Here's Position of LB Area Chamber of Commerce on Scope of LB Airport Permanent Terminal Area Facilities EIR
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(March 17, 2004) -- The LB Area Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed incumbent Councilmembers Dan Baker, Dennis Carroll, Laura Richardson and Rob Webb for reelection on April 13, has taken the position below on the scope of an Environmental Impact Report regarding permanent terminal area facilities at LB Airport.
The Chamber was forthright in issuing the position of its Board in October 2003...and we just noticed it on the Chamber's robust web site. In the public interest, we post it verbatim below.
A Council vote on the Airport EIR was expected in December 2003, and as part of the process, the public turned out in large numbers to testify at October 2003 meetings on the scope of the EIR. A number of speakers expressed concern over expanding operations at LB Airport and advocated inclusion of a health impact study. On October 21, 4th district Councilman Carroll agendized an item that sought to send the issue of what to include in an EIR to a newly created blue ribbon committee. The Council instead referred the Airport terminal issue to a Mayor-named, Council-approved "Airport Advisory Commission"...which has resulted in effectively delaying a Council vote on the hot-button Airport issue until after the April (and June if runoffs) 2004 Council elections.
[begin Chamber position text]
The current permanent facilities at the Long Beach Airport were designed to accommodate only fifteen (15) airline flights and the last permanent addition was done over twenty (20) years ago. Temporary facilities, which include tents, trailers, and mobile office structures currently in place are inconvenient and do not adequately provide the level of facilities needed for the traveling public, the citizens of Long Beach, and promote the image of Californiaís fifth largest city. They are unsustainable for long-term use.
Position on the Scope of the EIR to Construct Permanent Terminal Facilities at the Long Beach Airport
1. The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce supports the construction of permanent terminal facilities at the Long Beach Airport, commensurate with the current minimum permitted flight passenger levels, as set by ordinance for 41 commercial air carrier and 25-commuter air carrier flights.
2. The Chamber believes that the scoping of the EIR process for this project be narrow in character, limited only to the environmental effects of the construction of the physical buildings, parking structures, and other permanent facilities. The EIR should not include issues related to the noise, pollution and other environmental concerns not directly related to the project. These areas were covered extensively in a previous EIR and confirmed by the Federal Court in 1995 when the Airport Noise Ordinance, approved by City Council, confirmed the limitations of flights out of Long Beach Airport.
3. That the EIR focus solely on the project impact for the proposed permanent terminal facilities proposed.
4. That any additional risk assessments, if desired by the City, be done on a separate track and not be limited to the airport alone.
5. Agree that the City of Long Beach should only permit flights within the confines of the current City of Long Beach FAA approved Noise Ordinance.
6. Provide Chamber support for the terminal facility improvements with a design within the agreed upon 41 commercial and 25 commuter daily flights
7. Recognize that the current facilities are not adequate to fulfill the city's Strategic Plan (City 2010 Strategic Plan) and that they cannot reasonably accommodate the existing demands in the terminal at current peak periods.
8. That the airline parking ramp must be able to at least go back to that capacity provide in the late 1980's and early 1990's during that period when we had 41 daily flights.
9. That vehicle parking facilities should be brought into the airport area boundaries so as: Reduce the impacts to the adjoining neighborhood areas; Accommodate the other airport tenants near the commercial terminal such as Gulfstream, Flight Safety, etc; For the Airport Bureau to control its own parking destiny and not rely on others such as Boeing, City College, etc; and that the parking facilities also be designed to meet the minimum permitted needs
10. That all the terminal improvements and facilities be designed for the maximum level of safety and security and consider that many of the new federal requirements in this area did not exist two years ago.
11. Any additional studies not a part of the project-focused EIR should not be permitted to hold up approval/construction of the terminal improvements.
As previously reported by LBReport.com, at a Feb. 26 press event announcing its David Neary, who chairs the Chamber's full Board and the PAC Board, said in written remarks:
"...Councilwoman Richardson is a stanch supporter of revitalizing the Long Beach Airport. She shares The Chamberís position of revitalizing the airport to meet current needs without sacrificing the flight capacity."
"Councilmember Webb is committed to taking a stronger stance on the future of our airport. He shares The Chamberís position of revitalizing the airport to meet its needs within the current flight capacity. The Chamber will look to Councilmember Webb to take a leadership role in finding compromise to the issues facing the Long Beach Airport and its future."
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