Eleven LB-Area Groups (Incl. Advocates For Rent Control, Affordable Housing, Bicycle/Pedestrian Infrastructure) Say They'll Support Proposed Land Use Element If It Includes Their Strengthening Suggestions That Include...
|(Dec. 11, 2017, 1:55 p.m.) -- Eleven LB-area groups, including those advocating rent control, increased affordable/below market subsidized rental units and more bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, have signed onto a letter for submission to LB's Planning Commission (cc'd to Mayor Garcia and the City Council) supporting city staff's proposed Land Use Element if it includes the groups' suggested revisions to specific pages and adds and strengthens multiple implementation measures. Without their suggested changes, the groups say they will remain neutral on the LUE.
The coalition's suggested implementation measures include adding "a commitment to adopting a city-wide inclusionary housing ordinance that will set aside 20% of all new apartment and condominium units, on-site, as Very Low Income units with 55 year covenants" and adding "a commitment to adopting a No Net Loss policy," adding that "both of these must be adopted before density is increased in the City, pursuant to the LUE, through the updating of the City's zoning code."
And regarding height and density, the groups' letter states:
Considering how much consternation about height and density has been expressed during recent public input, some guidance for the introduction of infill mid-rise and high-rise development should be provided, including addressing issues such as shadowing of adjacent properties and privacy intrusion. The Placetypes chapter includes substantial discussion about design transitions within and between various land uses within the placetypes and where more than one placetype abuts another. This is very helpful, but should be augmented with additional design guidance for the introduction of larger structures and complexes into the existing urban fabric to minimize adverse impacts.
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The Dec. 11 letter signed by Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, (chair of the Environmental Health Working Group of "Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach") says her group "has been actively involved in the development and refinement of the Land Use Element (LUE) and Urban Design Element (UDE)" and says collectively the coalition "has pursued stronger language in support of sustainable and equitable communities, in particular the inclusion of "Green Zones" and affordable housing for low-income working families in the LUE (Implementation Measure [IM] LU-M-64)."
The letter says: "We have met with City staff on several occasions, reviewed and discussed the contents of earlier versions of the draft documents, and made suggestions for specific changes, many of which are reflected in the current draft" and "[w]hile we are pleased with the changes that have been made to date, we have attached suggested revisions for specific pages, including the addition or strengthening of implementation measures. These additional comments and suggestions are provided in the attachment to this letter. With the inclusion of these suggestions, we would be supportive of adopting the LUE and UDE."
In its general comments narrative, the letter advocates promoting "appropriate infill development" as follows:.
The LUE promotes appropriate infill development, particularly along corridors and centers that have established transit facilities. Long Beach will encourage development of vacant or underutilized land located in built-up areas. New infill development should be carefully planned to minimize impacts and to complement surrounding development. Appropriate `infrastructure and supporting services must be adequate or in place to serve new infill development without sacrificing services to the existing population. The Multi-Family, Neighborhood-Serving Center and Transit-Oriented Development PlaceTypes provide opportunities for infill development in strategic areas, with policies aimed at protecting established low-density neighborhoods. The Mobility Element promotes improved transit services where it will complement infill development.
The letter concludes by stating that the Environmental Health Working Group "is encouraged by the evolution of the LUE and UDE, and provide these comments and urge their inclusion into the final draft that goes to City Council for adoption. With these changes, the EHWG would be supportive of adoption of these policy document. Without them, we will remain neutral to their adoption."
Ms. Cabrera signed the letter as submitted on behalf of Walk Long Beach; LiBRE; City Fabrick; HAS [Health Active Streets]; Housing Long Beach; East Yard Communities' Long Beach Fresh; Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach; Green Education, Inc.; Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Economy; Walk Bike Long Beach;
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