On June 5, 2018, the City of Long Beach may hold a Consolidated Municipal Election at which voters will consider two ballot measures relating to the City of Long Beach Utility Revenue Transfer Charter Amendment.

For this election, the Los Angeles County Registrar will mail Sample Ballots to all Long Beach voters. The Sample Ballot includes each measure’s ballot title, the City Attorney’s impartial analysis, proposed measure text, direct arguments for and against, and rebuttal arguments.

Argument writers are designated by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council, to write arguments either for or against the adoption of any measure or proposition placed on the ballot. In making such designation, the Mayor shall designate one of the following:

A. The Mayor;
B. An elected officer of the City;
C. An appointive officer of the City;
D. An association of citizens; or
E. An individual voter.

Arguments either FOR or AGAINST the ballot measure are due to the City Clerk by Friday, March 16, 2018 by 4:30 p.m., while rebuttal arguments are due by Tuesday, March 27, 2018 by 4:30 p.m. Arguments shall not exceed 300 words and rebuttal arguments shall not exceed 250 words.

On March 13, 2018, the City Council will consider appointment of argument writers as designated by the Mayor. The Interest Form for Argument Writers is available on the Office of the City Clerk web page at All interest forms must be received in the Office of the City Clerk, 333 West Ocean Boulevard, Lobby Level, Long Beach, CA 90802, no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, 2018.

For more information, please contact the Office of the City Clerk, at (562) 570-6101.

News / Detailed Coverage

City Staff Agendizes This Memo Urging Council On March 6 To Advance -- With Or Without Tweaks -- Land Use Element Density Increase Maps 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.
(March 2, 2018, 10:10 p.m.) -- City staff has agendized a formal public hearing at 5:00 p.m. on March 6 to recommend that the City Council take an action inviting increased land use residential and commercial density that developers could ultimately exploit citywide in various LB neighborhoods, in some cases amplified by multiple newly enacted state laws (that the City of LB didn't oppose) that limit local decision making and reduce the grounds for neighborhood objections.

The agendized hearing item recommends that the Council "confirm the proposed General Plan Land Use Element and Urban Design Element PlaceType and Heights Maps, and direct staff to update the Program Environmental Impact Report." City staff accompanies its agenda item with an unusually lengthy (at times defensive) narrative urging the Council to advance Land Use Element (LUE) density increase maps.

City staff's memo is agnostic, takes no explicit position, on whether the Council should or shouldn't tweak or revise maps as recommended by the Planning Commission. A Council majority has the power to revise the maps either to reduce density, or to restore density increases that city staff previously advocated.

City staff's memo doesn't mention the Council option [reported here and advocated by] to reduce the LUE forcast period from 22 years (to 2040) to a more modest five to ten years (to 2023 or the "Olympics Year" 2028 (recently advocated for other planning priorities by Mayor Garcia and approved by the Council.)

[Scroll down for further.]

In a section titled "The Process Going Forward," the agendizing memo simply states: "If the City Council finalizes the maps" [emphasis added] staff will revise and recirculate the PEIR." After the Council's March 6 decision(s), a Council majority can subsequently vote to reduce density and impacts (when the PEIR, maps and LUE return for final enactment in or after fall 2018) but not increase it further without restarting the LUE revision process.

In a section it titles "The Cost of Inaction," the memo (signed by Assistant City Manager Tom Modica and approved by City Manager Pat West) states in part:

Delay or failure to adopt the Plan will inhibit the City's ability to meet its employment and housing goals, and will result in other troubling consequences. The existing Plan LUE is severely out of date and out of compliance with current legal requirements and guidelines opening the City up to potential legal challenges from any number of regulators, property owners and other entities. Staff remains extremely concerned that, in the long-run, a failure to update the Plan and increase housing production may result in an erosion of local control with the State and others using litigation and regulatory means to usurp the City's land use authority. Recent housing legislation can be directly attributed to the resistance at the local government level to enact plans and processes that facilitate housing production. Evidence suggests the State legislature will continue to usurp local control until meaningful progress is made in housing production at the local level.

In addition, the failure to have an up-to-date Plan does not mean growth will not happen; rather, it creates a lack of certainty and direction for the City, property owners and the public at large. The City will still be required to process development applications, but instead of providing a comprehensive road map to 2040, will be forced to process projects on an ad hoc basis without any larger context.

  • To view city staff's agendizing memo, click here.

  • To view the Land Use Element density increase maps by Council districts as most recently revised to reflect December 2017 Planning Commission recommendations, click here.
  • Sponsor


    Regarding the process going forward, the agendizing memo states:

    If the City Council finalizes the maps depicted in Attachment D, including any modifications made by the City Council, staff will revise and recirculate the PEIR. The Planning Commission will hold a recommendation hearing on certification of the PEIR, likely during the Fall of this calendar year. The adoption of the Plan and PEIR are then subject to a final procedural adoption vote by the City Council. Additional public input opportunities are provided at each of these steps.

    Once the Plan is adopted, staff will undertake a five-year effort to implement the necessary changes to the Zoning Code and City regulations to implement the goals and policies of the Plan. Public input will again be afforded during this process and individual code amendments will be subject to City Council review and approval. Finally, individual projects will' remain subject to the entitlement process, in most cases including a public hearing before the Planning Commission with full public input. In summary, the action before the City Council will not result in immediate change, but is an important step forward toward addressing the City's long-term employment and housing needs over the next 22 years.

    [ notes that the final enacting vote in or after fall 2018 would be made by a Council that may or may not have one, or two, or up to three new voting Councilmembers (depending on the outcome Council elections in April or possibly June 2018 in districts 3, 5 and 7.)

    In a section of its narrative it subtitles "The Inclusive Public Process," city staff's agendizing memo states:

    In response to requests for additional opportunities for public feedback on the Draft LUE/UDE, Mayor Garcia organized a series of roundtable discussion with selected individuals and neighborhood representatives from throughout the City. These meetings were hosted by the Mayor during February 2017, in coordination with the Long Beach Council of Neighborhood Organizations (CONO)... notes that the "Roundtable meetings" were explicitly described as "private" in invitations sent by the Mayor's office. also separately learned and confirmed [from multiple sources] that at least some of the individuals chosen to participate were recommended by CONO leader Robert Fox or his designees. As reported in January by, Mr. Fox declined to file paperwork to run for Mayor after meeting with Mayor Garcia hours before the filing deadline. At 6:31 p.m. on January 12, Mr. Fox sent a mass emailing stating in pertinent part:

    [Fox Jan. 12, 6:31 p.m. statement] Today with filled out paperwork in hand ready for the City Clerk I met privately with Mayor Robert Garcia for over 2 hours...In discussion with Robert today if I did not run for the Mayorshoip [sic], he would pull tmihe [sic] LUE off of the February calendar. In fact he would have a Traffic Element done on the LUE, an outside legal consultant review all aspects of the State laws from 2017 and those proposed for 2018 and how they might impact the LUE...The Mayor will annouce [sic] tonight the formation of Mayoral/ CONO sponsored Roundtable meetings in each council district so that we can actually alter the maps ourselves and create a new General Plan. Staff will not be in charge but will be present to WRITE DOWN and RECORD, all recommendations for alteration. We will have a new General Plan designed by the people...

    At 7:40 p.m., Mayor Garcia issued a statement through his Chief of Staff as follows:

    [Garcia statement] Over the last couple of days, I've had some great conversations with Robert Fox, the President of CONO and a longtime community leader. We have been discussing next steps on the Land Use Element and other important issues. We are working together to host a series of Mayoral Land Use Roundtables in the weeks ahead.

    In addition, we have been discussing ways to ensure that we focus on housing production in the Downtown, including affordable housing for seniors. We don't believe that rent control works, or is the right solution. Just look at rent controlled cities like San Francisco, the most expensive market in the country.

    I look forward to working with Mr. Fox on this and other issues in the future.

    And at 8:18 p.m., Mr. Fox sent a mass email he titled "Correction in my email to you. Please read" which stated in pertinent part:

    [Fox clarifier] Just to clarify.. My conversation with Robert Garcia was a great discussion.. I did not make him give us something for me not running. I was there to discuss our issues, and we did. I decided after we had agreed on so many things, that I had no need to run for Mayor. And just so you know. The city attorney must review the idea of a review of State Laws affecting the LUE. So there is another step involved with this issue. We are not making a new general plan.. we are adjusting the LUE which has been in the works for years. The Roundtable meetings are meant to give input, make adjustments and alterations...


    Also included in the publicly agendized materials is a March 1 memo to the Mayor and Council from Assistant City Manager Tom Modica responding top technical questions the memo says came up in Land Use Element Roundtable meetings. To view city staff's eight page memo plus its attachments, click here.



    The March 1 city staff memo also attaches a Feb. 22 memo from Assistant City Attorney Mike Mais to the Mayor and Council (previously published by at this link) which included background material related to the LUE and new CA housing laws enacted in 2017 by Sacramento lawmakers [without City of Long Beach opposition] that became effective in 2018. Mr. Mais' memo also attached a League of CA Cities brochure on the new housing laws; a City Management April 4, 2017 memo on 2016 Density Bonus laws and Accessory Dwelling Units; and a November 27, 2017 City Attorney memo summarizing SB 35 (streamlined approval for certain types of housing developments.)

    City staff's March 1 memo also attaches a "Summary of Community Engagement Activities Used For the Land Use Land Use Element Update 2004-2017."

    Text added March 3 at 5:55 a.m. re the "Inclusive Public Process" and Council option to reduce LUE forecast period.

    blog comments powered by Disqus

    Recommend to your Facebook friends:

    Follow with:




    Return To Front Page

    Contact us:

    Adoptable pet of the week:

    Carter Wood Floors
    Hardwood Floor Specialists
    Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050

    Copyright © 2018, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use/Legal policy, click here. Privacy Policy, click here