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Tom Dean's Studebaker, LB LLC Abandons Pursuit Of Studebaker/Loynes Retail Development And Will Instead Pursue A Use Conforming To Current Zoning...Which Is Industrial; Has Applied To Remove Five of Six Tanks In Paperwork Released By City Hall

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  • (Dec. 1, 2009, updated) -- Studebaker LB, LLC (a Tom Dean entity) has abandoned its pursuit of a retail development at Studebaker Rd/Loynes Drive...and will instead pursue a use conforming to existing zoning -- which is industrial.

    The change is signaled in verbiage spotted by LBReport.com in an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration released by City Hall today (Dec. 1) for an application to remove five of six tanks on the property on east side of Studebaker Rd. at Loynes Dr. for "dry vehicle storage"...a use consistent with its present industrial zoning.

    "The applicant intends to remove the four large ASTs (tanks Nos. 1-4), cutter tank No. 2, conveyance pipelines, and grading of the containment berm system to allow for dry vehicle storage. Existing zoning for the project site allows this proposed use," says an Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration released for 30 days of written comments starting today (Dec. 1) and ending Dec. 31).

    Asked about that language by LBReport.com, Studebaker LB, LLC spokesman Mike Murchison emailed:

    "On behalf of Studebaker LLC; We have ceased our pursuit of a retail development application; and are pursuing a conforming use."


    Source: Released Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Decl

    Studebaker LB, LLC had previously proposed to use the site at 400 Studebaker Rd. at Loynes Dr. for a retail development anchored by Home Depot which would have required some rezonings...but was opposed by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust and the University Park Estates Neighborhood Association...which filed a court legal action challenging the retail development's EIR (which was certified on a 6-3 Council vote (Schipske, O'Donnell, Gabelich dissenting).

    A Superior Court found the retail development EIR deficient...and several months ago, Studebaker LB spokesman Mike Murchison told LBReport.com several months ago that paperwork was being prepared for a new retail development that would meet court-stated concerns.

    The document doesn't provide specifics on the "dry vehicle storage" consistent with "existing zoning" beyond saying "Dry vehicle storage is long-term and is used for vehicles that have been rendered immobile. In addition to fuel, all other fluids have been drained from the vehicles to prevent contamination of the underlying soil. All fluid drainage would occur prior to vehicle storage on the project site." Some had speculated that if approvals for the retail development were denied, the landowner might move forward with industrial uses such as cargo container storage; opponents of the retail development dismissed that at the time as a scare tactic.

    The site is across the street from the University Park Estates neighborhood and the Los Cerritos Wetlands and is a bit south of a residential neighborhood on the east side of Studebaker Rd. (north of the 22 freeway)...and is within sight of the privately gated Bixby Hill and a CSULB-adjacent residential neighborhood. It is just north of the eastern end of 2nd St, the gateway to Naples and Belmont Shore's Second Street.

    Release of that Tank Removal initial study/mitigated negative declaration comes as LCW Partners, LLC (an entity that includes Mr. Dean) has informed the City that it proposes to close escrow on a SE LB open space/wetlands land exchange, approved by the City Council in August but withheld from closing by city staff in September (with City Attorney concurrence) based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finding PCB's on the property for which the agency is directing remediation.

    Regarding the Studebaker/Loynes Tank Removal project, city staff is circulating a Mitigated Negative Declaration (not an Environmental Impact Report) to analyze the extent of the proposal's impact on the surrounding environment...and has scheduled a period for written comments to begin today (Dec. 1) and end on Dec. 31.

    The property currently contains six aboveground storage tanks (ASTs), conveyance pipelines, and containment berms. At present, the Property lies dormant and has no occupant or use.

    The four large ASTs (tanks Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4) originally stored Fuel Oil No. 6, which formerly fueled the adjacent power plant. The capacity of these tanks is between 5,888,000 gallons and 9,400,000 gallons. The tanks, built between 1957 and 1962, are approximately 40 feet tall and have a diameter ranging from 160 feet to 200 feet. The remaining ASTs (cutter tank Nos. 1 and 2) have been used to store distilled oil and are smaller, each with a diameter of about 60 feet. All tanks are of fixed cone and insulated specification. The tanks are surrounded by a berm system originally constructed to contain any tank spills.

    The applicant intends to remove the four large ASTs (tanks Nos. 1-4), cutter tank No. 2, conveyance pipelines, and grading of the containment berm system to allow for dry vehicle storage. Existing zoning for the project site allows this proposed use. Figure 3 illustrates work to be completed, while Figure 4 illustrates the existing site conditions. The project includes the following steps for implementation:

    • Tanks #1 through #4 and cutter stock tank #2 contain asbestos insulation. The asbestos on these tanks will be abated.

    • Fuel oil tanks #1, #2, #3 and cutter stock tank #2 are empty. Fuel oil tank #4 contains approximately 235,000 gallons of Fuel Oil No. 6. This product will be emptied and disposed of in accordance with applicable regulations.

    • Tank #4 will be cleaned prior to demolition.

    • Tanks #1 through #4 and cutter stock tank #2 will be demolished completely to grade.

    • All above ground steel piping and related conduits associated with Tanks #1 through #4 and cutter stock tank #2 will also be abated and removed.

    • The footings and concrete ring foundations will remain in place at this time.

    • The absence of contaminants and flammables will be verified prior to the demolition of any tanks. The above grade portion of the ASTís will be removed with minimal disturbance of the surrounding soil.

    • To the extent required by the Corrective Action Consent Agreement between Applicant and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control ("DTSC") (HWCA P3-06/07-002), the Applicant will: (a) obtain and analyze soil samples from beneath the demolition site and (b) undertake any additional tasks as directed by DTSC.

    • The height of the berm system surrounding the tanks shall be reduced by approximately two feet in specified areas to satisfy future site use and applicable regulations. All berm materials and soil from the areas of reduced height shall be retained on the Property.

    • A three-inch rock base shall graded, leveled, and compacted over entire Property.

    • Rubble strips shall be installed at northeast Property entrance.

    • Remaining berms shall be landscaped, as required by City of Long Beach.

    Demolition of the five tanks would take approximately 6 weeks from start to finish.

    Approximately two tanks and associated piping would be demolished at one time before moving on to the other tanks. The tanks would be demolished and stockpiled in bins until they are ready to be taken to a landfill. Hauling of the tank panels would use approximately 18 trucks for 1 to 2 days, while hauling the scrap metal would use up to 40 trucks over a 3 day period. Hauling would occur once all of the bins are loaded and would not occur during demolition of the tanks. Pickup of demolished materials would be phased during non peak hours to reduce potential impacts to traffic. Trucks would enter and exit the project site through an access gate by the intersection of Loynes Drive and Studebaker Road.

    Once demolition is complete, a 3-inch rock base would be imported and compacted over the entire property to convert the site to a dry vehicle storage lot.

    City staff recites that it was found that although the proposed tank removal project "could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been made by or agreed to by the project proponent [and accordingly] a mitigated negative declaration will be prepared.

    A City Hall release summarizes the tank removal project at 400 N. Studebaker Rd. as follows:

    The Studebaker LB, LLC Tank Removal Project, located at 400 N. Studebaker Road, is a nearly rectangular shaped 17.8 acre parcel located on the east side of Studebaker Road at the Loynes Drive/Studebaker Road intersection. The site contains six above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), conveyance pipelines, and containment berms. The four large ASTs (tanks Nos. 1,2,3,4) originally stored Fuel Oil No. 6, which formerly fueled the adjacent power plant. The remaining smaller ASTs (cutter tank Nos. 1 and 2) have been used to store distilled oil. The tanks are surrounded by a berm system originally constructed to contain any tank spills. There are no existing occupants or land uses on the site.

    The applicant (Studebaker LB, LLC) intends to remove the four large ASTs (tanks Nos. 1-4), cutter tank No. 2 (cutter tank No. 1 is still in use and will remain), and conveyance pipelines to allow for a dry vehicle storage land use. In addition, the existing containment berm system would be reduced in height by approximately two feet.

    Tank demolition would take approximately six weeks to complete. Approximately two tanks and associated piping would be demolished at one time before moving on to the other tanks. The tanks would be demolished and stockpiled in bins until taken to a landfill. Hauling the tank panels would use approximately 18 trucks for up to two days, while hauling the scrap metal would use up to 40 trucks over a three day period. Hauling would occur once all of the bins are loaded and would not occur during tank demolition. Pickup of demolished materials would be phased during non-peak hours to reduce potential traffic impacts. Trucks would enter and exit the project site through an access gate by the intersection of Loynes Drive/Studebaker Road.

    Once demolition is complete, the project site would be covered with a three-inch compacted rock base for use as a dry vehicle storage lot. The project site is located in Subarea 19 of the PD-1 zoning district, which permits this type of land use. Dry vehicle storage is long-term and is used for vehicles that have been rendered immobile. In addition to fuel, all other fluids have been drained from the vehicles to prevent contamination of the underlying soil. All fluid drainage would occur prior to vehicle storage on the project site.

    To view the full Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, click here.

    Following the written comment period (expiring Dec. 31), a hearing is scheduled at the Planning Commission on Jan. 7, 2010 (5 p.m.), a decision appealable to the City Council.

    Developing with comments coming (and yours welcome below) on LBReport.com...where you don't miss a thing.

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