Councilwoman Mungo Says This In "5th District LUE Fact Sheet", But We Say It Includes Statements That Aren't Factual
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Editor's note: Some readers who don't live in ELB's 5th Council district may wonder why some 5th district residents are disturbed by the responses of Council incumbent Stacy Mungo on the major ELB and citywide impacting issue below. Our story below, one of three we publish today, may help explain this. (The other stories are here and here.)(Dec. 10, 2017, 4:55 p.m.) -- Faced with "Say NO to the LUE" lawn signs throughout her Council district and facing two re-election challengers (Corliss Lee and Rich Dines), Fifth district City Council incumbent Stacy Mungo has sent a Dec, 7 mass emailing ("Neighborly News, Special Edition: Land Use Element Action Items") linking to a "Fifth District LUE Fact Sheet" (previously distributed to several hundred people at three late-November meetings conducted her office) that includes some accurate information but mixes it with other statements that we don't consider factual.
LBREPORT.com analyzes these statements and provides our perspective below:
Mungo "Fact Sheet"
How We Got Here: ...Initial drafts presented went through several variations before being presented to the Planning Commission.
Significant LUE draft was released in May 2015, tweaked by city staff in August 2016, and presented to Planning Commission for agendized recommendation to the City Council on Feb. 2, 2017. On April 24, Councilwoman Mungo tried to disparage accurate information on the advancing LUE from resident Corliss Lee at a Mungo community meeting. (LBREPORT.com coverage here.) On June 13, the City Council held a study session on the advancing LUE and its then-maps and Councilwoman Mungo voiced no opposition. On June 15, city staff publicly released the revised density increase maps proposing significantly increased 5th district density at an agendized Planning Commission study session.
August 17, 2017 -- Planning Commission instructed Development Services to spread density increases across all districts, resulting in a revised LUE map for the 5th District that significantly increased density.
In February and April, some Planning Commissioners recommended that staff spread more density to ELB. On April 24, Councilwoman Mungo disparaged information on proposed increased ELB density accurately described by constituent (now candidate) Corliss Lee. Contrary to Councilwoman Mungo's fact sheet, the Planning Commission didn't instruct staff on Aug. 17 to spread density elsewhere; it voted 4-1 to recommend that city staff conduct additional public outreach because of widespread public pushback. While residents organized against the new maps, Councilwoman Mungo sought to discredit their work at a Sept. 16 grassroots meeting at which she claimed (inaccurately) that the City Attorney had said she couldn't comment on the LUE and new maps, accused others of spreading misinformation and then parsed words to tell constituents: "The Land Use Plan doesn't change zoning. Zoning's the next step. This does not change zoning." when in fact the LUE itself shows its close relationship to related policies and zoning. (LBREPORT.com coverage coverage here.)
City hosts additional public meetings on the revised LUE
City staff initially refused to allow "Town Hall" type meetings until a Sept. 30 residents' revolt (led by CONO's Robert Fox) at the first such meeting forced a change at subsequent meetings. At the second meeting in ELB's Whaley Park (Oct. 4), Councilwoman Mungo unveiled a banner she's continued to display at subsequent meetings, which states: "I will NOT support increased density in the 5th district...Let's work together to protect the character of our residential neighborhoods."
What the November map means for the 5th District: The November map:.
1. Allows low density residential in some currently commercial use only areas -- this is known as "mixed use." Commercial areas are not eliminated with mixed use, it means that housing is added to commercial areas
2.Allows some of the new mixed use areas to go to 3 stories, and at LB Towne Center could be 5 stories.
3. Allows a small area of currently designated moderate density multi family residential to go 4 story
Doesn't say if Councilwoman Mungo opposes any of these specific proposals. Doesn't describe the impacts of "density bonuses" and 2017 state legislation that could result in higher building heights and greater density. Doesn't tell constituents if Councilwoman Mungo would support the rest of the LUE if it tweaks some of staff's current proposals. Doesn't compare staff's latest maps to current uses, downplays changes by comparing latest management proposal to management's previous proposal.
What the November map does not mean for the 5th District:
The LUE does not change currently designated single family home uses or restrictions -- the rules for our single family neighborhoods will not change.
The LUE does not change parking requirements -- all new developments must meet current parking regulations.
State legislators proposed more than 100 bills addressing housing. Long Beach advocated in all cases to maintain local control. In some cases, we were able to add language to ensure our LUE will have precedence over state mandates.
The LUE does not require that any mixed use residential projects be affordable housing or section 8 projects and there are no currently proposed housing projects in the 5th District with that designation
SB 35 does not change the LUE. SB 35 streamlines the process for certain developments when they meet all sorts of criteria, including s when they meet all its of criteria, including meeting the requirements of the LUE.
SB 35 does not override the LUE. Developments that meet SB35 associated criteria for lowered parking requirements must be directly adjacent to high-quality public transit areas, none of which are based in the 5th District.
The LUE labels its basic residential area (yellow on maps) very broadly to include densities from 7 units/acre to 18 dwelling units/acre (the latter would accommodate townhouse type/multi unit residential developments.) City staff says these would be subject to zoning...if you trust a Council majority to protect your neighborhood. It also downplays the potential impacts of SB 35 and other 2017 legislation. Under some interpretations of SB 35 -- whose specific impacts on the LUE City Attorney's Nov. 27 office didn't discuss -- -- developers could arguably contend that if the Council ultimately adopts the LUE, that action could trigger requirements in SB 35 and other new state legislation to approve developer-sought density increases in the city's General Plan regardless of what older protective zoning says (a litigation risk we doubt the City Attorney can rule out.) That magnitude of risk ought to trigger greater prudence and caution, not blind reliance and acceptance.
Contrary to Councilwoman Mungo's fact sheet, SB 35 explicitly erases LB-enacted parking requirements in specified circumstances (detailed below.) Also contrary to ; contrary to Councilwoman Mungo's "fact sheet," it doesn't use the term "high quality transit." For the record, in a June 1, 2017 memo to the Planning Commission on Accessory Dwelling Units, city staff stated: "The City has previously found that nearly all residential property is within a one-half mile radius of public transit stops within the City." With that in mind, consider the exact parking text in SB 35 (section 65913.4 subsections cited below):
"(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, a local government, whether or not it has adopted an ordinance governing parking requirements in multifamily developments, shall not impose parking standards for a streamlined development that was approved pursuant to this section in any of the following instances:
"(A) The development is located within one-half mile of public transit.
"(B) The development is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
"(C) When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupants of the development.
"(D) When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the development.
"(2) If the development does not fall within any of the categories described in paragraph (1), the local government shall not impose parking requirements for streamlined developments approved pursuant to this section that exceed one parking space per unit..."
Re the City's legislative advocacy, the City didn't oppose SB 35 or other bills that could impact the advancing LUE. City Hall's advocacy for "local control" resulted in a relatively small change that deems relevant City-adopted land use documents, but that's a two-edged sword: if the Council approves the LUE as currently proposed, the LUE's density and height impacts could become very relevant and amplified by SB 35.
Although the LUE doesn't require mixed use projects to be "affordable" (below market rate/subsidized), it's reasonable to expect that mixed use residential units above or adjacent to commercial units would likely be non-ownership rentals. SB 35 and new state legislation incentivize developers to build such affordable (below market rental) units. Once built, the property owner can choose (and in some cases couldn't refuse) to accept Section 8 tenants.