(January 13, 2005) -- With city management pressing for City Council action to re-launch the EIR process for a larger expansion of LB Airport's permanent terminal area facilities than management originally proposed, a key Council Committee has called a special field meeting -- Thursday, Jan. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in Cal. Heights -- to discuss proposed "Guiding Principles" (text below) for LB Airport Marketing and User Responsibilities.
The meeting is scheduled for January 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Miller Family Health Education Center, 3820 Cherry Ave.
The meeting of the Council's Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will be chaired by 7th district Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga (whose district includes airport impacted Cal. Hts.) with Vice Mayor Jackie Kell (whose district includes the Airport itself and Runway 25R impacted areas stretching eastward to El Dorado Park) and 8th district Councilwoman Rae Gabelich (whose district includes neighborhood impacted Los Cerritos & Bixby Knolls areas among others).
A draft set of "Guiding Principles" now circulating is as follows:
1. Environment: Identify and minimize the cumulative exposure to toxic pollutants and noise for neighborhoods and affected areas.
2. Public Participation: Improve public participation in LGB operations and infrastructure projects that impact the community.
3. Health: Identify and minimize the cumulative impacts for LGB that adversely affects the health of our community.
4. Safety: Promote a safe facility that recognizes the inherent risk of locating an airport in an urban area.
5. Land Use: Support an environment that attracts and retains airport related business that serve the traveling public and that is compatible with the needs of the surrounding community.
6. Mitigation: Identify mitigation measures that address the negative impacts of the airport and airport related activities to surrounding communities including homes, schools and businesses.
7. Financial Impact: Financial plans for airport improvements should include appropriate contributions from airline users to minimize City's exposure to a fluctuating industry.
8. Legislation: Establish a community government partnership by taking a proactive position on understanding and protecting the city of Long Beach noise ordinance.
The move to establish Airport Guiding Principles resulted from an October 2004 agenda item jointly brought by newly elected Councilmembers Patrick O'Donnell and Rae Gabelich, who joined with Councilwoman Reyes Uranga and won a 6-0 Council vote to develop policy direction for the city's municipally owned and operated Airport.
A similar process of community-based "Guiding Principles" for City Hall policy on I-710 freeway expansion was established last year at the urging of Councilwoman Reyes Uranga.
The move comes as the Council considers expansion of the Airport's permanent terminal area facilities. In 2004 respectively, Councilmembers O'Donnell and Gabelich ousted two incumbents who had been backed by Mayor Beverly O"Neill.
In presenting the October agenda item, Councilwoman Gabelich said:
...[T]oday we're in a new Council. We're in a different environment. This Council has said that they understand "no net increase in pollution" when it relates to the Port and I think that it's time that we take a look at Airport as well since we are growing in that area.
We want to look at how our neighborhoods are impacted and we must identify our commitment to our residents.
Councilman Partick O'Donnell said:
I really see this as securing our commitment to our neighborhoods and making sure that we have some communicating ongong and that all voices can be heard that's what I'm sure will take place in those committee meetings. It's not an attempt to bottle this up by any means, or slow it down, as much as it is to develop some communication on the issue.
Vice Mayor Jackie Kell added, "I do think it's a good thing to look at everything that goes on at the Airport."