Click to link:

Return To Front Page

Editorials

Opinion

We Get E-Mail

Neighborhood Groups/Meetings

Crime Data

City Agendas

LB City Hall

LB Schools

Sacramento

Washington

Useful References & Sources

Archives

Lost, Found & Adoptable Pets

LBReport.com

News In Depth/Reference

Council Votes Unanimously to Change Zoning To Permit Cruise Ship Terminals in QM Area of Outer QW Bay; We Provide Extended Transcript Excerpts

Councilmembers Baker, Shultz, Colonna suggest cruise ship terminal will bring revenue to compensate for LB voters cutting utility tax

Councilwoman Kell praises project saying it could produce more flights at LB Airport

Cruise ship terminal

Site Plan as shown in EIR

After three hours of intense testimony and official colloquy, the LB City Council cast a historic vote at its December 12, 2000 meeting, changing city zoning to permit cruise ship terminals in the area of the Queen Mary and the seaward area of outer QW Bay.

The Council also voted to delegate its authority to implement the City's lease for the portion of the cruise line terminal project over water to the non-elected Harbor Commission that governs the Port of Long Beach.

Our coverage is detailed and unavoidably lengthy. However, we have included a summary overview and a hypertext index, below, to let readers jump to specific sections of interest or scroll through the entire piece.

We provide extended transcript excepts with hyperlinks to relevant portions of the record as appropriate. Material in brackets has been added by us for clarification. Some testimony is excerpted. Deletions are indicated by elipses (...).

Not all speakers are reported. Some testimony is presented in a slightly different order than at the hearing to allow grouping of testimony by support or opposition for clarity.

LBReport.com will be posting a link this article in our Reference Library section to allow continuing public access.

Summary overview

The zoning amendment was requested by Queen's Seaport Development, Inc. which operates the Queen Mary under the management of Mr. Joe Prevratil.

Although a cruise ship terminal is a permitted use in the Port's Master Plan, it was not specifically prescribed as a permitted use in the Queensway Bay area, thus requiring a zoning amendment to allow the use.

On December 12, 2000, the issue came to the City Council following the Planning Commission's consideration of the matter.

At the November 16 Planning Commision hearing, testimony was overwhelmingly in opposition. The Commision then voted unanimously to recommend that the Council approve the zoning amendment.

Four LB environmentalists appealed the Planning Commission vote to the City Council. They (and several public speakers supporting them) variously contended the cruise ship terminal risks pollution and promotes Port sprawl on the east side of Pier J, expanding an industrial-style use in the direction of QW Bay and downtown and erasing a "buffer zone" between industrial and non-industrial uses sought in 1992 when the Port transferred the area back to City Hall control.

One appellant argued that because the Port had by ordinance transferred control of the area from Port to City Hall control in 1992, City Hall was required to get Coastal Commission approval for the project.

During the Council hearing, the City Attorney's office publicly presented its legal position on the latter issue. The City Attorney's position was that no Coastal Commission approval is required because a cruise ship terminal is a permitted use in the Port's Master Plan and the Harbor district's boundaries and jurisdiction are set by the City Charter and can't be changed by ordinance.

Representatives of the LB Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown LB Associates and the LB Area Convention and Visitors Bureau were among those testifying in support the project. Mr. Prevratil of Queens Seaport Development, Inc. (the applicant) also spoke and was given the last word before Councilmembers took up the issue.

Councilmembers Jerry Shultz, Frank Colonna and Vice Mayor Baker expressed support for the project based in part on revenue to compensate for the public's November vote to cut the utility tax.

Councilwoman Jackie Kell indicated she was pleased that the Carnival Cruise Line terminal might bring additional flights to Long Beach airport.

The Council voted 8-0 to approve the zoning amendment. [Note: 1st district Council seat was vacant; Councilwoman Jenny Oropeza was elected to the Assembly (55th district) in November, 2000 and took office in early December.]

By separate motion, the Council also voted 8-0 to delegate its authority to the Harbor Commssion (i.e. the Port of LB) to administer the lease for 11.4 acres of submerged land and water area southeast of the Queen Mary's stern where the Carnival Cruise Line terminal wharf is to be constructed.

On December 19, the ordinances came to Council for a usually routine "second reading." At that time, opponents used the opportunity to testify again in opposition to the project.

The Dec. 19 Council vote to approve the zoning amendment was (again) 8-0, but the vote to delegate authority to the Harbor Commission to implement the lease was 7-1 (Grabinski dissenting, the opposite of his vote a week earlier.)

Hyperlink Index

The Zoning Amendment
The EIR
Planning Commission Zoning Proceedings
City Council Zoning Proceedings, Dec. 12, 2000

The Motion and Votes, Dec. 12, 2000

Second reading, Dec. 19, 2000

The zoning amendment

Cruise ship terminalThe zoning amendment affects QW Bay Planned Development subareas 4 & 5, shown on the map to the left. The Carnival Cruise Line terminal will occupy part of the former "Spruce Goose" dome (the circular structure) and ocean area generally southeast of the stern of the Queen May. The zoning amendment (reproduced in full below) is not restricted to the Carnival project but permits cruise ship operations in all of subarea 5 (the ocean area); cruise ship operations are already allowed in the Port Master Plan, presumably applying to adjoining Pier J.

The text of the zoning amendment is indicated below. New amending language is in boldface; deleted text is shown with strikethroughs:

Subarea 4 B. Transient moorings Cruise Terminals and Related Uses. Landside facilities related to and necessary or convenient to wharves, floats, and related structures, to be used for embarking or disembarking of passengers on sightseeing excursion boats and water taxis or on cruise lines. transient yachts or other vessels, provided that passengers embarking at the site are hotel guests or are returning on trips not originating in the subarea.

Subarea 5

3. Cruise Terminal Berthing Facilities

Although the zoning amendment was requested by Queens Seaport Development, Inc. (the entity operating the Queen Mary under the management of Mr. Joe Prevratil) for the Carnival facility, the amendment text is not specifically restricted to that facility. Presumably, the amendment would allow other future cruise ship facilities in the vicinity, although these might require additional approvals.

The EIR

The Port of Long Beach was designated lead agency for preparation and certification of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Carnival Cruise Line terminal. Councilmembers were given a copy of the EIR as part of their agenda packs, which included a project description and a figure labelled a "Site Plan" (displayed at the start of this article.)

As described in the EIR, the Carnival Cruise ship terminal would use part of the former "Spruce Goose" dome and adjacent area generally southeast of the Queen Mary's stern.

Carnival Cruise Lines would relocate from the Port of LA to LB and construct the terminal. Salient information about the project from the EIR is summarized below:

  • The Carnival Criuse ship terminal requires construction of new berthing, passenger processing, and parking facilities. Carnival would contruct an offshore pier, about 1,100 feet in length, designed to accommodate one cruise vessel at a time. The pier would include a vehicular bridge and elevated passenger bridge. Approximately 300-400 piligs would be installed.

  • To deepen the berthing area, approximately 15,000 cubic yards of ocean floor sediment would have to be dredged.

  • Approximately 40,000 sq. feet of the existing Dome would be refurbished as a two-story terminal facility. The Dome would be used for passenger embarkation and debarkation, baggage handling, retail sales and U.S. Customs.

  • A five story 1,500-car parking structure would be constructed.

  • The cruise ship facility would accommodate three ship calls per week and would be utilized primarily on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays.

  • On average, approximately 3,500 passengers are processed during a vessel call (1,750 embarking, 1,750 disembarking), which amounts to roughly 275,000 passengers annually.

  • While in Port, the ships would keep one or two engines operating to provide power at berth. During each turnaround while at berth, they would also take on up to 3,000 tons of freshwater or discharge liquid wastes, over an eight-hour period.

  • "Solid wastes (e.g. garbage) and minor amounts of hazardous wastes (e.g, photo processing wastes, used oil, paint thinner) would be off loaded during reprovisioning, for disposal in accordance with applicable laws and regulations."

  • "Carnival would employ good housekeeping practices to control dockside spills. In addition, Carnival would comply with applicable provisions of the Municipal Stormwater Permit held by the City of Long Beach."

  • "A majority of passengers (historically 57 percent) would arrive at the ship by bus from one of the nearby airports, with most passengers typically coming fror Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)."

    Among those participating in the EIR process was the LB Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). A memo submitted during the EIR process by CVB CEO and President Linda Howell DiMario on behalf of the CVB Board indicates in part, "Many visitors arrive the night before which translates to hotel stays with its equivalent Transient Occupancy Tax benefits...Other visitors arrive four or more hours in advance of embarkation and seek shopping dining and entertainment in and around the downtown embarkation point."

    [Note: The LB Area Convention and Visitors Bureau currently receives roughly 25% of LB's Transient Occupancy Tax. To view LBReport.com detailed coverage of the Transient Occupancy Tax, click LB Uses 50% of Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT or hotel room tax) for General Fund and Gives Over 25% of TOT to LB Convention & Visitors Bureau]

    At a November 13 Harbor Commission hearing on the EIR, a number of environmental activists testified to what they contended were inadequacies in the EIR. Following their testimony, the Board of Harbor Commissioners (Mayor nominated, Council approved) voted unanimously to certify the EIR.

    [As separately reported on LBReport.com, in mid-December, 2000 the Surfrider Foundation filed suit challenging the EIR and other proceedings. To view the suit's allegations, and other related materials, click on Surfrider EIR suit]

    Zoning amendment at the Planning Commission

    On November 16, three days after the Harbor Commission certified the EIR, City Hall's Planning Commission (Mayor nominated, Council approved) held a hearing to decide whether to recommend the requested zoning amendment for City Council approval.

    A city staff report stated in pertinent part:

    The proposed project will enhance the vitality of the Queen Mary development. In fact, the proposed cruise terminal will become an important anchor for the Queen Mary recreational complex. It is estimated that the proposed cruise line facility will increase the number of visitors to the Queen Mary property by 50% per year.

    ...[T]he area will enhance Downtown Long Beach as a major international business, convention and tourist center and the Port of Long Beach as a major international harbor.

    The minutes of the meeting indicate that Commissioner Greenberg moved, seconded by Commissioner Sramek, that as requested by several members of the public, the item be continued (i.e. delayed). Mr. Joe Prevratil opposed a continuance and added that any delay would cause severe economic hardship.

    Dr. Gordon Labedz of the Surfrider Foundation supported a continuance, contending that noticing had been faulty and more time was needed to examine possible impacts on the beach, and the project was not an appropriate use.

    City zoning officer, Mr. Bob Benard, said noticing had been correct and the Port Master Plan allowed this type of actiity at the site.

    The motion to continue failed unanimously.

    A number of community activists (Robert Palmer, Ann Cantrell, Diana Mann, Bry Myown, Gordon Labedz, Charles Moore and Adrea Stoker) then testified in opposition, raising issues related to the Coastal Permit process, traffic, air quality, water quality, biological impacts, endangered species and alleged conflicts with cargo shipping traffic.

    They contended the terminal could cause adverse environmental impacts not properly addressed in the EIR and opposed the terminal's location on the east side of Pier J, which they said promoted Port sprawl.

    Mr. Joe Prevratil reiterated his support of the zoning amendment based on his previously statements.

    After additional Commission colloquy, Commissioner Greenberg moved, seconded by Commisioner Ludloff, to recommend that the City Council approved the proposed zoning amendment. The motion passed unanimously.

    The Planning Commission recited findings that the proposed zoning amendment "would not adversely affect the character, livability or appropriate development of the surrounding area...[and] is consistent with the goals, obectives and provisions of the General Plan."

    The Planning Commission's action was then appealed to the City Council by Diana Mann, Don May, Charles Moore and Gordon Labedz.

    City Council proceedings, December 12, 2000

    On December 12, 2000, the City Council held a hearing on the environmentalists' appeal of the Planning Commission's recommendation that the Council approve the zoning amendment.

    In a written report to Councilmembers, City Hall staff advised the Council to approve the amendment allowing cruise ship terminals as part of the QW Bay Planned Development Ordinance on grounds it is:

    "...consistent with the Port Master Plan with regard to goals, objectives and permitted uses...will promote quality recreational and tourist activities in the City; and...will enhance the vitality of the Queen Mary development.

    Staff presentations

    Mayor O'Neill presided at the hearing. She indicated the item required an oath and asked those wishing to speak (public and staff) to rise and be sworn.

    She then announced the hearing procedure: city staff report, comments by the City Attorney's office, the Appellants, then public comment.

    Mr. Benard summarized the item for staff and Deputy City Attorney presented the City's legal position. Mr. Holzhaus anticipated a point that would later be raised by one of the appellants, Mr. Don May (whose testimony is included at length below.)

    Mr. Holzhaus stated, "In the harbor district, between 1978 and 1992, that area was under the control of the Board of Harbor Commisioners. In 1992, by ordinance action by both the Board of Harbor Commissioners and the City Council, day to day control over activities on Pier H were transferred to the City Council. The basic underlying jurisdiction remained with the Board of Harbor Commissioners however with respect to coastal permitting."

    The Mayor then called on the appellants to make their presentation.

    The Appellants

    Dr. Gordon Labedz, Surfrider Foundation

    Good evening. Good evening, Council folks. It's my job tonight to paint a picture for you on our reasons why we would like you to vote down the zoning change.

    My name is Gordon Labedz. I'm the chair of the Carnival cruise task force of the Long Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The Surfrider Foundation is a 25,000-member coastal environmental group, and our chapter here is concerned about the beach and the coastal area of Long Beach.

    Tonight, in our view, this will be the most important vote that you make in your term of office. This may seem like a very trivial little zoning change, but in fact, this will have a huge impact on the future of our city, and I would like to just make a few points, and some of the details will be made by our members in the public comment section.

    This area is public-owned property. It's city-owned property. You all are in charge of it, not just the zoning but the ownership. This is waterfront property, and it is presently used by fishermen.

    It is zoned for yachts. The Seaport Queen Mary development, Joe Prevratil's company, would like to change the zoning to ships. This is not a minor change. This would mean that the Port of Long Beach would come over to the other side of Pier J.

    The Port of Long Beach is under your jurisdiction. You appoint the Harbor Commissioners, the Mayor does, and you approve them. This is your job tonight. You control this Port. The citizens own this Port, and the citizens own this property, and we're here asking you tonight to keep the port within the confines of its present boundaries. That's what this is about tonight. It's not about yachts; it's about keeping ships on the other side of Pier J.

    Previous to this, we've spoken to a number of City Council previous, um, former Council members, and they told us that the reason Mr. Prevratil got such a sweetheart deal on the Queen Mary was because the Queen Mary was to be a buffer between the Port and the city. It was to be a visual buffer, and it was to be a line in the sand.

    Those City Councils that voted for that zoning, the present zoning, were wise people. You are being asked tonight by Mr. Prevratil to undo that zoning.

    If you choose, you will hear that they'll be only three times a week a big cruise ship, a big oceangoing liner will come into this area. This company has four or five subsidiaries, and there are a whole bunch of other cruise ship terminals that are in the Port of L.A. that are looking for a nicer venue. This is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen; this is just the beginning, and that's why we're here.

    Prevratil gets this area for about $600 a month per acre. The Port rents out its territory for $20,000 an acre. There's a reason for that. This was never thought to become a Port. This is the famous Queensway Bay. If we wanted a Port, then we never should have put the Queen Mary there. We should have put more landfills and more container ships and stacked them high with cranes, but we're asking you tonight to keep the Port in its place.

    A couple of weeks ago I sat in a meeting, and during the middle of the meeting a man whispered to me, "You know, I really like what you guys in the Surfrider Foundation are doing. Sinking that breakwater, getting rid of that breakwater, lowering the top half of it and widening the beach down at the peninsula to protect the homes would be wonderful for Long Beach."

    And then he said, "When I was a kid, I used to surf in west Long Beach." And I looked at this guy, and he wasn't that old. I'm 54, and he didn't look that much older than me, and I thought to myself, my God, in one lifetime this guy has seen the destruction of five miles of our beach.

    And I'm asking you, to quote a famous environmentalist who just died recently, David Brower, "What are you going to say to your grandchildren? How are you going to look them in the eye when they ask you, 'How come we lost so much? What happened to our beach?'"

    What are you going to say? Are you going to say you voted against it? Are you going to say that you were the first city council that allowed the Port to sprawl over towards Seal Beach? Please, please, I need five of you to undo this decision of the Planning Commission. Thank you.

    Charles Moore

    ...I submit to you that far better than a cruise terminal would be a restored river delta and estuary as contemplated by our Strategic Plan with its watershed approach. Let us be ready then to enjoy the fruits of our labors as we recreate in and enjoy the biological productivity of an area fit for sea lions, sea otters, porpoises and other marine species, connected by monorail to a busy cruise terminal a little to the southwest next to Habor Scenic Dirve.

    ..When Channel 4 news shows our skyline,...the camera is invariably pointed towards the ocean. The ocean is our relief from the boxed-in confines of our society. The view with Carnival there will not be the same...

    Think about the future interface between the city and its Port. Plan for the future restoration. Focus on a renewed and exciting shoreline park with ocean access. Then, and only then, will the people come here who we need to make the Aquarium and the Queen Mary a success.

    Our freely given natural resources are our most valuable possession. How we use them defines our future. Thank you very much.

    Don May, California Earth Corps

    Madam Mayor...my name is Don May from the California Earth Corps, and I would like to address the procedural problems, at least as we see them...

    [T]he project is part of the Queensway Bay project on City of Long Beach land outside the Port of Long Beach...,and seaward of the tide line, and this means that it requires an original coastal permit, certainly review of the planning document, which is required before you can do any zoning change. One way or another it needs to have Coastal Commission review.

    The reason that it does is in document HD [Harbor District ordinance] 1605. [To view HD 1605, click on HD 1605.

    That's the reason that we sent that to you. I hope you've had a chance to look at our comments and more especially to look at ordinance 1605, which basically takes all of the land that's in Pier H out of the jurisdiction of the Port and, as it says here, whenever the Harbor Commission determines lands owned by the state within its jurisdiction have become owned by the City within its jurisdiction, it would become unnecessary for Port purposes or Harbor development, it may, by ordinance, transfer such land back to control of City Council, free from all restrictions other than trust, if any.

    This document makes it very clear that back in December of '92 the city, and at that time there was only two of you here, Councilmember Grabinski and Shultz, I think, were the only ones that remember that discussion and the reasons for it, not only that it wasn't a Port use, wasn't necessary for Port expansion, but that it would form a buffer from the city and was an integral part of the Queensway Bay project. The uses that were put forward there were the commercial restaurants and hotels and so forth.

    But it's important because once you've rung that bell to take it out of the Port jurisdiction, you can't very well put it back in without bringing it back in front of the Coastal Commission. In fact, the inclination is the way that you solve that is to ring the bell twice, and as the City Attorney has pointed out, that brings up more problems because then it's the entire Queensway Bay that goes back for reconsideration, not an integral part...

    All through your documents after taking it out of the jurisdiction of the Port, transferring it to the City, you refer to the fact that it's outside the Port...

    .Now, what difference does that make? Well, first of all...it takes it out of chapter 8 of the Coastal Act, which...deals with harbors and puts it into chapter 3, which is an entirely different set of rules...

    Perhaps a better example would be when the City annexed the land from the County, an area a little closer to my heart, having to do with the Los Cerritos wetlands -- but when the City annexed that land, it didn't require an action of the Coastal Commission, but it did create a planning white hole because you don't transfer an approval. You don't transfer an L.C.P. You don't transfer a Harbor Plan, particularly, because that's under an entirely different section of the [Coastal] Act.

    What happened at that point in 1992 was that you created a planning white hole in Pier H. What has to happen? First of all, what has to happen is that you develop a land-use plan, and none has been done.

    You have to have the planning done before you change the zoning. Zoning must conform to the plan. If there is no plan, you can't change the zoning. You're putting the cart before the horse if you look at changing zoning first, but even more than that...[the] Coastal Act requires that all lands that are seaward of the tide line require an original coastal permit.

    You may remember in a case of Parker's Lighthouse a very similar sort of thing that, in fact, required an original coastal permit because even though it's on land, it's on fill, and when they adjudicated the tideline, basically down Shoreline Drive, anything seaward from that still is under original jurisdiction of the Coastal Commission unless it's preempted by chapter 8. Well, you eliminated preemption back in 1992 and for good reason.

    So what is being done is premature. There are a number of actions which are recommended here. One is, first of all...you turned down the appeals, and our appeals are, at least Earth Corps’ appeal is based squarely on the fact that you don't have jurisdiction to do that, lacking an L.U.D.

    The second, though, is on the EIR. Remembering that the EIR, which was adopted by the Harbor Commission is for...Carnival cruise's relocation; that's for a specific change. It also has a number of very glaring inadequacies. For instance, it shows the area in question within the jurisdiction of the Port, which the planning documents backing it up show it's outside the jurisdiction of the Port. You can't do that in EIR.

    That, and for a number of other reasons, has led Surfrider to bring a challenge to that...[T]here is a difference between looking at an EIR for a relocation of the specific vessels and a land-use change, not a whole lot, but it requires a different cover, and it requires looking at different things.

    You're also asked to look more specifically and to adopt some resolutions, and the resolutions are problematic. First, in the EIR because it contains these errors and second, because it's going to have to go back anyway...

    ...You can't change the zoning without an L.U.D., without a planning document in place. You can't do that. What's the appropriate thing? Send it back to the Planning Commission to draft up and put in place a planning document so that you could, in fact, change land use if that's your desire.

    And a final one...It's true that there's joint jurisdiction here. The port has retained jurisdiction over the water that's offshore of it, but that's a trivial part of it. What's really important is the lease agreements on the facility that's onshore, and to turn this lease over to the Port really abdicates the responsibility and the authority of this Council.

    If you're going to turn over leases on an outside party, and the maintenance of the administration of those leases in one part of the Queensway Bay project, are you going to do that with all of them? It's just not good policy to turn that back.

    The issues, and there are many, far more, I won't go into them. This is not the appropriate, for us to go into that. Where it is appropriate to go into the issues which are raised in air quality and water quality and traffic and down the list, in endangered species and all of that, the appropriate place to go with that is in front of the Planning Commission, or in this case, in front of the Coastal Commission.

    And you can go ahead on this course, but you gotta get an original coastal permit anyway, and that puts the City clear out of the loop.

    I would urge you to go back and do this right. There's a reason that you have a normal sequence of doing things and when you violate that sequence, you not only undermine your authority, you open yourself up to a whole lot of problems. Thank you so much.

    [Prior to the hearing, Mr. May sent a memo to Councilmembers spelling out his objections in writing and citing HD 1605, the Harbor ordinance that transferred control of the area from the Port control to City Council control. We have posted this ordinance in full at HD 1605. It states in pertinent part that the area was "not necessary for port purposes or harbor development" and "transfers control of the [area] to the City Council..."

    Mr. May's position was basically that under HD 1605, the proposed project was no longer within Port jurisdiction, which is exempt from most Coastal Commission requirements, and falls under City Hall jurisdiction, where developments must obtain Coastal Commission approval.

    The City Attorney's Office presented its legal position on this matter later in the hearing, essentially stating that the Harbor District is spelled out by Charter and cannot be changed by ordinance and a cruise ship terminal is permitted in the Port's Master Plan so further certification by the Coastal Commission is not required. This portion of the transcript can be accessed by clicking on City Attorney office's comments.]

    Diana Mann

    Good evening. My name is Diana Mann, and I too would like...to have you overturn the decision by the planning department and I'd like to start out by describing to you what it was like to be at the planning department hearing when this issue was brought before the Planning Commissioners.

    ...One of the most important things that was most significant was that the EIR came out the same day that the planning hearing took place, and the Planning Commissioners had not had a chance to read the EIR, and yet they were so readily -- unanimously voted to certify it -- or not to certify it but to sanction it, and I thought that was rather interesting, and I really hope that you all have had a chance to look over the EIR, and if you have, you'll take a look at the inefficiencies and will possibly agree that's it's not properly done, and not everything is actually as it should be.

    ...I agree with those earlier speakers that this is a very, very important decision. Seventy-five percent of the public believes themselves to be environmentalists, and they believe they're environmentalists for a very good reason, most importantly because our environment has been degraded.

    Our air quality has suffered. Our open space gets taken away a little bit every single day. Every day we have an opportunity to build, to heal the planet. When you stand out on the bluff and you take a look at the ocean, we have an opportunity to create a marine-protected area. We have an opportunity to reforest with kelp. We have an opportunity to replenish our beach and to bring back the beach in Long Beach.

    Every day we have that opportunity, and yet it seems every day we turn around, there is something that the building department sanctions that takes away the quality of our lives as neighbors and friends, and this decision before you today is very important.

    As I understand it, quite a few of you sitting behind that rail are interested in running for Mayor. Well, this issue is a neighborhood and a quality-of-life issue, and there's a City Council member there that put my name on his campaign material, saying that he's supportive of Queensway Garden by the sea, and yet the Queensway Bay project continues to be moved forward.

    Another Council member...said that he supports neighborhoods, balancing neighbors, neighborhood issues with business issues, and lo and behold, all of the neighborhood issues seem to go by the wayside.

    So please, if you plan on running for Mayor and you're taking a look at addressing neighborhood issues, this is a neighborhood issue.

    This Carnival cruise coming into town, parked where it is and unloading and loading passengers is going to have a tremendously negative impact on our neighborhood. It impacts our air quality and our water quality and our basic quality of life, and if you don't believe that's so, chat with the folks that live in San Pedro...let them talk to you about Port sprawl, and if you think this is an economic issue, absolutely, it's an economic issue, but those little kids that go to school on the west side that deal with Port particulate matter every day.

    You think that those kids are going to benefit at all by having a Carnival cruise ship come to town? Who is really going to benefit by this economic engine here that we're starting? Do you think it's the whole city of Long Beach? I don't think so.

    If we restored the beach and if we restore the beach communities, do you think that would have a positive impact on our neighborhood? You bet it would...

    I'd like to take a look at the no-project-alternative here. One of the things that's important is that the reason why the Carnival cruise wants to come over here is aesthetic only...It's prettier to be here. If I were them, I'd want to be in Long Beach too.

    The center of this issue is not financial; it's a moral one. I really don't believe you have...the moral right to degrade the beach as it will be...if you follow the Carnival cruise Queensway Bay plan.

    This determination of overriding circumstances is what you're doing tonight. You are sanctioning the determination of overriding considerations. The Board [of Harbor Commissioners] has balanced the benefits of this project against the unavoidable environmental risks, okay, and hereby determines that the significant economical land-use benefits of the project outweigh and override those adverse environment impacts identified. Now, [do] you really want to override those considerations, the environmental impacts that this has on the city forever and ever and ever?

    ...Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, is the public does not want this to happen, and I'm sure that there are people that do and see that the Carnival cruise ships may have a positive effect on a community, but for the most part the public is not going to benefit by this, and I strongly urge you to vote this project down. Thank you.

    Testimony Supporting Appellants

    The Mayor thanked the appellants for the eloquence of their presentations. She then said, "We may not get to everyone that stood up [and was sworn]. We would be here for two days. So I would like the people that are representing a group to come forward and those wishing to speak to this item please, we'll take about ten and then I'll go to the Council and ask if there needs to be additional comment."

    The following are some of the noteworthy speakers.

    Ann Cantrell, El Dorado Audubon

    Ms. Cantrell: Good evening. Ann Crantrell, El Dorado Audubon. There's been a lot of confusion about whether this area that we're talking about belongs in the Port or to the City. In fact, when the...Planning Commission hearing notices came out in November, there were two notices sent. The first one says this project is in the coastal zone, and this action is appealable to the Coastal Commission. Then a second notice was sent out that stated that although it's in the coastal zone, this action is not appealable to the Coastal Commission.

    In attempting to understand why this wouldn't be under the jurisdiction of the Coastal Commission, I called several people at the planning department. Initially, no one was able to answer my questions. I finally got a message on my answering machine which stated that planning staff is advised that the coastal permit responsibility for the cruise ship line lies with the Port and that the City does not issue local coastal permits that it -- the Harbor Commissioners are the ones that have the responsibility.

    After the Planning Commission hearing, Don May did some research and discovered ordinance number HD 1605 [posted on a link in his testimony, above]...It transferred the land and water area surrounding the Queen Mary from the Harbor Commissioners to the control of the City Council.

    I can understand how some of the staff might [not] know this, although several of them were working there in 1992. I can understand how some of you who were on the Council might not remember this. However, I have trouble understanding how City Manager Taboada, City Attorney Shannon, Harbor Commissioner Attorney Landis and former City Attorney, now Harbor Commissioner Calhoun could forget this, as they were all on staff at the time.

    Tonight, the City Attorney stated that this ordinance only gives the City day-to-day control and that the Port still has control of this property. This -- I can't find that...in the ordinance. Maybe if you read it you can find it. [timer beeps at 2:30] What I find is the Board hereby transfers control of the lands to the City Council with all city-owned improvements, leases, et cetera. The Planning Commission amendment, which is appealed tonight was relying on the Port's master plan, which allowed a cruise ship terminal.

    Mayor O'Neill: Please summarize, Ann.

    Ms. Cantrell: The Planning Commission action was to change the zoning to comply with the Port's master plan, and they argued that there was no need for coastal permit because this is covered by the Port's master plan. This is all null and void. This is the responsibility of the City and...this is the City's land.

    The law has not been followed and we urge the Council to grant this appeal, send this item back to the Planning Commission for conformance to the local coastal plan. Thank you.

    Bry Myown

    Ms. Bry Myown: Madam Mayor, members of the Council, my name is Bry Myown. The clerk has my address on file. My testimony is going to focus exclusively on procedures used in this hearing that I believe are improper, of which I would like the public to be aware and which I would like reflected in the future record.

    Ms. Mann, the appellant, tells me that she requested of the Mayor and was denied by the Mayor the right to use the audio-visual projection equipment which is located behind you and which was funded with taxpayer money.

    Pictures are first amendment protected speech. They speak a thousand words, and preventing an appellant from showing graphic evidence in a meaningful, public way is the functional equivalent of turning down her microphone. It violates her rights as an appellant, and it violates the public's right, your contituents' right to see her evidence in the same way as they have so frequently seen evidence presented by developers and others who may have a financial interest in the proceedings.

    The Mayor's refusal to allow public presentation of audio-visual materials is not grounded in the Charter, nor is it grounded in the Municipal code. The Charter calls for the Mayor to preside over Council meetings, and the Municipal Code gives her, quote, "general direction of the Council chamber." The previous Mayor did not interfere with the public's right to use this equipment.

    It is no credit to this Council, many of whom reportedly wish to become our future Mayor, that you have let this occur time and time again and have done nothing to protect the public's and your constituents' right.

    In a similar first amendment issue slightly over a year ago a group formed representing a broad coalition of political positions, left, right and center in the city and brought to many of you a proposal to restore our right to use the audio-visual equipment and to agendize items, and I believe all of you, save those who were just recently seated, indicated your support, and we were given assurance that this matter would be agendized, but it has not been agendized.

    I believe the record will show that developers and others have been allowed to use this equipment in a way that the public has not, and I believe that this double standard would embarrass a well-governed city. It raises serious questions of equal protection and interference in the political process.

    If, as if appears, this matter may go forward, this issue could be determined by a higher authority. Unless and until that happens, I would urge all of you behind the rail to ask to allow the public to be given adequate time and use of the audio-visual equipment.

    Thank you.

    Testimony Opposing Appellants

    Shirley Saltman

    Ms. Saltman: Madam Mayor, members of the City Council, I'm Shirley Saltman...and I've lived in Long Beach for almost a half-century, and I love Long Beach.

    Very often on Tuesday night I tune in to channel 21, and wherever there's an opportunity for Long Beach to take its place in the sun, I watch as a handful of very vocal and often very angry people make it sound as if everyone in this great city is against whatever the project under discussion might be. I see that they very often, this incredibly vocal and often very angry, small group, sways this esteemed body and almost are led to believe that they, this loud group and small group, are really speaking for the majority of the people of Long Beach.

    I'm in a lot of organizations in the City of Long Beach. I do a lot of work in the city, and I can tell you that the quiet people like me, that usually sit behind the television screen at the other end of it, are very much in favor of the cruise line coming to Long Beach.

    ...I feel it's essential to add my positive voice to this discussion about the Carnival cruise ship so that once again a small but loud group of people does not have the ability to halt the advent of a very great tourist attraction to our city. We are finally finding our place in the sun, and my wish is that this vocal minority does not put us asunder. Thank you.

    Chris Pook, LB Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Mr. Pook: Madam Mayor, good evening. Members of the Council, Christopher Pook...Tonight I come before you as the chairman of the Convention of Visitors Bureau and the chairman of Long Beach Strategic Marketing and we have several members of both groups here tonight, and I would ask them at this time to stand so you can see where they are and who they support this project. I will be short in my comments; it's a long night.

    I would just like to respectfully remind you that that project has indeed seen due process in its environmental study and before the Planning Commission, and these same emotional arguments that came before those two bodies are before you tonight. I respect the emotion of these opponents to the Carnival cruise line project, but I will respectfully ask you as you deliberate tonight to look at what this means to this entire city and not to a few people.

    You have heard tonight comments that we will see terrible pollution will and negative effects. One of the most environmentally conscious cities in the state of California, I would respectfully suggest to you, is the city of Avalon in the Santa Catalina islands, and today our bureau president received a letter from the city manager of Avalon and if I may just read a paragraph from this letter to you, because I think it speaks very, very clearly to the issues of negative environmental impacts that we have heard tonight.

    "Carnival has been calling on Avalon every Tuesday since 1995. The Holiday anchors about a thousand feet offshore and visitors are brought into town on tenders. During that time, Carnival has had a perfect track record. Their operation has been clean and environmentally sensitive with no report of spills, trash or other problems. In addition, they have been timely in their payment of fees due in the City of Avalon. In short, we are very pleased with Carnival."

    I would respectfully like Madam Mayor to ask the clerk to accept this as part of the record. I think this speaks very well to a company that has been in our waters for a large number of years and from a city that is fierce on environmental control. I urge all of you members of the Council to support this project and continue this process forward for all of the citizens of Long Beach, and I thank you.

    [Note: The LB Area Convention and Visitors Bureau currently receives roughly 25% of LB's Transient Occupancy Tax. See, LBReport.com coverage at: LB Gives Over 25% of Transient Occupancy Tax (hotel room tax) to LB Convention & Visitors Bureau]

    Mike Murray, LB Area Chamber of Commerce

    Mr. Murray: Mayor O'Neill, City Council members, my name is Mike Murray and I'm chair of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. I'm pleased to be before you this evening to restate the Chamber's support for the Carnival cruise line.

    Carnival represents an industry that is one of the cornerstones of Long Beach in an industry that is one of the drivers of this City's recovery. Long Beach has never had a passenger cruise ship stationed in its Port. It's an inestimable economic boom that we expect nearly 550,000 embarkations and debarkations in Long Beach each year, bringing thousands of new people into the city who, once they discover Long Beach, will return again and again.

    Let's talk economic development for a minute. Along with the thousands of passengers who will visit Long Beach for the first time each year, Carnival will provide an estimated $50 million economic impact on Long Beach. The synergy of Carnival cruise line and the Queensway Bay and the Aquarium of the Pacific is obvious, and the timing could not be better for those tourists debarking the ship, looking to donate some vacation dollars to Long Beach businesses. Passengers will have the opportunity to shop in our local retail stores, enhance their cruise with a stop at the Aquarium and eat at some of the finest restaurants in Southern California.

    I'm also encouraged that the recruitment of Carnival was done without government funding. All funds needed were secured through QSDI. and the Carnival cruise line.

    The Chamber is looking forward to the entrance of an exciting new industry in Long Beach, an entrance that is long overdue. We welcome Carnival cruise line to Long Beach. Thank you.

    City Attorney office's comments

    The Mayor invited comment from the City Attorney's office.

    Robert Shannon, City Attorney: The question has arisen, of course, relative to Mr. [Don] May's concern of the jurisdiction of the City Council vis a vis the Harbor Department and I'll ask Dominic Holzhaus, principal deputy City Attorney, to once again briefly indicate our legal position on this issue.

    Deputy City Attorney Dominic Holzhaus: Madam Mayor, members of the Council. There were several representations made regarding changes to the Harbor district, essentially characterizations of the 1992 ordinance.

    The Harbor district is established by the Charter and no ordinance, including the ordinance of '92 (HD 1605) had any effect on the definition of the boundaries of the Harbor district.

    And similarly, the Port Master Plan, which tracks the boundaries of the Harbor district exactly, under Chapter 8 of the Coastal Act, can only be changed by action of the Coastal Commission.

    So a unilateral ordinance on the part of the City of Long Beach has no effect on the Port Master Plan.

    So both the Harbor District and the Port Master Plan continued unchanged after 1992 and the practice has been uniform since that time with the Harbor Department issuing coastal development permits to that part of the Port.

    The Applicant

    Mr. Prevratil: Joseph Prevratil, representing the Queen Mary and the Queen Seaport Development and our tenant, Carnival Cruise Ships, actually, Carnival Cruises, Inc.

    Madam Mayor, members of the City Council, when we were able to turn the Queen Mary from a loss to a profit in 1994 and then in 1998 obtain a long-term lease on the Queen Mary and the 47 acres next to it and to develop it, the idea was to build a solid physical foundation for the Queen Mary for the future, and we have been doing that each year.

    For the last several years we pay to the City, it's $1.3 million per year in rent, and that has been steadily going up each year. That's basically based on five percent of our gross, over 800,000 per year in bed tax, and I might add the bed tax goes directly into the general fund, and the rent goes into the Tidelands trust fund, and 200,000 per year in other types of fees which go into the general fund. That's $2.3 million total per year to the City, so I think that the City pays its way, and -- I'm sorry -- the Queen Mary pays its way. I know the City pays its way.

    With the development of the Carnival project and others on our property the average above payments to the City will certainly increase, and I think one of the discouraging comments I hear is that one, we are subsidized by the City, or two, that "the taxpayers are picking up the huge tab for the needed infrastructure for the Carnival project," and that's a direct quote from Diana Mann's November 19 letter to the Press Telegram, and I respectfully submit that in both cases these statements are simply false.

    I recognize that there is a proven technique for feeling -- for fooling a number of the people much of the time, and that is to repeat something false over and over and over again until, by the sheer force of repetition, people begin to believe it's true, but it's simply not. The truth is we receive no subsidy from the City, and the needed infrastructure for Carnival is being paid by Carnival and us.

    There's a 15,000 -- the whole project cost is $40 million, and that $40 million covers the 1200-car parking structure, the 15,000-square foot embarkation area on the Queen Mary, the wharf and the thousand-foot dock, the sophisticated loading-ramp mechanism, and the 40,000 square feet of embarkation area for people and baggage in customs in the dome. I do not remember the gentleman who said, or whoever made the statement that customs is not committed to coming to this project. That simply is false. They are committed, and quite frankly, the rest of the infrastructure, they're all being paid by Carnival and ourselves.

    Carnival and the Queen Mary began the public process on this project well over a year ago. We elected to go for a full-bore EIR, not a negative declaration, and at all public hearings people like Don May, Diana Mann, Dr. Labedz, Robert Palmer and others made known their comments and/or objectives, and we respect the fact, though, that they feel very strongly, and I wish they respected the fact that we too feel very strongly. Their comments were thoughtfully studied and responded to by port staff, staff of the City, Carnival staff and ourselves, and even though inflammatory words are used, like three soot-belching ships, when used in the Surfrider press release, I respectfully repeat to you that the Carnival ships don't belch soot, and that's a fact, and so many of the comments made by the appellants are just simply not accurate, and that saddens us.

    On November 13, the Board of Harbor Commissioners certified the Carnival EIR, and then, promptly, the Surfrider Foundation announced they had retained a well-known environmental attorney to challenge the Port of Long Beach, and I quote, "its fast-track efforts to spread the port into the downtown Long Beach area." This project is not going into the downtown Long Beach area. It is staying within the limited area of where we currently are and not very far out from the stern of the ship.

    What is sad to note is that despite the appropriate public process, despite a thorough EIR, the Surfrider group and their supporters simply didn't like the result, and so now they're going to court. I recognize that we have become a very litigious society these days, but to settle everything in court if we don't like the as a result seems to be carrying things a bit too far...

    You have here before you an outstanding project. It benefits not only, you know, ourselves, but it benefits the rest of the city and most importantly, the solid foundation for the Queen Mary in the future. The Queen Mary, as most of you know has had kind of an unusual past and it's often been positive and often been negative.

    In the last seven years, it's been very positive, and the development next to it will ensure that it will be economically viable in the future, and Carnival is a part of that.

    The increased revenues to the City, the increased critical mass of visitors, the new tourist industry to Long Beach, the City's funds in the pro -- there are no city funds in the project. There's no encroachment in downtown area, and quite frankly, the ancillary benefits from the hotel, the food and beverage and attractions business to the Queen Mary project is incremental revenues which will grow from the current 2.3 million to well over 2.6 million in a relatively short period of time.

    Therefore, I urge you to vote in favor of the Carnival, Queen Mary matter before you now, and if you have any questions, I would be pleased to answer them.

    The City Council

    Vice Mayor Dan Baker

    Vice Mayor Baker: Madam Mayor, thank you, and I would like to thank all the members of the community on both sides of this. We had residents from, ith a variety of opinions on the issue. One of the main concerns I did have has been addressed, and that was the issue of jurisdiction, and I thank our city attorney for addressing that issue. I'm assuming, then, Mr. City Attorney, that the issue of the coastal permit and whether or not this goes to the coastal commission is something that will be up to the Port to pursue, not the city; is that correct?

    Deputy City Attorney Dominic Holzhaus: Councilmember Baker, it is not an appealable issue due to the fact that it's under the Port Master Plan, and so the the Harbor Commission has the last word on the issue of the permit for the facility under the Coastal Act.

    Baker: So then, there is no need for a coastal permit?

    Holzhaus: The coastal permit is in effect. It's called in the -- in the chapter 8, the harbor development permit, but it is the direct analogy to a coastal development permit on the city side.

    Baker: Okay. And any other, any other required action along those lines would be -- fall under purview of Harbor Department, Board of Commissioners.

    Holzhaus: Correct. The coastal jurisdiction vests with the Harbor Department.

    Baker: And I did have the unique experience of working for U.S. customs for 11 years, and a lot of that, intermittently, was working at the cruise terminal over in Los Angeles and I can understand, wholeheartedly, why Carnival would want to come to Long Beach. Our facility is going to be exquisite in comparison to what they've dealt with over there, and any of the concerns, with people not being able to experience San Pedro waterfront, I think, stem from the fact that it's not very tourist-friendly on that side of the river, and I believe that what, Joe Prevratil and the Queen Mary are doing are trying to build an entire complex around this with sufficient parking, with hotel stays, with shops, I believe we're still looking at a rock and roll museum -- I haven't heard about that one in a while but I hope that's still on the boards.

    I heard a lot of comments about how this doesn't affect the regular people in Long Beach and the 500,000 other people who live in our city, but I really strongly believe that this is vitally important, not only to the tourists to our city and to the business interests in our city, but to the average residents who live at the furthest corners of Long Beach.

    Up until very recently, our city's utility tax was the number one revenue generator for this city, and we all know what happened to that, and we will now need to look at other revenue sources other than raising taxes, which I don't believe is going to happen to increase the funding into our general fund that will pay for sidewalk repairs and police services and all of the wonderful after-school activities for our kids and our parks and reaction programs. And this is another funding source that will bring in half a million people to our to dine in our restaurants, to shop in our shops, to stay at our hotels on the Queen Mary and beyond, and all of those funds whether it be transient occupancy taxes or sales taxes will go directly into our general fund to pay for those services for all of our residents in Long Beach.

    The quality-of-life issues, I'm very concerned about. I have talked to folks on both sides of, uh, of the aisle on this issue. Many people are excited to be able to see the big ship docked out there, and I've talked to some folks who live on the ocean and are looking forward to seeing the ships come in and out of the harbor. I think that's a very exciting thing for them. I am a little concerned about the environmental impact, and, I guess, who -- is it the Coast Guard that will have responsibility to make sure that these ships, when they're in our port, will not be doing things like dumping trash in the harbor or, -- I know there's -- there may be technology available to have clean-burning smoke stacks while they're in port. Under what purview will that fall?

    Holzhaus: The Coast Guard has jurisdiction. They're also under the jurisdiction of the International Maritime Organization. There are several overlapping jurisdictions with respect to both waterside and landside environmental issues.

    Baker: Well, if there's anything we can do as city, and I'm sure there is, to -- to speak with these agencies that have jurisdiction over the environmental issues, I would hope we'll work very closely with them to express as a city, that we are very concerned that when these ships come in to our -- and if they come into city, that they are held to the highest standards. I know that the -- that there will be other cases moving forward to deal with some of those issues, and some of the them might be resolved outside of this body, but I think we should take a stand on those issues as a city as well. And Madam Mayor, that's all I have for the moment. Thank you.

    Councilmember Jerry Shultz

    Councilmember Shultz: Thank you, Madam Mayor. We've heard some interesting comments tonight. In fact, many of them remind me of what's going on down in Florida for the past several weeks. If you can't convince, you confuse.

    I think it's important when we're debating issues behind the rail, we debate them in a truthful manner, and while I realize that the opponents of this project mean well in their own way, they're not arguing with fact in many cases. So I made a list of a number of the comments I heard tonight, and I'd like to comment to them.

    It was mentioned early on in the conversation tonight that this will be our most important vote during our term of office. Actually, for me, my most important vote in my past six years was my vote to help save the Queen Mary back a number of years when it was, we were deciding whether or not we were going to keep it. We heard that the cruise ship will dwarf the Queen Mary. Actually, it won't. The Queen Mary is larger than the cruise ship. In fact, the Queen Mary is larger than the Titanic, which now sits on the bottom of the Atlantic.

    We heard that there is no economic benefit by having a cruise terminal in the city and that L.A. forced them out. Perhaps you wonder where that the City of Los Angeles sent a negotiating team all the way to Florida to try to attempt to convince the cruise line to stay in Los Angeles. Now, do you think they would have done that had it not been a moneymaker for them?

    It was stated that we lost tens of millions of dollars in not having a restored beach over the past several decades, referring to, of course, the breakwater. Because of the breakwater, we can't surf. The problem is surfers don't shop. We heard that earlier from Huntington Beach. I have a friend at my work who is a surfer. He competes in international contests. He's been surfing in Australia, Hawaii, and all over the United States, and I asked him the other day, "Do surfers spend money in the host cities?" He said, "Heck no. We grab our board. We hit the water. He hit the water. We surf. We go home. That's it." And that's part of the problem in Huntington Beach right now and Seal Beach. Yeah, surfers come in; they have fun; they go home. Magic attraction of the waves, as we build it, they'll come.

    Let's think about that. I've been around the world myself. I spent nine years in the Orient. I've probably been to every beach every there, including Europe; I've been to Europe as well. What I noticed is surfers, of course, like to have beaches that have high waves, but if you want to enjoy the beach with your family and your kids, you don't go to beaches that have gigantic waves, case in point, Long Beach. Go to Mother's Beach during a busy, hot summer day. Look down at the Long Beach shoreline and see how sparsely it is utilized by our citizens, and look at other's beach, jammed packed with adults and kids. Why? It's safe for the kids. Do we want to take our kids to a surfer beach where they can get caught on the riptide and they're taken out? Of course not. So surfing is good for surfers. It's not a moneymaker for cities, and it never has been.

    One of the arguments in one of our packets was all these travelers from these cruise lines will bring in pathogens from other countries, diseases. Very strange argument. Are we saying now that we should quarantine our airline travelers as well? Do they not bring in the same pathogens from the same countries, a flight coming in from Tokyo or other place in the far east lands in LAX; they come to Long Beach. Why is it all of a sudden the cruise lines are bringing in all these pathogens?

    We heard about the red tides caused, of course, by the cruise lines. It will be a calamity. Yet, what you didn't hear, the mariners of the late 1800's saw the same phenomenon. They didn't know what it was. It wasn't called the red tide, but they saw it, couldn't explain it. It was here long before Southern California was populated.

    We heard that the current port of Long Beach is about five and a half miles from site of the Queen Mary. It's not; it's about half a mile, linear, way the crow flies, straight across. And so we're led to believe that there's some kind of a magic barrier between the current port and this site, and if we bring in these three ships a week, it well destroy Long Beach. It will destroy the native habitat for the lease tern, the fish and everything else. What they didn't tell you was 2,640 feet away on the port side, we currently have not three ships a week. How about 200 ships a week? The port of Long Beach has 100 ships docking. The port of Los Angeles has more than 100. So there's at least 200 ships a week coming into the port. That's 800 a month, and we're led to believe that by increasing from 200 to 203, it will destroy our city, and that's really what we're hearing. They're suggesting, of course, that the pollution from the port somehow never comes this way. Where's the argument against the port? They're already here.

    What this project consists of is nothing more than you've got 18 pilings going into the ocean floor to support a pier so people can get on and off this ship. [Note: The EIR says 300-400 pilings will be required; text at EIR section] It doesn't even destroy the rocks along the edge. You know, I found it interesting that this will destroy the lease tern population by the dome, except when the surfriders want to destroy the breakwater, which is also a habitat for the lease tern on both sides, it didn't seem to be a problem. We destroy the breakwater and it won't harm the fish habitat, which finds a home down there for the last 40 years, but we drive 18 pilings in at the Queen Mary site, and it's a calamity.

    So what we have to do behind this rail here is sort through all these things and determine which are really valid. You know, we have to balance our desire to have a nice, clean environment with the fact that economy really is the driving force in this and every city. We just cut back -- you just cut back the U.U.T. [utility users tax] by 50 percent.

    This is a way to bring in over half a million people into our city, and I also don't agree with the comment made by one of the speakers that people who go on cruise lines do not shop. We heard other speakers saying the contrary. I've been on a cruise line. Of course you shop. Why do you think Carnival wanted to move to Long Beach? The people that go on Carnival cruise lines would like to have a place where they can stay in a nice, clean hotel and shop and use this as a place to go out and visit the Southern California attractions instead of where they have now on the L.A. side is nothing but wharfs and warehouses and and lots of asphalt. Of course that's not a nice place.

    So looking at all the arguments from the other side, I'm not the least bit convinced of the argument that this will be a calamity to our city. It's not a hundred ships a week, it's three. Three ships a week, unloading, loading and offloading passengers in our city who most likely many of them will stay at the Queen Mary complex, they will shop in the area, hopefully see our Aquarium and everything else that we have to offer in the City of Long Beach, and based on that I will vote accordingly when the vote is put on the table tonight.

    Councilmember Dennis Carroll

    Councilman Carroll: Thank you, Madam Mayor. There is a recent book out on the history of Long Beach by Bill Hilburg and Tim Grobaty, which puts this issue in a broader perspective and I think it's an accurate one.

    Long Beach really is the history of our beach. Over he years everything that has been done in this city has been done with the orientation towards the wonderful pacific resource that we have, supported by oil in our case as well. And I think everyone here tonight does desire to preserve that precious resource. The question becomes what balance can be drawn between the needs for economic vitalization of our city and the, price we're willing to pay respect to the degradation of ocean and our shores.

    I think it is fair to say that if this ship does come in, it will have, consequences for our environment for the air, for traffic, for all the, points that were raised by the speakers. I spent the weekend reading these documents and trying to absorb it and am always pleasantly surprised when I hear ten people come up with ten things I didn't think of at a hearing like this, and it speaks well towards allowing this council to make a more informed decision about a difficult subject.

    I noted that the process began last February, apparently, when the permits were requested, and it went through August, public hearings were posted, a comment period, and September and October. I was concerned that the city planning hearing, apparently, did come out, as Miss Mann indicated before, about the same time as the E.I.R., itself, and I noted that two of the commissioners at the planning hearing requested it be postponed. That was Mr. Greenberg, the chairman of the commission [LBReport note: Mr. Greenberg isn't Planning Commission Chairman; Thomas Fields is], who is the most experienced person there [LBReport note: Mr. Greenberg is an experienced lawyer but is one of the more recent Commission appointees.].

    I then noted, though, that the commission had reversed itself. That is, they decided to go forward with the hearing, and I want to make the public feel that this Council has provided an opportunity to our citizens to present the information they had, both at the Planning Commission and tonight. I understand tonight's proceeding to be a two-part process. If any portion of the four suggested actions are passed, it will come back next week for additional comments, and I for one would be happy to hear any additional information that might be developed between now and then.

    I had and have a couple of questions for the city attorney. Miss Cantrell raised the issue of jurisdiction, which, I think, is the fundamental issue, and I will accept our city attorney's representations that the City Council, in fact, does have jurisdiction over the land, which is subject to this lease, and that land is subject to the Port Master Plan, which has been general permitted, as I understand it, by the Coastal Commission for this use.

    With respect to the lease, itself the question was raised, are the three proposed landings a week the camel's nose under the tent which are going to result in more arrivals and departures or additional ships, additional sized ships, and I would inquire of the city attorney if the, current lease as proposed does have any limits with respect to expanding the number of departures and arrivals.

    Deputy City Attorney Dominic Holzhaus: Councilmember Carroll, there's no limitation in the lease expressly on arrivals and departures. The lease has extensive provisions regarding environmental controls and the like, but no explicit limitation on the number of arrivals or departures.

    Carroll: And I take it if it were the will of the council, at least preliminarily to establish limits which could be revisited should circumstances change, that the lease could be conformed accordingly?

    Holzhaus: The lease is not before the council tonight. The lease is a matter before the Harbor Commission, but the delegation of jurisdiction to the Harbor Commission regarding the administration of the lease could be so limited.

    Carroll: All right. And I understand, also, and correct me in I'm wrong, that there is a termination clause within the lease should the environmental impact be greater than is anticipated in the environmental report that we have, the City would have the ability through those terms in the lease to revisit issue of whether the permit should be continued?

    Holzhaus: The lease has a number of termination provisions. Basically, any violation of the lease, including violation of any environmental provisions would be grounds for termination of the waterside lease.

    Carroll: And I notice in suggested action number four, we are being invited to delegate our powers and duties under section 1204 of the charter to the Harbor Commission. Is that considered to be an irrevocable delegation?

    Holzhaus: No. That delegation could be changed, just as the original delegation of '92 is, can be, reversed this evening.

    Carroll: All right. As I reflected on the project, in addition to those concerns that have been voiced this evening, two additional -- not additional, but two of the ones that stood out in my mind were the effect on the freeways. The 710 is greatly congested now. It's a dangerous strip of road because of the trucks, and I am particularly concerned about the impact 1700 passengers coming and going three times a week might add to that congestion. I'm advised in the Environment Impact Report that that will be considered, with respect to the reconfiguration of the freeway, the state, apparently, is doing that, and I must believe that they are going to take this into consideration. It may not be a bar to the entire project, but I certainly think it's a significant concern.

    My second concern, and I think that of many of you here, is the Surfriders' long-standing project to consider reducing the breakwater and allowing a freer flow of water into the basin here to clean it up, and without deciding the merits of that, and I have no opinion with respect to whether that's viable or not, it's certainly something that if I had my way, I grew up down here, and it is true that the surf in Long Beach was some of the best surf on the coast. I as a boy was down here in 1954 and 1955 and Linden beach surf drew the Hawaiians in. That -- when the big surf came down here next to Rainbow Pier, it was the best that we have to offer.

    I thought Long Beach had it right in 1954. If I could waive a magic wand, that's the kind of city I would have. We would be meeting at the Traffic Circle tonight, where City Hall was originally contemplated, and this would have been left for the development of our beaches. That did not come to pass and I think it is our responsibility to deal with the facts as we have them today, and I don't think that means that we have to, completely sacrifice our environment at the altar of economic development, but, I think [applause] I think that a reasonable balance in this instance could be found.

    I can't help but note that the proposed site for this project is at the Queen Mary, which currently receives over a million visitors a year. It isn't as though that this is a wet lands or a habitat for the environment. It is in general designed for the kind of use which is being proposed here. I think with the proper, and I hope that the dredging issue which was raised by one of the speakers here tonight would be done in a way which does not degrade the complete bay here. In the process of dredging it, I assume we have professionals who are able to do that with due regard for that environmental consequence, but with respect to the breakwater, I think it is legitimate for us to concern ourselves with that possibility. I note under CEQA section 15130 that persons charged with evaluating the consequence of an environmental project are entitled to consider closely related past, present and reasonably anticipated future projects, and while it may not, it may be a stretch to argue that the reduction of the breakwall is a reasonably anticipated future project, I think it's one which has been championed here by many of our citizens for many years, and I think it is fair to say if this cruise line does come in, they spend $40 million, providing infrastructure that this will be an additional argument, when and if studies are ever completed with respect to the consequence of reducing the breakwater, and I think it would reduce the chances of the breakwater being taken down. I think we need to face that issue squarely.

    I am also advised that that would certainly not be the most important consequence of reducing the breakwater, The Port and Belmont Shore, and there would be other consequences, but I certainly think that those persons supporting a reduction of the breakwater should be given their due and be given a full opportunity to explore that possibility. It's my own view that the oil islands are as big a problem as the breakwater, but I'm -- I'm not an expert.

    On balance, it is my view and with, giving due consideration to the issues raised by the speakers here, that the project, at least as proposed, could be consistent with our view of having a city that respects our greatest natural resource, provides what's left of the clean water, which, I think, is contaminated, principally from the Los Angeles river. That's what needs to be dealt with next. So on balance, it is my view that I should support the proposed project of Mr. Prevratil, and I do commend him for turning around the Queen Mary. I think he has done a marvelous job there, and I do have a belief that the way he has configured the use of this project, you can't even buy a ticket to get on the Carnival lines without going on the Queen Mary, so I think it--it is going to direct thousands and thousands of additional patrons to the complex over there, and I wish him well.

    So I will be supportive of the project at least as of tonight. If those of you have different information for me, I'll be available during the week, and it cannot be approved until it comes back to the council next week. So on that basis, Madam Mayor, I would be supportive of the suggested actions.

    Councilmember Frank Colonna

    Thank you, Madam Mayor. There were some questions that you were raised, and I think it would be important to just clear the air a little bit about some misinformation, and some of my colleagues have already [sic] spoke on some of the issues, but what was mentioned earlier was about Loehman's, which is in the 3d district, and that has not cost the City of Long Beach any money whatsoever. We have a lease there that actually was just refined in order to save the city money, and part of my concern is that the continual mantra of passing out misinformation eventually, sometimes, well sometimes becomes believable.

    And one of the other questions that was raised was about the habitat by the Queen Mary, and as we all know, many of us who grew up in Long Beach, that the area around the Queen Mary, the port and the offshore islands, in addition to the breakwater, were all artificially created, man-made structures. I find it interesting to want to speak on the issue of preserving the lease tern habitat around the Queen Mary, and yet, if we remove the top portion of the breakwater, we will not only remove entirely the habitat of the lease tern, but also the brown pelican, the black oyster catcher, the sandpiper, migrating species of birds that are well known to find the breakwater as a respite from an urbanized Southern California, not to mention what's below water, like the green abalone, the pacific lobster, so on, hundreds of species that the breakwater has actually, over time, become a friend to the animal populations that, had been driven out by urbanization.

    One of the other concerns I have too in speaking on the issue of the breakwater, and then I'll leave that is that it's a federal structure that is the jurisdiction of the federal government, and we have sat on this Council and talked about flood control insurance and issues that are here and our responsibility in terms of maintaining and protecting the shoreline, and the breakwater, like it or not, does just that.

    But one of the things which I think is important is maybe some people, I imagine the, majority of the people know this, is that San Pedro is in the city of Los Angeles, and it was indicated that we're, some of us are thinking that we have an inferiority complex with the city of Los Angeles, but I think it's exciting to know that we have an opportunity of bringing a cruise ship terminal from the city of Los Angeles to the city of Long Beach for a lot of reasons. I've had the privilege of speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in San Pedro and visiting the cruise ship terminal on numerous occasions there, and I find that Carnival cruises is very smart in their decision to come to Long Beach, simply because our venue is significantly different than what San Pedro has to offer, and I can tell you that those of you who will frequent or have frequented the Queen Mary and walked around and looked at what our beautiful city assets are, the Queen Mary and our shoreline are certainly part of that, and I think that this Carnival cruise operation is going to be another positive addition to the shoreline.

    One of my council colleagues mentioned about the economics and what's driving us to make some of these decisions. Well, I think that this is a good sound business decision for the city. I think that economically -- I mean, excuse me, environmentally, Carnival cruises is very much aware of and sensitive to the environmental issues and we will be looking at a state-of-the-art vessel that we would hope some day many of the vessels that come visit our port will accommodate with the same environmental criteria as Carnival cruises establishes on its own vessels, but one of the other elements is -- is that we have to look for income streams into our city, considering that we are in the process of watching millions of dollars not coming to our city as a result of the utility users tax reduction, and so, it's been discussed by some of colleagues here on the pros and cons, but I really think that this is going to be a positive addition to the city.

    There are many people within the city limits who, I'm sure, will enjoy the opportunity of boarding a cruise ship here in Long Beach, and one of the closing comments, which we had a discussion earlier today at the harbor tidelands committee hearing, and that is about traffic. Interesting to note that because of the reduction and, actually, the no-toll over the bridge going from Long Beach to San Pedro has allowed a lot more passenger vehicles to be using the 110 freeway instead of the 710, and that's not to say that we are not going to be doing a major project on the 710, because I'm a co-vice chair of a committee that's going to spend approximately $6 million dollars studying the 710 freeway and probably looking within the next ten years to spending upwards of $3 billion dollars in order to rebuild and reconstruct the 710 freeway.

    So that being said, I'm going to support this project. I think it's a good one. I think it will be speaking good for our city, and I think that, many of you, when this project is done, you will be proud to see that this is going to be a good addition to our Long Beach skyline. Thank you.

    Councilmember Laura Richardson-Batts

    Councilwoman Richardson-Batts: Thank you, Madam Mayor. First of all, I want to share that I am very excited about the fact that Queen Seaport Development and Carnival Cruise, Inc. is making this investment without requiring city funds. As we look at a lot of the tremendous needs that we have here in the city, I believe it's going to become more and more important that we can limit as much as possible, personal city revenues that are going for various projects so that way we can focus on some other things that are desparately need, as my colleagues mentioned, such as infrastructure, affordable housing and so on.

    I have had the opportunity to take part in a cruise that was paid for by my job. It was an award that we won, and although my job paid for the cruise itself and the flight there to the location, which happened to be Puerto Rico, once I got there, though, I was so intrigued by being to a site that I had never been at that I chose to stay two days -- to go there two days early to learn about what was going on there in Puerto Rico, since I had never been. So even though my job had paid for the award of attending this cruise, I paid for two days of the hotel room and proceeded to go shopping and many other things that I think quite a lot of people do when they go on cruises. So I am of the mind that actually having Carnival Cruise a part of our family here in this city will, in fact enhance many other businesses that are so important to our success.

    I am also concerned about the fact that when you look at the Aquarium, the Queen Mary and many other aspects here in the city we are really on a cusp of being successful, but yet, we can be even more successful, and I think that Carnival Cruise will help us to give us that infusion that will help us to do so. However, I will say that being a new member soon to be of the harbor and tidelands committee and also on state legislation and environment committee I want to commend the applicants for taking the time.

    Obviously, a lot of you spent quite a lot of due diligence to research and to prepare information to help us make an educated decision, and I thank you for that, and my commitment is -- is that on those committees, we will look seriously at the issues that you mentioned such as potential dumping and so on and that if there are issues that this council should be aware of or should follow up on, I'm committed to continuing to get that information from you. But with that, I will be voting to deny the appeal and to support the other motions and to welcome Carnival Cruise to Long Beach.

    Councilmember Ray Grabinski

    Councilman Grabinski: Thank you, Madam Mayor. I guess I want to start off by talking about the deal. Like Jerry, I was one of the people who supported the Queen Mary and continue to support the Queen Mary because it was jobs and because at that particular time, it was almost all we had. I don't mean that there wasn't anything in Long Beach, but I think everybody would admit years ago -- and Jerry knows that this is true, that when you ask people about Long Beach, the Queen Mary was the one thing that kind of stuck out in their mind, some for good reasons and some for not because, well, Joe didn't have any anything to do with what happened years ago; many people on this council did. There was a museum. There was a number of things some successful, some not.

    I want to kind of put this back where it belongs. You know, I heard people of this Council talking about, you know, let's get into a the debate over the lease turn and all the rest of it. The birds that I'm worried about are the developing taxpayer sapsuckers, you know, and making sure we're not the largest swallow in the bunch.

    We had a deal before where we used to get 50 percent of -- a 50-percent cut, Joe, and God bless you, you've got that down to five percent. I want to be the reluctant suitor here. I want to make sure that we're getting some of the things that we're supposed to get, and some of what we're supposed to get is the information that helps us make a good, solid decision.

    I want to compliment my colleagues who mentioned how many good questions they received from the audience. While we received good questions, we haven't received great answers for all of those. I mean we should be getting a recommendation, a business deal recommendation on whether or not three ships is a good limit. I thought Dennis' questions were right on target. We will not, nor will any future councils be dealing with those questions. That will be the Harbor department, and for those of you who weren't here before, and I know there are some Harbor commissioners here tonight, please don't be offended. They don't necessarilly always watch out for the best interest of the rest of the community.

    They are charged (applause) -- no, no, no, no, please. I didn't say that for any applause. I said that because they are charged with taking care of a state trust, not a Long Beach trust, and their rules and regulations are not as stringent as ours are, and their concern is not as large as ours is. And the reason I point that out is because we had a situation that has been anything on in this region for almost 20 years, the coke dust. Now, you would have thought that problem would have taken care of itself. It's a dangerous product. We know it's making people sick, and now we know it has migrated to the east side of town and near the shoreline and a lot the places where it wasn't before, and it's not taken care of, and part of the reason it's not is because the neighboring city is a partner in the company that does the largest amount of that business.

    One of my concerns is that we're going to be the, the -- it's hard to put this into legal term; I may put you on the spot to explain this. The Queen Mary is going to sublease to the terminal operators on a lease that is handled by the Harbor commission, and we're okaying it this evening; is that correct?

    Deputy City Attorney Holzhaus: Councilmember Grabinski, the lease within the jurisdiction of the Board of Harbor Commissioners is solely for the water area.

    Councilmember Grabinski: Right.

    Holzhaus: The lease for the land area is pursuant to the existing lease between Queen Seaport and the City Council.

    Grabinski: And what we're saying in one part of this is that we will not be -- the -- the people in -- pretty much in -- in top order for the responsibility for that lease, we're giving that, well, one portion of this lease agreement to the Harbor.

    Holzhaus: The City Council will still retain day-to-day control over the land area, and the only -- the only portion of -- of jurisdiction that the City Council would cede is with respect to part of the water area.

    Councilmember Grabinski: Well, I just want to say to my colleagues that the last time we got involved in a situation where we ceded our responsibility one of the places was a place called the I.C.T.F., which is an intermodal facility that everybody thought was just going to operate from 9:00 to 5:00 or from 7:00 to 4:00, whatever it might be, five days a week, which is now a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation that is destroying some neighborhoods over in my district.

    So I want to tell everybody that I am as cautious as I can be. I hear everybody saying this is going to be a wonderful thing, and I think it probably will be a good thing, but it will have consequences, and some of those consequences are going to be traffic, and I -- try as I might to look in here, I didn't find out whether or not the -- the Port's traffic study had been completed yet and, in fact, get into this. And I'd like to ask if anybody knows that that's the case?

    Holzhaus: Councilmember Grabinski, there are some Port representatives here who can go into more detail, but the latest traffic data that the Port has was factored into the traffic analysis, and the consultant, S.A.I.C. had access to all current port data on traffic in the region.

    Councilmember Grabinski: Okay. And -- and was -- was that kind of factored in with what's supposed to happen at Queensway Bay?

    Holzhaus: That -- and that includes --

    Grabinski: Is it cumulative, and are we talking about peak and off-peak times?

    Holzhaus: Yes, it includes all related projects, which include all proposed and relatively feasible projects within the downtown area and the port area.

    Councilmember Grabinski: Then let me make this suggestion, since I've mentioned it to my colleagues from the 6th district. I'm making this for -- for all of us here, that we start looking at the north-south corridors, Long Beach Boulevard and Atlantic as other opportunities for people getting downtown. Otherwise, we're going to have the same great hue and cry of people coming down 7th street, Ocean Boulevard, and all those other streets to try to avoid, which is one -- not just one of the busiest, but one of the most dangerous freeways in the United States, not just in California.

    So I want to make that as one of the appeals here that we look at both the Atlantic corridor and the Long Beach corridor as the alternatives because I don't think anybody mentioned it here. Frank alluded to it, but they're going to start fixing the 710 freeway. Now, the study that they're doing is really an autopsy. I mean everybody knows what's wrong with the 710 freeway. There's way too many cars on it, and the fix it going to be to put another lane on it so you can put more cars on it. The fix that they're going to do is going to reduce the lanes of traffic on the 710 freeway, folks. When they reduce the lanes of traffic, if we don't have another place for them to go -- I see my good friend here, Mr. Zeller -- those folks will be going through our neighborhoods, and we need to make sure that we're anticipating this, especially with a cruise ship terminal as a possibility.

    So I want to make sure that we, the city staff, are looking at the north-south alternates for getting down to where the cruise ship is, because I have an ulterior motive, and I want to mention, and I think I mentioned it to my colleague, that we look at Long Beach Boulevard and Atlantic and every vacant space we have, we clean up. In other words, as my good colleague said, in 1954 when you drove down American Avenue, you thought you were really jumping into something exciting. It wasn't vacant lots. It wasn't abandoned buildings, and -- and while it's better, it's still not as good as it can be.

    I don't see enough benefit coming to the community, and that's part of what I'm trying to build in here is that we make sure that anticipated environmental and traffic problems are dealt with now so we don't try to go back and go through the Harbor Department to go to the cruise lines and say hey, we have a real problem here, and I'm assuming from what I read here that all the problems aren't handled because the planning department -- planning commission, one of the commissioners had the same problem, and, I don't think anybody needs a road map to figure out that the 710 freeway, if somebody has a flat tire, almost, stops now. I mean it doesn't take a truck to break down. So that's one of the things I'd like to look into.

    The other thing I want to make sure that we start thinking about as a city is that the two Ports' competition have [sic] not been beneficial to the neighborhoods or the environment other than the cash that, I guess, rolls in someplace, and -- and really benefits us. Our environment, our quality of life have been damaged immeasurably by everybody being number one. Now, I don't know who number one is this week, but they're vying to be number one, and they do it sometimes at our risk, and I want to make sure that when we're making these plans for how we get people to the cruise terminal, we're thinking about the off-ramps on the 710 freeway for other people, not just for the people who are coming in and out of our city.

    We need to make sure that this city gets a transportation master plan because the Harbor is doing its study now, and we're part of it through our committee, but it's just not good enough. I mean we're gonna be -- and I've talked to some people at the M.T.A. and other places -- we're going to be at the mercy of people who cone off the 710 freeway for years, not just for three or four months, and we need to plan for it ahead of time.

    The other thing that's of interest to me is, I have to admit that, you know, Jerry may be right, the Titanic may be bigger than these things, but when I--when I looked at this document, what I noticed on the map that they gave us is that everything is colored with the exception of the ship that's alongside, and that ship is just short of the size of the Queen Mary. I know because I know these drawings are terribly accurate, right, and so I ripped apart a piece of paper that fits the ship, and it's almost that size, and I just -- I just want to say -- Well, here, look. Let me finish. I didn't say it was as long; I said it was almost as long. The -- the reason I'm mentioning that is because we probably need, you know, we need the business, but the economics of this thing seem to be about -- correct me if I'm wrong, Jerry -- about $400,000 a year? Is that what Joe said, 1 point 2 to 1 point -- Assistant City Manager Jerry Miller: Well, the base increase in the lease between the Queen Mary and the City of Long Beach is going to be increased by about $100,000 but then over and above that we expect to enjoy some of the benefits of the indirect, such as food and beverage, and so that could increase by another 2 to $400,000.

    Grabinski: So about $400,000 to half a million dollars is pretty close.

    Mr. Miller: Yes.

    Grabinski: I suppose that because we're all looking for the benefit, and we're looking to continue the success of the Queen Mary, we made a pledge to it a long time ago when Joe took it on, and it has been successful, I'm just concerned about what we get back for the people who we make these investments for. And I would like to propose, and I would propose this to my friend Dennis because we still have a week, for us to look at a way for us to develop some kind of an advisory committee, much like we did with Disney, so that if there are environmental impacts that haven't been foreseen, we have somebody besides the body that's taking care of the Port watching out for something like this and helping us.

    And I don't mean in a negative way. I mean putting together a group of people that can help us work some of these things out, so it doesn't have to be win and lose situations. If there are going to be some questions, and anybody sitting at this Council who hasn't heard any bad things about cruise ships dumping things, you're not picking up the magazines. I mean, these kinds of things happen. They don't necessarily happen because of the owners of the ship lines. I mean, sometimes there are people doing the wrong things, but they do happen. We suffer the consequences, I mean, we have folks who will be doing busines in Long Beach and I want to make sure we're running as tight a ship as we can, excuse the pun.

    And the other thing about Los Angeles, I wish that at some point in our future, we start looking at Los Angeles as a partner. We are a waterfront community. Los Angeles, San Pedro is a waterfront community. So is Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. I heard the comment made about surfers. God almighty, doesn't anybody know that it's not surfers who buy surfer clothes, it's people who don't surf, people like me. I go to Sunset Beach and buy a surfer shirt and I don't surf, you know. Does everybody think that just surfers bought the music? Ask the Beach Boys, I mean there's a whole bunch of people who bought the music.

    But the deal here is, instead of just being in competition with all these cities, we need to find out how we use the waterways and all these exciting places we have in Seal Beach and in Long Beach and connect them up. We're not doing that. We need something like the cruise ship terminal to be a kicking-off point for that for us to realize, and -- and I think Joe does -- that we have not used the waterfront the way we should have. We should be bringing people back and forth. We started out -- I want to commend the staff. Some years back we had some really good water shuttles, and I think what happened was we ran out of bucks or it wasn't the right time or whatever, but kind of excitement, that bringing people back and forth on a regular basis is the e-ticket ride that made this town exciting. I went down to the Pike when I had no money at all just to be around it, not because I was riding on a ship or doing any of the that stuff.

    Long Beach was a place that compelled you to come here, and I'm suggesting that we use the cruise ship terminal as a place like that so that it's beneficial to the rest of the people in the community, but I do think we need some group from the community working with us on this project, and, I'm going to make that a suggestion for people on the Council.

    Councilmember Jackie Kell

    I thought we were in for some pretty good humor here. Councilmember Grabinski said we weren't gonna run a tight ship or we could shape up or ship out, and we could go on and on with this.

    Councilmember Grabinski: That's Navy humor.

    Councilmember Kell: People fly in from all over the United States to go on a cruise, and they've been, of course, leaving out of San Pedro, and this has benefited the L.A. airport because they think San Pedro, L.A. airport, they're more closely connected in their minds.

    Well, once we have 500,000 people taking a cruise out of Long Beach, we will be better able to market our Long Beach airport, and this activity may help us secure another airline for our underutilized airport, and I think that was something that has been overlooked. And, of course, it will also help our local cab companies and those people that make their living doing that.

    Last year I took a cruise to Mexico, and quite a few people on that cruise flew in several days earlier to visit our area and our Aquarium because they talked to us about that during dinner on this cruise. So 500,000 people will be coming to Long Beach. This will not only provide greater economic activity and jobs, but it will help us achieve one of our city's main goals, and that is tourism. So I say may our ship come in.

    Councilmember Rob Webb

    Councilmember Webb: Thank you, Mayor O’Niell. I'm between the two of these guys argue about what how big the ship is. You can have this back. I'll try to be relatively brief, a couple of comments.

    One. I heard somebody talked about when -- when the surf -- surfing in west Long Beach -- I'm younger than you, Gordon, and I did surf west Long Beach before they expanded Pier J, right about 8th place we used to have some great surf when the south swells came through, but they did expand Pier J, and it is -- and it -- it did affect that, and one of the things -- okay. I'm going to address several issues that I hear coming up.

    Somebody addressed the dumping and cruise lines and what they dump, and I did read some documentation of what cruise lines have supposedly dumped. I do know, and -- and I believe it was Chris Pook that made the mention of in Avalon, which our family vacations there every year, that not only does Carnival Cruise line have a good reputation while in port in Avalon for not dumping, they also aesthetically, it's a lot more pleasing to look at than a container terminal, and I would venture to say that having the expansion of Pier J that's already existed, first, I want to say that I believe the comments were correct, and we need to make what I am -- we're not addressing where Carnival cruise lines, what they dump out in, uh, in the open international seas today, but what they do in port, and having had Pier J, that expansion take place, one of the things that, I think, it will be a benefit from East Long Beach is looking, when you look toward the Queen Mary, having the Carnival Cruise ship there will also -- will now block and shield a lot of that expansion of Pier J, where we're right now looking at port expansion.

    One of the comments about red tide and the dredging and what that would take environmentally, what would happen when we dredge that water and what's goint to take place. Whether we put a cruise ship there or not, we need to dredge that mouth of the L.A. river. It's a navigational hazard right now, and I think it's important to note that, whatever we do, that needs to be dredged and that's an issue that the Army Corps of Engineers will be addressing.

    The decisions that I make on the City Council, I try to make with the views of the majority of my contituents, and the majority of my contituents have been supportive of the Carnival Cruise terminal. My family also owns property on Ocean Boulevard, and -- and I've lived right there, and the majority of the residents in our area also support that, and so I will be voting accordingly. Thank you.

    Councilmember Shultz (2d time)

    Councilman Shultz: Just a quick comment on traffic, if I could. We hear approximately, what, 1,700 people getting off the ship at one time. That doesn't necessarily translate into 1,700 cars, because a lot of people on the ships are couples, so let's say 800 to a 1,000 people. I would suggest that an Ice Dog [hockey] game generates more traffic on the Long Beach freeway than everyone getting off of that ship.

    Another factor is if you've been on a cruise line, you have to pass through customs. Everyone doesn't just march off at one time, jump in their cars and take off. It takes hours, sometimes from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, so they trickle out of there, that 1,700 is now down to a 1,000 but they trickle out over a period of hours. There probably won't even be a blip on the Long Beach freeway.

    [LBReport note: The Port-prepared EIR admits in part, "The proposed project would result in an unavoidable adverse impact on the I-710 in the southbound direction, but only during the morning peak hour."]

    The Motions and Votes

    Vice Mayor Baker moved to overrule the appeals. Motion carried unanimously (8-0). [Note: 1st district Council seat was vacant; Councilwoman Jenny Oropeza was elected to the Assembly (55th district) in November, 2000 and took office in early December.]

    Vice Mayor Baker moved to adopt resolution determining no further EIR was required to amend the zoning ordinance. Motion carried unanimously (8-0).

    Vice Mayor Baker moved to declare zoning amendment ordinance read (i.e. approved) and laid over for second reading (for final approval). Motion carried unanimously (8-0).

    Vice Mayor Baker moved to approve delegating authority to Harbor Commision for implementation of lease.

    On this, Councilman Grabinski sought a delay:

    Grabinski: Madam Mayor, is that the Harbor Commissioners?

    Mayor O'Neill: Yes, that's item 4.

    Grabinski: Are we gonna have this back next week?

    Mayor O'Neill: Yes.

    Grabinski: Uh, is this gonna cause any problem if we lay this portion of it over till next week?

    Mayor O'Neill: It has been moved and seconded already.

    Grabinski: I understand. I'd like to, I'm asking if it's not a problem, I'd like us to think about whether or not we want to designate the Harbor to be doing the leasing on this thing or us. I mean, we have the lease with the Queen Mary, we're the responsible party...

    Mayor O'Neill (interrupting): Would you like to make a substitute motion?

    Grabinski: If that's appropriate.

    Mayor O'Neill: Yes, if you want to.

    Grabinski: Well, I was going to. I'd like to make a substitute motion to lay that over till next week.

    Mayor O'Neill: Is there a second? [Silence] Motion dies for lack of a second. We'll go back to the main motion [to delegate lease implementation to Harbor Commission.]

    On motion to delegate authority to Harbor Commission to implement lease, the motion carried unanimously (8-0).

    Second reading, Dec. 19, 2000

    On December 19, routine second reading of the ordinances took place. Public testimony was taken again. Speakers included:

    Mike Murphy, Surfrider Foundation

    Good evening, my name is Mike Murphy. I'm the vice chair of the Long Beach chapter of Surfrider Foundation.

    At last week's meeting, our organization's motivations were questioned. I'd like to make it clear that Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental group dedicated to the protection of the world's oceans, waves and beaches. We're advocates of rehabilitation and restoration of native diversity rich coastal ecosystems.

    To imply that our actions are selfishly motivated is disingenuous. Although we may not currently share the same viewpoint as the present staff and Council, we absolutely have the greater good of Long Beach, its citizens and its environment, fully at heart and in mind.

    Yes, we filed a lawsuit. [To view the suit's allegations, click on Surfrider EIR suit]We take issue with this project on pertinent grounds. Those grounds will be debate in the legal chambers. But as per the discussion last week, I'd like to further discuss one of the topics that came up which was the lack of consideration in this process for a reconfigured breakwater.

    ...Just because the breakwater reconfiguration does not appear on any official list of projects does not erase its inevitability. We suggest that the Council and staff move from their intransigence on this issue and for any future shoreline project planning and analysis, you should take into account a reconfigured breakwater.

    We believe the reconfiguration is worthy of being included in this and future planning because of significant public interest in this outcome. On this issue, our group represents not only hundreds of chapter members but has the support of our national headquarters and thousands of petition signers.

    Additionally, our group also enjoys partnership and encouragement from a growing organized environmental network...In conclusion, Surfrider is obviously opposed to this dock. I urge the Council to listen to the public and not just to the profit-centered lobby. It's time to turn this boat around.

    The Mayor asked if there was Council comment. There was none.

    On second reading, the Council voted 8-0 in favor of the zoning amendment.

    The Council voted 7-1 (Grabinski dissenting, reversing his vote of a week earlier) to delegate authority to the Port for administering the lease.


    Return To Front Page

    Copyright © 2000 LBReport.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Third parties may cite portions as fair use if attributed to "LBReport.com" (print media) or "Long Beach Report dot com" (electronic media).