There are two proposed Long Beach projects that you may be interested in casting your opinion on during this next month.
The first is this coming Thursday, October 15th at 5:00 p.m. in the council chambers located at 333 Ocean Blvd. The Planning Commission will be hearing the request to build a new 131 single family home community where the Will J. Reid Boy Scout park was located.
New single family housing for our city sounds good, until you examine the details provided. The city has created a new zoning for this project. It will allow these homes to be built on a 10 acre plot of land. Each lot size is 2400 square feet with the homes being 2 or 3 stories. How large is your home? Compare the average 2000 sq.ft home and now imagine building a home within these boundaries, with a garage and a yard. Tight quarters for sure! So my question remains, will this result in another lesson learned like the "cracker box" buildings that were allowed in the 80's? Those projects scattered throughout the city, proved to be a disaster for the communities and a drain on public resources as they turned to decayed properties laden with crime.
To approve this project the zoning must be changed from Open Space (park land) to RP-13 that will allow 13 homes per acre. Why would the city allow such density in an already challenged area of our city? Why would the city give up valuable park land that this area of Long Beach could benefit from?
The Boy Scouts abandoned this camp years ago for what they claimed was a financial decision to reinvest in other Boy Scout properties and programs. They had that right, but we were firm that the zoning changes would not be allowed. Today, that change is on the table for approval.
The agreement includes that the builder, Integral Communities, will complete the Oregon Park soccer fields located at Oregon and Del Amo Blvd. This property was purchased by RDA around 2008-9 with the intent to provide the community with another recreational source that would include 2-3 soccer fields and a small playground area. Instead, the allocated funding was then used to complete building of the new eastside police sub-station.
Two concerns here are:
1. Is it wise to hand over 10 acres of much needed open space land that could be incorporated into the Dominguez Gap wetlands area? The answer will be there is no money to acquire the property. One day, there will be.
2. If approval is given and the soccer fields are built by Integral Communities what will the composition of the artificial turf be? There is much controversy over some of the materials being used even though the EPA has not taken a defensive stand. Visit SynTurf.org to gather more information on this subject.
Then take the time to write your council office with a cc to all district offices and the office of the mayor. Come down on October 15th and support a neighborhood community!
Item #2 can be viewed through the Hot Topics site. More to come on that next time.