City Mgm't Asks Council For Approx. 60 Days More In Ongoing Talks With Airport EIR-Appellants With Goal Of Avoiding Litigation
Return To Front Page
(Sept. 15, 2006) -- City management has agendized a September 19 City Council item seeking approval to extend by roughly sixty days ongoing talks with representatives of parties who appealed the June 19 Council certification (5-2 vote, details below) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) letting City Hall expand LB Airport's permanent terminal area facilities to nearly double their current (temporary + permanent) capacity, including 12 aircraft parking positions and a much larger parking garage.
A memo for the Sep. 19 Council meeting by Public Works Director Christine Andersen states in pertinent part:
At the City Council meeting of July 11, 2006, the City Council voted to extend the statute of limitations resulting from the filing of the Notice of Determination for the Airport Terminal Improvement EIR for a period of approximately 90 days, terminating on October 24, 2006.
In addition, the City Council directed the City Attorney and the City Manager to discuss and
negotiate the proposed size of the Airport terminal project and any appropriate mitigation
measures with a representative group of Airport EIR appellants . The desired outcome of
these discussions would be an agreement that would avoid litigation on this matter . Staff
was requested to return to the City Council with a progress report no later than September
To date, staff has met with the appellants on seven occasions, including two that were
attended by the City Attorney and the City Manager . These meetings have resulted in over
20 hours of discussions . Staff provided the appellants with requested information about
how the proposed facilities were sized, existing square footages and uses, current and
anticipated parking demands (aircraft and vehicular), airline operations, Airport staff
operations, TSA operations and noise measurement operations. Based on this information,
the appellants have provided staff with their preliminary recommendations on facility sizing .
In addition to the facility size, the appellants have also discussed the possibility of additional
environmental mitigations and project conditions of approval.
While progress has been made on many of the issues being discussed, several still remain
outstanding. In order for staff to respond to the remaining issues on facility sizing, staff will
need the input of the end users and the experience of a qualified architect . To accomplish
this, staff has issued a request for proposals to select an architect for this project, with the
proposals being due on October 13, 2006. Additionally, staff has initiated meetings with the
end users, the first of which was held on September 13, 2006 . As the final decision on
project size rests with the City Council, staff will provide the results of this effort to the City
Council for their review and consideration in their determination of the terminal size to be
At the request of the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), separate meetings have
been held with selected LBUSD representatives to discuss and negotiate their specific
concerns. Their concerns have been focused on the impacts of single event noise impacts
to the classrooms . LBUSD requested additional technical information regarding noise
impacts at specific school facilities. To date, staff has received some preliminary data and
is now evaluating this information .
Based on the progress being made to date with the appellants as outlined above, and that
an extension of an additional 60 days has the potential to resolve some of the remaining
issues, staff is recommending that the City Council extend the statute of limitations for
approximately 60 days, through and including January 5, 2007. Staff will provide an update
on the negotiation process to Council prior to that date...
The action taken by the City Council will not delay current project activities, which include
the solicitation of a project architect for the terminal improvements, initiating discussions
with the end users including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or the project
approval for the parking structure by the Planning Commission . A workshop with the
Planning Commission regarding the parking structure is presently scheduled for October 5,
The June 19 Council vote to certify the Airport terminal EIR (motion by Richardson) was: Yes: B. Lowenthal, Kell, Richardson, Reyes Uranga, Lerch; No: O'Donnell, Gabelich; Colonna absent, 2d dist. vacant.
The vote effectively spurned the advice of LB Mayor-elect Bob Foster who commented to LBReport.com on June 17 that he felt some important matters weren't properly addressed in the EIR as it stands...and sought to have those issues better analyzed and resolved before the Council voted to certify a document serving as the basis for major Airport decisions.
Five Council votes were required to certify the EIR...meaning any one of the five Councilmembers who voted to certify could have prompted further review by voting "no." Councilwowman Reyes Uranga's "yes" vote so angered someone that they launched a website threatening her recall.
For the July 11 Council meeting, Councilwoman Reyes Uranga agendized a motion to rescind certification of the Airport EIR. At that meeting -- the final legislative day for outgoing Councilmembers Kell and Colonna and Mayor O'Neill -- the then-Council majority voted down Reyes Uranga's item on a 4-5 split: (Yes to rescind: S. Lowenthal, O'Donnell, Reyes Uranga, Gabelich; No to rescind: B. Lowenthal, Colonna, Kell, Richardson, Lerch).
However a subsequent motion by Reyes Uranga to extend statute of limitations within which appellants could file suit to challenge EIR until Oct. 24 passed 7-2 (Richardson and Lerch dissenting).
The Council's approval of the latter motion is the basis for management's ongoing discussions with the appellants. [Whoever launched the recall Reyes Uranga website has posted a notice saying its activities are on "hiatus."]
Councilman Colonna has since been succeeded by Councilman DeLong; Vice Mayor Councilwoman Kell was replaced by Coucnilwoman Schipske; and Mayor O'Neill has been succeeded by Mayor Foster.
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com
Alford's English Gardens Beautifies Area Homes. Learn More, Click Here
Mike & Kathie Kowal know Los Cerritos, Bixby Knolls, Cal Hts. and beyond. Click to learn more
DrainPros: Unclog Drains + Full Service Plumbing, Locally Owned Pros. Info, Click Here
Wedding Entertainment Planning Is His Specialty. Bill Lovelace Delivers Personalized, Wedding Event Services. Get Info, Click Here
Preserve Your Family's Most Precious Photos and Videos on DVD. Click For Info
Carter Wood Floors, a LB company, will restore your wood floor or install a new one. Enhance your home. Click pic.