(February 25, 2001) -- City staff will present a status report on a new NLB police station at the February 27 Council meeting at NLB's Jordan High (start time: 6:30 p.m.). City Hall's favored site for the facility is in Scherer Park, a location that has stirred controversy.
One year ago at the same Jordan High Council meeting location, supporters of an alternative site for the police facility that would preserve Scherer park land were jeered by some in the mainly NLB crowd who favor the Scherer Park site.
As currently proposed, the new police facility would consume roughly 2.5 acres at the park's northeast corner (Atlantic Avenue at Del Amo).
The Scherer Park site is in the the 8th district but the 9th district Council meeting has been a popular venue to tout City Hall's plan. At last year's 9th district meeting, the Council voted 8-1 (Grabinski dissenting) to designate the Scherer park site as the primary location for the environmental review process.
Supporters of the Scherer Park site include a number of area neighborhood leaders and businesspeople within LBPD's North Division which stretches from Bixby Knolls to NLB.
Opponents of the Scherer Park include Friends of Scherer Park (led by Scherer Park neighbors Gigi Fast Elk Porter and Reggie Bannister) and veteran LB park advocate Ann Cantrell. They suggest the new facility be located on alternative sites including the former Dooleys Hardware site (Long Beach Blvd. at Del Amo).
Opponents of the Scherer Park site say that LB park land, already in short supply, belongs to people of the entire city, noting that taxpayers citywide, not just NLB, pay for the park's upkeep and maintenance.
Supporters of the Scherer Park site say a police presence in the park has made it safer, reclaiming it from nuisance behaviors.
Since 1984, a temporary LBPD facility, including trailers, has occupied about 2,500 square feet of the Atlantic/Del Amo corner without without serious objection. However, as indicated in city staff's report, the new NLB police compound will significantly enlarge the footprint, occupying roughly 2.5 acres of park land.
Staff's memo says its cost (without financing and acquisition costs) has reached $7.2 million, up from $5.5 to 6.0, represented a year ago. It says the says increased costs are due to "additional site preparation and to significant changes in the Uniform Building Code for this type of facility." Staff says it will seek Council authority to issue bonds to finance the facility if bonds are deemed the best financing option.
LBReport.com has posted the memo by Community Development Director Melanie Fallon at NLB Feb. 27/01 staff report. We have also included some of the report's salient attachments, such the site plan (p. 5; caveat: the dark area is a tennis court; the police facility is at the bottom of the page).
Also included is a staff prepared map of the general area (p. 6) which somehow mangles the labeling of Scherer Park to indicate an adjacent residential neighborhood, not the park. (Staff's other maps and text are correct.) The snafu comes after Councilmember Jerry Shultz accused opponents of the Scherer Park site of preparing a misleading map, which they denied.
City staff's report on Tuesday's Council agenda is item number 16, but items can be taken out of order at the Mayor's suggestion with the Council's consent. No Council action is requested on the staff report beyond its presentation and "receive and file."
Meanwhile, on a more substantive track, City Hall released its Draft Enviromental Impact Report (draft EIR) for the project on Febrary 6, 2001 and written comments must be submitted within 45 days from that date.