Includes Perspective / Opinion
|(February 27. 2018, 10:00 a.m.) -- It's a threshold question and the answer is a game-changer.
LBREPORT.com has learned and confirmed via multiple sources -- including materials from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (which reviews Land Use Elements), visible statutory verbiage and an acknowledgment (although less than supportive) from Long Beach senior city planning staff -- that there is no legal requirement for the City of Long Beach to revise its Land Use Element to a time period stretching to 2040.
That means [our conclusion] that the Long Beach City Council could direct city staff to revise its LUE and accompanying density increase maps to reflect a shorter time period, we believe potentially as short as 2023 (a five year period used by some CA cities) or LB's "Olympics Year" 2028 (a target recently adopted for other planning purposes by the City Council at the Mayor's request.)
[Scroll down for further.]
The issue will reach the Council on
LBREPORT.com has examined 404 pages of guidelines issued the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR). We find no explicit citation or requirement that a city must update its Land Use Element for over 20 years to 2040 or for any other specific time period. Some cities have used Land Use Element time periods of 15-20 years, but at least one has used a period as short as five years.
The only element of a city's multi-element General Plan that we understand a city must update to cover a certain time period is its Housing Element, which Long Beach updated with Council voted approval in fall 2013 for a period stretching to 2021.
In a Feb. 23 telephone conversation with LBREPORT.com, City of Long Beach Planning Bureau Manager Linda Tatum didn't deny our summarized references to state law above but offered a number of points in response.
Ms. Tatum noted that many if not most other CA cities and their professional planning staffs prefer and use a longer time period of roughly twenty years. She said this is understandable because the process to update a city's General Plan and Land Use Element is complex, labor intensive, time consuming and burdensome for city officials and the public and many cities understandably choose not to undertake that task repeatedly.
Ms. Tatum also cited page 22 of the Governor's Office of Planning and Research 2017 "General Plan Guidelines" states the following in a paragraph titled "Long Term Perspective"
Since the general plan affects the welfare of current and future generations, state law requires that the plan take a
And Ms. Tatum politely indicated that as a decades long planning professional, she considers a Land Use Element planning period of 20 years appropriate.
LBREPORT.com respectfully disagrees.
We note that OPR guideline verbiage above refers to "General Plans," not specifically to its "Land Use Element." The CA Government Code states in pertinent part that a city's legislative body "shall adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city" (CA Gov. Code § 65300.) It states that "the Legislature intends that the general plan and elements and parts thereof comprise an integrated, internally consistent and compatible statement of policies for the adopting agency. (CA Gov't Code § 65300.5). It contains a number of detailed provisions too lengthy to cite here.
However LBREPORT.com knows of no statutory barries precluding the LB City Council from updating its Land Use Element using a 5 or 10 year time period instead of the 22 year period currently proposed by city staff. On that basis, we believe it is within the Council's discretion to choose a shorter period to 2023 or 2028. We don't believe this threshold issue has been seriously explored by the City Council or has been the subject of a Council requested City Attorney opinion on the matter to date.
The Coucil has multiple grounds on the merits not to advance (with or without tweaks) currently proposed Land Use Element maps and instead direct city staff to revise its LUE to reflect a more prudent, shorter time period to 2023 or 2028. These include:
Much of what we depend on in our daily lives now didn't exist 22 years ago. This doesn't mean doing no planning, but in our view it does mean doing more prudent, more cautious planning. To make permanently impactful development decisions stretching 22 years ahead would be especially unwise and imprudent.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050