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2nd/PCH Developer David Malmuth Address Council, Raises Possibility Of New Vote on Project; Hear His Comments & Reaction From Councilman DeLong

(Jan. 10, 2012) -- Raising the possibility of changes to a previously proposed development at 2nd/PCH to include unspecified additional "incentives" -- after a Council majority rejected the development on a 3-5 vote (Johnson absent) on Dec. 20 -- developer David Malmuth used the period for public comment on non-agendized items tonight (Jan. 10) to urge Council reconsideration of the project.

LBReport.com provides blitz-speed on-demand audio of what Mr. Malmuth said. To hear his statement (started seconds after he began speaking) and Council colloquy that followed, click here.

"We followed the direction that was provided to us by staff, by the Council office and the Council itself," Mr. Malmuth said, "Staff directed us to go forward with our project with the assurance that it would be evaluated on its merits. We felt that ultimately the project was not evaluated on its merits based on the responses that evening. In fact, the project was rejected because the Council rejected to take a different direction and begin a SEADIP planning process from scratch, an option which was never on the table until four days prior to our hearing," he said.

Mr. Malmuth continued:

We now are asking you, urging you, to reconsider that vote, and we are committing that we are going to reach out to the Council to see if we can find an opportunity to make this project successful. We believe that the kinds of benefits that can be generated both from the community's standpoint and from an economic standpoint are crucial, and they resonate with the Mayor's comments last night [State of the City address] about this city needing to be creative in finding ways to incent economic development here in Long Beach.

So you have our commitment that we're going to attempt to find ways that we can allow this project to go forward.

Councilman Gary DeLong encouraged Mr. Malmuth to continue speaking with Council members and indicated he'll "support an opportunity to come back and see what changes can be made to gather a little bit more support."

Councilman DeLong [addressing Mr. Malmuth]: ...Not only have you invested a lot of time and money in the project, but candidly so has the City. The City has invested a significant amount of staff resource, Planning Commission resource, Council resource, so when you end up with nothing we all lose...Continue to make the rounds of the Council offices, find out what needs to be changed in order to get a favorable outcome...Hopefully we'll get across the finish line here shortly.

Councilman Garcia then offered supportive words for the proposed project.

Vice Mayor Lowenthal inquired about procedure. Ass't City Attorney Mike Mais said a Councilmember who voted in majority (against) project could agendize a Council item to rescind the previous vote (which can carry on majority vote) after which a formal hearing must be renoticed.

Further to follow on LBReport.com.

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