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    News in Depth

    Details Of Proposed Airport Terminal Facilities Expansion & Impacts City Hall Proposes to Evaluate In EIR

    (Sept. 22, 2003) -- LB City Hall has issued a "Notice of Preparation" detailing its proposed LB Airport terminal facilities expansion plan, and listing the impacts it proposes to include, and not include, in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) it must prepare to pursue the project. posts the Notice of Preparation verbatim on a link below along with salient portions below.

    The Notice of Preparation for what City Hall calls the "Airport Terminal Improvement Project" begins the process in which members of the public can be heard on what significant impacts they want City Hall to evaluate in its EIR. Those impacts become the basis of an EIR on which the public can comment and the Council must vote before the project proceeds.

    If a court later decides City Hall failed to examine adequately and respond properly to significant impacts of the permanent Airport facilities expansion, a court can require City Hall to properly address the impacts and in some cases effectively mitigate them before proceeding.

    The Notice of Preparation indicates the current schedule anticipates a draft EIR available for public review in late June 2004, followed by a 45-day public review period, then hearings on the project in January 2005 with the City Council taking action on the project shortly thereafter.

    The document says that based on its Initial Study, City Hall has specifically identified the following specific topics as requiring detailed EIR analysis: Aesthetics, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Land Use and Planning, Noise, Public Services and Transportation

    It says the proposed project would not result in "any potentially significant effects with the following areas, and they do not require further analysis in the EIR": Agriculture, Mineral Resources, Hydrology and Water Quality, Population and Housing, Recreation, Utilities and Service Systems

    We provide excerpts of some noteworthy portions of the Notice of Preparation below:

    Description of the Proposed Project

    Physical Improvements

    The proposed project provides improvements to the existing terminal facilities consistent with the noise budget and flight stipulations set forth in the 1995 Settlement Agreement. In order to provide the decision makers and the public with information useful in considering the policy and environmental ramifications of a possible terminal improvement project, the City intends to prepare a project level EIR to analyze the project. The proposed project includes construction/alteration to the five areas listed and described below:

  • South Holdroom, Security Screening Areas, Concession Area/Restrooms and Baggage Claim Area

    • Parking Structures and Parking Lots

    • North Holdroom, Security Screening Area, Concession Area/Restrooms and Baggage Claim Area

    • Traffic and Pedestrian Circulation

    • Air Carrier Ramp Parking

    The anticipated improvements are described below in more detail; however, during final design, the precise size and configuration of the proposed improvements may vary to ensure compliance with the applicable fire and building codes and with refinement of planning data. The terminal improvements are being designed to accommodate the 41 airline flights and 25 commuter flights, passengers associated with those flights, and security requirements imposed by TSA. This flight level is anticipated to result in approximately 3.8 million annual passengers (MAP) being served at LGB.

    Holdroom, Security Screening Area and Baggage Claim Area Improvements

    The improvements to the holdroom, security screening, and baggage claim areas listed below are proposed to accommodate the number of passengers resulting from the minimum number of flights allowed by the City’s noise ordinance.

    a) The temporary holdrooms would be replaced with a permanent structure or structures totaling approximately 20,000 square feet. This square footage would include required restrooms, seating areas, boarding check in areas, and required aisles needed for general circulation. If it is determined that the new square footage needs to be spilt in to two structures, it is anticipated that approximately 12,000 square feet would be constructed on the southside of the terminal area and 8,000 square feet would be added to the north.

    b) The existing security screening of both passengers and baggage would be designed to meet the requirements of the TSA for serving the passengers resulting from the minimum number of flights allowed by the noise ordinance.

    The additional area required is estimated to be approximately 6,000 square feet. If the new holdroom square footage is spilt into two structures, this additionally required square footage for passenger security screening would also be spilt into two areas, with approximately 4,000 square feet added to the south and 2,000 square feet added to the north.

    The additional area required for the security screening of baggage is estimated to be between 7,000 and 10,000 square feet. The TSA has requested a structure to house their new explosive detection equipment, which will include an in-line baggage conveyor. An exact location for this structure has not been identified, but it would need to be located between the terminal building and the aircraft parking positions.

    c) Expanded concession areas are proposed as an adjunct to the new holdroom areas and in the baggage claim area/public circulation areas to serve the anticipated number of passengers. The concessions would be located potentially both north and south of the Terminal and would be approximately 3,000 and 5,000 square feet, respectively.

    d) The proposed baggage claim area to the south of the terminal would be improved to include new bag carousels, necessary public circulation area, a baggage service office with a public counter and baggage storage area, restrooms, and a multi-purpose room designed for media use, security debriefings, etc. It is estimated that three new baggage carousels would be required, each with 210 linear feet for a total of 630 linear feet, providing a total of approximately 380 linear feet on the passenger bag retrieval side of the carousel and 230 linear feet on the airline loading side. The new building square footages for the baggage service office, restrooms, and multi-purpose rooms are estimated to be 825 square feet, 850 square feet, and 300 square feet, respectively.

    Office Space for Security, Airport and Airline Support Staff

    Office space, to serve the needs of the TSA, the airlines and airport, would be provided. It is currently proposed to construct second stories on the new holdroom areas, which would provide approximately 20,000 square feet of office space. Request for space from the TSA, airlines, and airport administration and security are 30,000, 10,000, and 10,000 square feet, respectively.

    These numbers will be reviewed and refined during the EIR process.

    Parking Structures and Parking Lots

    Improvements to the parking structure would include the construction of a new parking structure that would also result in onsite roadway modifications and architectural modifications to the existing parking structure. These modifications would include the following components:

    a) A new parking structure designed for an estimated 4,000 spaces would be constructed east of the existing parking structure in the area currently used for surface parking. The precise number of parking spaces would be refined during the design of the structure. The structure’s location would require the relocation of the east side of the Donald Douglas Drive loop. With the construction of the parking structure, the airport parking spaces currently leased from Boeing and at Veteran’s Stadium would no longer be needed for airport use. Approximately 1,000 parking spaces would be impacted during the construction of the parking structure.

    b) Proposed modifications to the existing parking structure would include a new façade to match the new parking structure and complement the architecture of the Terminal Building. The façades of the Terminal Building and parking structures would provide a unified appearance and enhance the aesthetics of the terminal area. Other improvements include replacement of the existing elevator, modifications to the entrances and exits, and, constructed in and/or adjacent to the parking structure, offices for the parking management company and offices and public counters for the car rental agencies along with vehicle preparation and ready return vehicle parking areas.

    c) Proposed modifications to surface lots would include modified access points, refencing, restriping, signage, etc. Traffic and Pedestrian Circulation Improvements Proposed improvements would include the extension of the south side of the Donald Douglas Drive loop to exit onto Lakewood Boulevard and the addition and/or modifications of signage, lighting and pavement markings to aid in the safe movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic through the parking structures, lots and Terminal area. Also proposed are additional and/or modified walkways, some of which would be covered canopies, both on the public side of the terminal building, connecting the parking lots to the terminal, and on the airfield side, connecting the holdrooms to the aircraft parking positions.

    Air Carrier Ramp Parking

    This proposed improvement would consist of the increase in the area of the air carrier ramp,which is needed for the parking of commercial and commuter aircraft resulting from the minimum number of flights allowed by the City’s noise ordinance. The proposed improvements would accommodate an additional six aircraft.

    This increase would result in the take-back of property currently leased to Million Air and Gulfstream and the displacement of some general aviation parking on the Million Air leasehold and/or aircraft manufacturing facilities on the Gulfstream leasehold. Parking for the displaced aircraft would be provided elsewhere at the airport.



    III. Air Quality -- Would the project:

    a) Conflict with or obstruct implementation of the applicable air quality plan
    b) Violate any air quality standard or contribute substantially to an existing or projected air quality violation?
    c) Result in a cumulatively considerable net increase of any criteria pollutant for which the project region is in non-attainment under an applicable federal or state ambient air quality standard (including releasing emissions, which exceed quantitative thresholds for ozone precursors)?
    d) Expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations?

    The proposed project would result in the construction of terminal area improvements. These activities may result in emissions that exceed the standards established by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. To fully address the potential impacts, the EIR will:

  • Determine existing ambient air quality in the vicinity of the Airport
  • Quantify existing emissions at the Airport
  • Predict future emissions and ambient air quality concentrations with the project and its alternatives, and the associated air quality impacts regionally and in the vicinity of the Airport
  • Determine consistency of the project with applicable air quality plans and policies
  • Propose mitigation measures to reduce the potential impacts associated with the project, if necessary...


    VII. Hazards and Hazardous Materials -- Would the project:

    a) Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials?

    The project would not result in a significant hazard from the transport of hazardous materials. The project does not propose the alteration of airport practices regarding the handling of hazardous materials, fueling, or other maintenance or operational procedures. The project would not require the routine transport of any hazardous materials. During construction materials identified as having a hazardous component, such as paints and other construction materials, would be brought to the site; however, handling of these materials in compliance with existing regulations would provide a sufficient safeguard to public safety. No further discussion of this issue will be contained in the EIR.

    b) Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the release of hazardous materials into the environment?
    d) Be located on a site which is included on a list of hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section 65962.5 and, as a result, would it create a significant hazard to the public or the environment?

    Hazardous materials have been located and used on the project site and surrounding uses. The EIR will review and summarize the findings of a hazardous materials government records search identifying location of past spills, leaking tanks, or other potential safety risks. The records search is a radius search of governmental records for Phase I preliminary site assessments. Maps and site-specific detail information identify risk sites by their distance from the project site will be incorporated. Available information on methane gas and subsoil materials will be incorporated into the EIR.

    c) Emit hazardous emissions or handle hazardous or acutely hazardous materials, substances, or waste within one-quarter-mile of an existing or proposed school?

    The project site is not within a quarter-mile of any existing or proposed schools. This issue will not be further discussed in the EIR.

    e) For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project result in a safety hazard for people residing or working in a project area?

    The project is located at an airport. The project is consistent with the provisions of the airport land use plan, in that it is providing facilities to support the ongoing airport operations. The project does not propose any changes in the number of flights, the flight patterns or the operational procedures at the airport that would result in increased safety hazards offsite. The EIR will not address these safety issues.


    g) Impair implementation of or physically interfere with an adopted emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan?

    The project would not alter or interfere with an adopted emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan. Improvements would be limited to on-airport property and would not alter the access. Access to the project site is off of Lakewood Avenue, which is not designated as an evacuation route. No further discussion of emergency evacuation or response plans will be in the EIR...


    ...XI. Noise -- Would the project result in:

    a) Exposure of persons to or generation of noise levels in excess of standards established in the local general plan or noise ordinance, or applicable standards of other agencies?
    c) A substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity above levels existing without the project?
    d) A substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity above levels existing without the project?
    e) For a project located within an airport land use plan or, where such a plan has not been adopted, within two miles of a public airport or public use airport, would the project expose people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?

    The proposed project would not be expected to have a significant impact on the noise environment because it does not propose changes in the number of flights, the type of aircraft used, or the operational procedures at the airport. However, EIR will document the existing noise environment and the future noise environment with and without the project. This analysis will use noise data collected at the LGB noise monitoring stations to establish existing cumulative CNEL noise levels and representative single event noise levels. The evaluation will also utilize the maximum CNEL contours permitted by current City regulations. The EIR will explain the noise budget that operates at LGB. The EIR will also address short-term construction noise associated with the proposed improvements. The LGB noise budget serves as a mitigation measure.

    b) Exposure of persons to or generation of excessive groundborne vibration or groundborne noise levels?
    f) For a project within the vicinity of a private airstrip, would the project expose people residing or working in the project area to excessive noise levels?

    The project does not propose changes to the operations at LGB; therefore, it would not result in excessive groundborne vibration during operation. However, there is the potential for construction noise and vibration. The project is not in the vicinity of a private airstrip. As indicated above, the EIR will address the noise environment surrounding the airport facility.


    XII. Population and Housing -- Would the project:

    a) Induce substantial population growth in an area, either directly (for example, by proposing new homes and businesses) or indirectly (for example, through the extension of roads or other infrastructure)?
    b) Displace substantial numbers of existing housing, necessitating the construction of replacement housing elsewhere?
    c) Displace substantial numbers of people, necessitating the construction of replacement housing elsewhere?

    The Project would not result in substantial growth inducing impacts or result in changes in population projections for the project study area. The improvements proposed at LGB are designed to serve the approved flight levels at the airport. It would not result in increased flight levels or employment levels that would result in an increased demand for housing in the area. Improvements would occur on airport property so there would not be any displacement of existing housing to permit the terminal area improvements. Therefore, there would be no need for construction of replacement housing. Additionally, the project would not change the noise budget for LGB resulting in potential displacement of housing to achieve noise/land use compatibility. No further discussion of population or housing is proposed in the SEIR.

    XIII. Public Services

    Would the project result in substantial adverse physical impacts associated with the provision of new or physically altered government facilities, need for new or physically altered government facilities, the construction of which could cause significant environmental impacts, in order to maintain acceptable service ratios, response times, or other performance objectives for any of the public services:
    Fire protection?
    Police protection?
    Other public facilities?

    The project would not be expected to substantially increase the demand for fire and police services. However, this issue will be addressed in the EIR. The EIR will document the anticipated change in emergency response times and need for additional services as a result of the proposed terminal improvements.

    The project would result in additional maintenance responsibilities for the airport because of the increased size of the facilities; however, this would not be expected to be a significant increase and the additional cost associated with maintenance would be covered through the use of airport fees. City General Funds would not be used to provide maintenance of airport facilities. No further discussion of increased maintenance demand will be addressed in the EIR.


    The proposed terminal improvements would not result in an increase in demand for schools and parks. The project would not result in an increase in population or other characteristics that would increase the demand for these facilities. Since the project would not change the number of flights, the type of aircraft, or the operational procedures at the airport, there would not be any increase in noise from the airport and the associated indirect impact to parks and schools.

    XIV. Recreation

    a) Would the project increase the use of existing neighborhood and regional parks or other recreational facilities such that substantial physical deterioration of the facility would occur or be accelerated?
    b) Does the project include recreational facilities or require the construction or expansion of recreational facilities which might have an adverse physical effect on the environment?

    The project would not generate any increase in population or provide development that would result in increased usage of existing neighborhood and regional parks. There would not be any physical deterioration to existing recreation facilities due to the project. This issue will not be discussed in the EIR.

    XV. Transportation/Traffic -- Would the project:

    a) Cause an increase in traffic which is substantial in relation to the existing traffic load and capacity of the street system (i.e., result in a substantial increase in either the number of vehicle trips, the volume to capacity ratio on roads, or congestion at intersections)?
    b) Exceed, either individually or cumulatively, a level of service standard established by the county congestion management agency for designated roads or highways?
    c) Result in a change in air traffic patterns, including either an increase in traffic levels or change in location that results in substantial safety risks?
    d) Substantially increase hazards due to a design feature (e.g., sharp curves or dangerous intersections) or incompatible uses (e.g., farm equipment)?
    e) Result in inadequate emergency access?
    f) Result in inadequate parking capacity?
    g) Conflict with adopted policies, plans, or programs supporting alternative transportation (e.g., bus turnouts, bicycle racks)?

    The EIR will address the potential traffic impacts associated with the project. The evaluation will compare existing and future conditions with and without the terminal improvements. The analysis will include peak hour trip distribution patterns of the proposed airport terminal improvements project based on likely origins and destinations of passengers and employees. The evaluation will also include a freeway link analysis. Additionally, the future conditions evaluation will take into consideration traffic generated by other proposed projects in the study area.

    The EIR will include an evaluation of parking requirements and how the project and alternatives address them. Zoning will be the basis for determining the applicable parking requirements...


    Mandatory Findings of Significance

    a) Does the project have the potential to degrade the quality of the environment, substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species, cause a fish or wildlife population to drop below self-sustaining levels, threaten to eliminate a plant or animal community, reduce the number or restrict the range of rare or endangered plants or animals, or eliminate important examples of the major periods of California history or prehistory?
    b) Does the project have impacts that are individually limited, but cumulatively considerable? ("Cumulatively considerable" means that the incremental effects of a project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects)?
    c) Does the project have environmental effects which will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly?

    The project has the potential of having significant effects directly and indirectly on human beings. It is anticipated that there would be significant construction air quality impacts. The EIR will evaluate the potential cumulative impacts associated with other projects in the study area.

  • has posted the Notice of Preparation in its entirely iu pdf format at: . City Hall has also posted the document on its web site,, in the Planning & Building Dept section.

    Public comment invited

    City Hall will receive comments, testimony and materials in response to its Notice of Preparation as follows:

  • At public scoping meetings at the LB Energy Dept. Auditorium (2400 E. Spring St.) on Sat. Oct 11, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Thurs. Oct. 16 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

  • Via email (500 words max, no attachments) to accepted only through the close of business Oct. 23.

  • In writing for lengthier materials with attachments (to address in Notice of Preparation) through close of business Oct. 22.

    LBHUSH2 Urges Public To Be Heard

    Coinciding with the start of this process, LBHUSH, the independent grassroots watchdog group monitoring LB Airport and City Hall's actions related to it, has made available dayglow orange lawn signs stating "Say NO to Airport Expansion."

    As previously reported by, we have spotted the signs in Cal. Heights and Bixby Knolls...and LBHUSH2 president and 8th district homeowner Rae Gabelich said her group is offering the signs to LB homeowners throughout the city free of charge. She said the signs are meant to "raise the consciousness of the community and remind the public that in the coming weeks they have the chance to put their concerns on the record" and noted the process isn't just "more meetings" but a legal requirement that City Hall must satisfy.

    Ms. Gabelich said the review process is a rare opportunity for the public to be heard and must not be missed.

    [To view's separate coverage of City Hall's project and its review process, click here.]

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