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    Colonna & Kell Ask City Att'y To Review Process For Annexation of L.A. County "Island" in ELB Area

    (Sept. 7, 2003) -- Following a Sept 2 appearance by members of the Carson Park Community Group at the LB City Council and an ensuring colloquy with Vice Mayor Frank Colonna and Councilwoman Jackie Kell, Colonna and Kell have agendized an item for the Sept. 9 Council meeting asking the City Attorney to "review the process of annexation for the designated Los Angeles County unincorporated area," an "island" bounded generally by Parkcrest St., Palo Verde Ave, Conant St and Woodruff Ave.

    We post the text of the Colonna-Kell joint memorandum below.

    The move comes after Carson Park Community Group director Angela Kimball used the period for non-agendized public comment to reiterate her group's concerns over a townhome development proposed by Anastasi Development Corp. (roughly 3780-3800 Woodruff Ave. on a 3.79 acre L-shaped parcel surrounding an existing medical building) which is within the unincorporated County island.

    "We are asking you to take action, keep talking to [County] Supervisor Don Knabe...and focusing your efforts to see that this project is scaled back as we have." Ms. Kimball told the Council.

    MaryJo Ludka, a block captain coordinator for the group, told the Council, "I think what we want this Council to do is to help us have a larger voice...[W]hen we got the message that builder [developer] was only [proposing to reduce the] project down by seven units [to roughly 81 dwelling units], we are way far away from finding any middle ground that we would be proud to have in our neighborhood. Please continue to strengthen your communications with Mr. Knabe....You do have a voice and he does listen, and we need you to speak for us."

    L.A. County has legal control over the island. The County's Planning Commission approved a plan by the developer for 88 dwelling units despite written opposition from LB's Dept. of Planning and Building which urged reducing the development to more closely approach density in the surrounding ELB residential area of single family homes.

    Ms. Kimball's appearance prompted Councilwoman Kell to opine, "A developer bought those medical buildings on Arbor and he put up eight, only eight, single family homes and they were sold before they were even put up...So it's possible, and I'm sure that developer made a profit, so I think we need to point this out to this [Woodruff Ave. developer] Anastasi."

    During colloquy with staff, Vice Mayor Colonna raised the annexation issue which prompted a quick colloquy with City Attorney Bob Shannon:

    Vice Mayor Colonna: Several years ago, the Los Cerritos area there, the wetlands area, was unincorporated and we brough that in, cooperating with the County of Los Angeles and annexed that as part of the city of Long Beach, and I'm just wondering if there is any opportunity if we wanted to look at what the potential would be seeing if the County might be interested in a cooperative effort so that we could avoid something like this, if not now, if the potential is there in the future...I don't know where this would lead with this particular project, but I know that the 200 some odd acres that were the Los Cerritos wetlands we annexed...just about four years ago.

    City Attorney Shannon: ...The process is rather complicated and really has a possibility of success only if both the governing bodies wish to have it take place, in other words, if both the County and the City of Long Beach wanted [the city] to annex that strip. Then it would it be do-able. You will still have to follow a number of different procedural rules. I don't know that this would help this particular situation however. That's the basic problem.

    Councilwoman Kell: There was a vote taken in the '60s I believe, asking the County residents there if they wanted to come into the city, and that vote was no, and we've not taken a vote since then. But maybe we ought to start this process before the other acreage is going to be developed...

    Below is the text of the Colonna-Kell agendizing memorandum for the Sept. 9 Council item:

    [begin text]

    Date: September 9,2003
    To: Mayor O’Neill and City Councilmembers
    Frank Colonna Vice Mayor, Third District Council
    Jackie Kell, Fifth District Council From:

    Subject: Annexation of Unincorporated Area

    We respectfully request that City Attorney Bob Shannon review the process of annexation for the designated Los Angeles County unincorporated area within the City of Long Beach. The Los Angeles County unincorporated area within the City is bound by Parkcrest Street to the North, Palo Verde Avenue to the East, Conant Street to the South and Woodruff Avenue to the West.

    [A map is also attached]

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