Colonna, Carroll, Kell, Richardson-Batts, Webb. No: Grabinski. Shultz absent. 1st district seat open pending special election).
Details, including transcript excerpts, can be viewed at Feb. 13, 2001 Council meeting.
The Council's special meeting, called for September 13 on 24 hours notice, falls under a portion of the Brown Act appearing at CA Government Code section 54956: