Councilwoman Price Says She'll Seek These Third District LUE Map Changes, Says She Doesn't Need City Attorney Memo On Impacts Of Sac'to Laws (Incl. SB 35) Before Council Vote is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 17, 2018, 9:20 p.m., updated Feb. 19, 8:55 a.m.) -- Third district Councilwoman Suzie Price has enumerated for a number of Land Use Element (LUE) map changes she plans to seek at the March 6 City Council meeting. She also indicated that she is prepared to vote on the maps regardless of whether the City Attorney provides her or the Council with a memo discussing ways in which multiple recently enacted Sacramento bills (including SB 35) may affect the LUE.

In a one-on-one on-the-record conversation at Dan Pressburg's annual (Feb. 17) "meet-greet-and-eat" allowing resident interaction with election candidates, asked Councilwoman Price in connection with the LUE if the City Attorney had provided her or the Council with a memo regarding the multiple 2017 Sacramento bills affecting housing and land uses. Councilwoman Price replied "no," not that she's aware of, but quickly added that a "summary" would "be a really good idea."

But we hadn't asked about a "summary." We envisioned an analysis of several of the complex bills including SB we followed up:

[Scroll down for further.] Do you think it would be prudent to go forward with a vote on March 6 on the LUE without having that [City Attorney analysis] disclosed publicly and the public having a chance to see it and comment on it, as well as the Council?

Councilwoman Price: Well, that's a really good question. I think that for me the more relevant question is, 'are you aware of the state legislation impacting land use and how have you accounted for that in terms of what you're going to do for the LUE?' If that were a question that you asked me, I would say absolutely "yes."

When we noted that 3rd dist. Council candidate Gordana Kajer has said the Council and the public should see and have an opportunity to respond to such an analysis before Councilmembers vote on the LUE, Councilwoman Price replied in pertinent part:

Councilwoman Price: I believe I have the information that I need to make the decision that I need to make on the [March] 6th and I believe that my office has done a really great job of summarizing some of the statewide legislation through our newsletters and at our community meetings. We've had several opportunities to talk with the public regarding some of the legislation. We've talked about my position on SB 35 for example. We've talked about my position on [SB] 827. So I think that the community members with whom I have met and the community meetings that I've been at we've certainly talked about state legislation and how that affects local land use decisions... But it's accurate for me to say that you would support going forward with tweaks that are suggested by Councilmembers including yourself to the LUE maps without having that City Attorney opinion in hand?

Councilwoman Price:: Absolutely. I don't need the City Attorney to analyze and interpret laws for me. I'm a lawyer and I certainly can read laws myself and interpret them and talk about them with my constituents as I have done. So the City Attorney might need to summarize laws for some folks but for me I think I can read the laws and interpret them myself and I've spoken very clearly on SB 35 and [SB] 827 and what I believe the limitations are with those. I don't know that the City Attorney's analysis of those issues would change how I'm going to proceed on the Land Use Element because I've had the opportunity to analyze those bills myself and have talked about those bills with my constituents...



As to how she intends to proceed at the March 6 City Council meeting, Councilwoman Price said that after meeting with several neighborhood associations in regards to their preferences:

  • "We will be making some changes in regards to zoning that affects Belmont Heights, so we will be downzoning on some areas specifically on Broadway based on our meeting with their board; we actually did a walk-through with them."

  • "We'll be making some changes near the Park Estates area at Clark and PCH and Anaheim."

  • "We will be making some changes around Greenbelt Heights based on our conversations with those communities; we'll be downzoning in those areas."

  • We will be making some changes that will upzone on corridors such as 7th Street and Redondo based on our conversations with our neighborhood associations."

  • "We'll be making some changes in the Bluff Park area around historic districts based on our communications with that neighborhood association."

  • "And also we'll be keeping things in some manner as they are in the Peninsula based on our conversations with Peninsula residents. They did not favor downzoning; they wanted it to remain upzoned."

  • "We continue to look at the Pier because that is a beach Placetype and right now there are some very tall buildings right near the pier and I don't know that it makes sense to upzone the entire area, so we might be doing something unusual there where we're upzoning kind of where the existing taller buildings are, maybe providing for some rehabilitation if there's a dilapidated motel there, we have to look very specifically at the pier because if we upzone that entire area we're just going to get a big block of height and I don't want to see that, so we're probably going to do some spot-planning."

Sponsor also asked Councilwoman Price if she knows why the City didn't oppose SB 35 despite a City Council-approved "state legislative agenda" that stated [details below] that the City would oppose legislation reducing local control. Has city management explained to Councilwoman Price what happened? "No, I haven't asked," Councilwoman Price said. "I'm sure if I asked, they would give me an explanation" she said.

Background: On April 4, 2017, the Council voted 7-0 (Price and Andrews absent) to approve a "State Legislative Agenda" that stated the City of Long Beach would "oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters" including "oppose policies and legislation that preempts the current authority possessed by the City and delegates that authority to the State or other government jurisdiction" and "oppose policies and legislation that diminishes the City's local control over land use, planning, zoning and development decisions, and oppose legislation in conflict with the City's adopted General Plan or other Council adopted land use policies." For reasons that remain publicly unexplained, the City of Long Beach took a "neutral"/"watch" position on SB 35 while "working with the author on amendments, consistent with the City's state legislative agenda as it relates to local control."

Councilwoman Price said she personally took a position opposed to SB 35 and stated her concerns (consistent with those of the League of CA Cities on local control) prior an early September community meeting (the latter reported at the time by

Councilwoman Price said she has no information on what happened regarding the City's stance SB 35 but offered this view:

"We [the Council] took a position that broadly defined our values and our core principles in regards to state legislation... That doesn't necessarily mean that that broad statement regarding our values has a specific directive as to individual [bills]. You and I can agree to disagree on whether a broad directive results in a specific directive as to particular legislation. I don't believe that it does. You believe that it did..."

So if Councilwoman Price was specifically opposed to SB 35 early on, why didn't she agendize a Council item specifically to oppose it? "I didn't do it. I don't know what to tell you. You cracked the nut on that one."

[Updated text Feb. 19, 8:55 a.m.] Councilwoman Price informs us: "Prior to joining the OC District Attorney's office I was an associate at a public entity law firm called Woodruff, Spradlin and Smart. While at Woodruff, I represented 17 cities as the Deputy City Attorney. I drafted legislation for cities like Placentia and Tustin and also staffed city council meetings for several cities."]



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