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Long Beach To Get Nearly $930,000 Grant For SEADIP Update

State Strategic Growth Council To Vote On Approving Grant May 10

By Sean Belk - Staff Writer

May 8th - The City of Long Beach is slated to receive a grant from the State Department of Conservation, Strategic Growth Council, moving forward funds to update a decades-old coastal development ordinance. The city anticipates receiving a sustainable communities planning grant worth nearly $930,000 to fund amendments to the city’s Local Coastal Program and the Southeast Area Development and Improvement Plan (SEADIP).

Adopted in 1977, SEADIP is an ordinance governing development at the southeast coastal gateway into Long Beach. In recent years, the community has been widely divided on the plan and restrictions have limited proposals to develop the SeaPort Marina Hotel site at 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

For several years, proposals have failed to receive approval, including the latest $320 million “second+pch” project, which was turned down by the city council late last year after four years of planning mainly due to traffic and building height concerns. As a compromise, the city is seeking to update SEADIP first before approving any project.

The process involves coming up with a “vision” for new development, wetlands delineation and habitat assessment. The amendments, agreed upon through community meetings with various stakeholders would have to be reviewed for environmental impacts, which would then be approved by the planning commission, city council and the California Coastal Commission.

City staff has said the entire SEADIP update process would cost about $1 million and could take anywhere from two to three years to complete. In favor of the update proposal, representatives from Newport Beach-based developer Lyon Communities offered to front the city the money to speed up the process, but negotiations have yet to be agreed upon between the developer and city officials, and the grant may negate any offer from Lyon.

A city announcement released on May 4 stated that the award should assist the city in completing the SEADIP update. The statement said the city anticipates the strategic growth council will approve the award on May 10.

“Community involvement will drive the SEADIP update,” said Councilmember Gary DeLong in the statement. “This is an opportunity to set the foundation for future economic development by identifying community benefits and locations for infill development, strategies to preserve wetlands resources, and ways to reduce vehicles miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.”

In addition, the city is expected to receive a $170,000 grant for the Willmore Courts and Ways Demonstration Project for transforming alleyways in the historic district into “intimately scaled pedestrian walkways,” incorporating storm water management features, native plants and sustainable enhancements.