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2nd + PCH: Draft EIR Says Project Needs Further Air Quality Study to Move Forward and Will Worsen Traffic

As the public and various interest groups slog through the lengthy draft, two meetings this week promise heat.

The draft EIR for the proposed 2nd + PCH development--a condo tower, hotel, theater and restaurant-shopping complex--concludes that it could be built but would require: changing a land use law to allow up to 8 more stories to be built, more study on unhealthy air quality that would exceed south Air Quality Standards levels and would worsen traffic at 25 intersections in Long Beach. these include the worst intersection in the city (2nd and PCH) and the primary turn leading to the entrance to the boarding of the 22/405 freeways (2nd and Studebaker).


The latest Environmental Impact Report (EIR), covering the proposed 12-story condo structure, hotel and retail complex named after its location--2nd + PCH--is a draft on which the public is invited to comment through April 25.

There are two meetings this week that will allow the public to hear other community members' comments as well as voice their own: tonight at 7 p.m. at the Golden Sails Best Western, hosted by the Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, featuring an environmental planner who will help people understand the document (the Land Trust, according to its website, is opposed to the proposed version of the plan). The second meeting is that of the Long Beach Planning Commission's study session on the 2nd + pch proposal. It is expected to happen toward the latter part of the Thursday meeting; it starts at 5 p.m. at Long Beach City Hall (addresses at the end).

The draft EIR--so named because it is not a final document until after it is finalized by various city and government agencies including the Long Beach City Council.

We offer some of the key findings, which largely boil down to air quality, traffic and the fact that the current Southeast Area Development Improvement Plan (SEADIP) that's been in place more than 30 years does not allow the development at the proposed heights. An attempt a few years ago to reduce restrictions on development in SEADIP, led by Council Member Gary DeLong of the Shore's 3rd District, was not successful.


The development would, if approved, have residential, hotel, restaurant, retail and entertainment uses.  It would include a complex of buildings from two to six stories tall plus a condo building up to 12 stories. The development would, if approved as presented in the draft EIR, be built on the land between PCH and Marina Drive and Second Street down to where the Seaport Marina Hotel now ends above Wild Oats.

Specifically, there would be 191,475 square feet of retail space and 325 residential units in the tallest building with rooftop structural features such as a pool and emergency helipad.  It would include a 100-room hotel with additional meeting space of 3,510 square feet, and 4,368 square feet of restaurant space, 21,092 square feet of separate, non-hotel restaurant space, a 99-seat theater, a 4,175-square-foot, marine/science learning center, with landscaping and 230 usable square feet space per dwelling of open space.  Buildings would generally range from two to six stories in height, with the one residential tower reaching no more than 12 stories

Additionally, the project would create a new roadway dubbed Marina View Lane, which would bisect the southern portion of the project site.   

The latest EIR stated that it took into account questions and concerns that the general public had expressed about the originally proposed project studied in the first draft EIR <> . The draft before the public also noted that it included new mitigators added by project proponent David Malmuth to help limit impacts to air quality, the surrounding wetlands, impacts to soil, noise pollution, and traffic.

--The second EIR states that the odor caused during construction due to the release of gases into the air will not be as severe as was found in the EIR a year ago because of mitigating factors put in place by Malmuth’s team.  Those factors would consist of all heavy use construction to be done during off peak hours thus not forcing cars not to idle longer in traffic.  Stationary vehicles are the single largest contributor to toxic air pollution.  However, the harmful toxins in the air due to construction vehicles, even during off-peak hours, while not omitting odor, will still violate California’s strict air policy guidelines, and not be improved upon, despite the developer’s mitigating efforts. The study reveals that in order to do the project without making the surrounding air a health risk, more study is needed. Further, once the project has been completed, consistent unavoidable damage to air quality will have occurred.

--Twenty-five intersections will also have more delays and additional traffic as a result of construction. During completion of the project it is estimated that an additional 150 trips could be added to major intersections during peak AM and PM hours and six intersections at completion will have a significant increase in traffic, they are:  

--PCH at 7th Street, Studebaker Road at SR-22 Westbound Ramps, Bay Shore Avenue at 2nd St., PCH at 2nd Street and Shopkeeper Road at 2nd Street.  Two intersections--at Pacific Coast Highway and 2nd Street, and Studebaker Road and 2nd St., Belmont Shore's route to the San Diego/22/605 freeways—were found to have extremely high levels of impact due to traffic during construction.  In response to the draft EIR’s findings, a Traffic Management Plan was created.  The plan would eliminate the delays and bottlenecks at the 2nd and PCH intersection by widening lanes.  However, no physical mitigation measures are feasible to help the Studebaker and 2nd Street intersection from unavoidable significant additional traffic, as stated by the EIR [ES -3].



--The project as it stands currently, still conflicts with the South East Development Improvement Plan (SEADIP), which does not allow any buildings taller than 35 feet in that area overlooking the marina. The findings in this second EIR state that concerns voiced previously over blocked scenic views and sunlight, as well as shadows the 12-story building casts over existing properties are not as significant as the original EIR found. That’s because the latest EIR states there will be more scenic viewing opportunities as a result of the additional man made structure, despite the fact that current structures may lose their view [IV-A].  Further, the large structure could also become a part of the scenic view to the surrounding area.  A change in the law would still be needed for the project to move forward any further.



--The additional water usage by the planned development also came under scrutiny in the first EIR.  The fact that the project is being built upon a previously developed area helps the Second and PCH project slide through a loophole that doesn’t require them to fit inside the same standards as a new not-previously developed area.  The project further fits inside the City’s laws concerning water, because the new project creates less than 500 new dwelling units [IV.M-3].  If the project exceeded those standards, stricter guidelines concerning water usage would have to be enforced.

--The EIR also suggested seven other options instead of the plan that is currently proposed. They are:  1) No build – Simply not to do the project. 2) Existing Zone Alternative – To complete the project within existing zone guidelines. 3) Reduced Intensity A – To do the same project but with less commercial/retail/residential by 15 – 20%. 4) Reduced Intensity B – To do the same project with less commercial/retail/residential by 33 – 35%. 5) Reduced Intensity C – To do the same project with less commercial/retail/residential by 40 –70 %. 6) Reduced intensity D – To do the project with a reduced intensity to retail space by 40%, no residential space and no theatre. 7) An environmental alternative which is said in the EIR to be the superior alternative, in which a plan would be put in place that does not have significant impact to air quality and stays within current city guidelines for light pollution, noise and use of land.


The Draft EIR was prepared for the proposed project and circulated for a 45-day public review.

Comments and concerns were received by the public during the preview period and strongly shaped the EIR released late last week.  Changes to the project such as additional lanes of traffic, were also made by the developer to help reduce or eliminate the issues concerning quality of life to those who will be impacted.

The public is invited to provide input on the draft until April 25, when PCR Services Corporation, the company responsible for the producing the EIR, will review the public’s findings prior to updating it.

The project as it currently stands, will not be able to move forward unless the zoning laws are changed.

Comments favorable and critical were clearly considered in the process, which requires comments to be made a second time on the new draft EIR. They have to be put in writing either by e-mail or by postal service to the point person below.

Craig.chalfant@longbeach.gov

Craig Chalfant

Development Services Department City of Long Beach

333 W. Ocean Blvd., 5th Floor Long Beach, CA 90802

Questions about the project can also be directed to the Long Beach Development Services at

Long Beach Development Services,

333 W. Ocean Blvd.,

4th Floor Long Beach, CA 90802 or  (562) 570-LBDS (5237), select Option 3. That office can also be reached by email at LBDS@longbeach.gov.    

 

Tonight's meeting: 7 p.m., Best Western Golden Sails hotel meeting room, 6285 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach.

Thursday's meeting: 5 p.m. Long Beach Planning Commission, City Council Chambers 333 W. Ocean Boulevard, downtown.

Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Last year, Second + PCH owner Raymond Lin replaced lead developer Cliff Ratcovich with Steve Conley, who was Councilman DeLong's election chairman in both of DeLong's campaigns.
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Some people may remember the Seaport Marina Hotel originally was was the Hyatt Edgewater Hotel. It was built in 1963. Elvis Presley stayed there in 1972 while performing concerts because it was the best hotel around. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:8hIQpzElZIkJ:www.seaportmarinahotel.com/thehotel/history.html+%22seaport+marina+hotel%22+edgewater&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 02:58 PM
The Second + PCH property is owned by Raymond Lin’s company Taki-Sun, which also owns Peter’s Landing in Huntington Beach and Northtown Mainstreet in Santa Ana (below link). The Grunion Gazette and Beachcomber keep portraying the Lin family as the POOR PROPERTY OWNERS. They are anything but that. The Lin family is extremely wealthy and I suspect only care about increasing their wealth. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:A9SOkCq1-GUJ:www.takisun.com/+TAKI-SUN+INC&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com If you don’t believe approval on this development is predestined, take a look at who Taki-Sun and Ray Lin contributed to in the past election. Ray Lin contributed the maximum to the election campaigns of Mayor Bob Foster and Councilmen Andrew and Johnson. And that’s only the money they declared for legal reasons. http://www2.longbeach.gov/efs
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:00 PM
In 2008, Councilman DeLong was quoted in the Press Telegram (below link) saying support by the community was “a component that’s vital to the project.” It appears that has changed now that Steve Conley, DeLongs election campaign manager, is the the lead developer for Second + PCH. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Lwxuw59F7GcJ:www.allbusiness.com/environment-natural-resources/ecology/15355642-1.html+%22seaport+marina+hotel%22+%22long+beach%22+taki-sun&cd=64&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:00 PM
It has been reported Raymond and Amy Lin, the owners of Taki-Sun and Seaport Marina Hotel, have spent over $4 million trying to get variances from zoning codes to turn their eyesore into a monolith. Imagine how nice the Seaport Marina Hotel could have looked if they had instead used that $4 million to beautify the property. The Lins knew what the zoning codes were prior to purchasing the property. However, it was people like Malmuth and Conley who convinced the Lins they had the stroke to get the zoning codes changed so they could ALL make a boatload of money.
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Most people don’t realize the CITY OF LONG BEACH owns all of the Alamitos Bay Landing and Marina waterfront properties just across the street from Seaport Marina Hotel where you can find Schooner or Later, Seal Beach Yacht Club, Crab Pot, Joe’s Crab Shack, Farmers Market, McKenna’s on the Bay, Khoury’s Restaurant, Buster’s Beach House. Guess who has had an exclusive, no-bid contract with the Cityof Long Beach for 29 years to manage ALL of those Alamitos Bay properties. That person is Steve Conley, who is the owner of BANCAP investment group and also the lead developer for Second + PCH (below link). http://www.bancap.biz/PRINCIPALS.htm Conley and his family have become hugely wealthy while exclusively managing these city owned properties as evidenced by the number of companies Conley owns and operates (below link). http://www.corporationwiki.com/graphs/roamer.aspx?id=40768890 What resident taxpayers should be asking is WHY IS CONLEY GRANTED A NO-BID EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH THE CITY? Why has City Auditor Laura Doud not looked into why the city does not periodically put this land management contract up for bid?
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Here’s the shame about this folks. This monolith project will probably get approved. Councilman DeLong and Mayor Foster OWN the Planning Commission who will quickly approve the monlith while acting contrite. Due to his close personal relationship with the developers, DeLong will be asked to recuse himself from voting on this project EIR. Even if he does so (fat chance), Foster and DeLong have the votes necessary to push the monolith through City Council. Councilmembers Andrews, Garcia, Johnson, Lowenthal and O’Donnell can be counted on to do exactly what Foster TELLS them to do, which will be to approve the monolith project EIR with no questions asked (just like they approved the wetlands swap). The next stop on the approval process and only chance for stopping the monolith will be the Coastal Commission, which has been severely hampered by California budget cuts and could possibly be abolished. By the time this project gets its approvals and is constructed, DeLong will be back in PV where he came from, Foster will be back in Sacramento where he came from, developer Malmuth will be back in San Diego where he came from and Long Beach taxpayers will be left with another eyesore rescue project to recover from. All the big boys make out like the bandits they are and head for greener pastures. Us taxpaying residents are left to eat dirt
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Besides being the lead developer for the 2nd & PCH development, Steve Conley coincidentally was Councilman DeLong’s election campaign chairman for both of his city council elections (see below links). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2XkDg2aQxK0J:www.lbreport.com/news/nov05/dlongfd.htm+%22gary+delong%22+conley&cd=6&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com http://thedavestar.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/tonia-reyes-uranga-objects-but-council-bails-out-bancap-and-seal-beach-yacht-club/
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Councilman DeLong recently sent out email invitations to a meeting on the Second + PCH project he claimed to be a neighborhood association meeting. Below is the private email invitation Councilman DeLong’s assistant Julie Maleki sent to select residents in District 3 on March 3rd. Opponents to the 12-story 2nd & PCH did not receive this email. This is DeLong’s version of open and transparent communications with the public he is supposed to represent. Same old story. From: Julie Maleki To: Sent: 3/4/2011 1:54:59 PM Subject: 3rd District Neighborhood Association Meeting – March Hello, The next 3rd District Neighborhood Association meeting will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2011 at McKenna’s on the Bay (190 North Marina Drive) at 11:45 AM. I will be taking reservations for lunch (please choose from one of the following menu options: Grilled Chicken Sandwich with French Fries and Fresh Fruit or a BBQ Chicken Salad) at a cost of $15, call or e-mail your response before Tuesday, March, 22, 2011. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, March 24, 2011. We hope you will be available to join us. The developers of the 2nd+PCH project will be our guest speakers. Thank you, Julie Maleki Office of Councilmember Gary DeLong (562) 570-8756
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Councilman DeLong allowed the Previous 2nd & PCH developers to present their project during the 3rd District Neighborhood Association meeting on May 21, 2009. This meeting was conducted at La Strada restaurant in Belmont Shore (another small venue). During the meeting, Art Levine (of Straight Talk fame) asked Councilman DeLong to poll the meeting attendees with a show of hands for those in support of building a 12-story buildings at the corner of 2nd street and PCH. Councilman DeLong refused to do so, claiming “we are too early in the process to make an educated decision.” To which Mr. Levine responded, “sure, everyone knows what a 12-story building looks like. I think you should ask if everyone wants that.” Art asked for a show of hands opposed to the 12-story building. Most people in the meeting raised their hands. Councilman DeLong chose to ignore Art’s comments and the hands raised and quickly changed the subject. What was he afraid of?
LBDirtbag April 05, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Dont build that monstrosity. The trade off of traffic, noise, pollution is not worth the impact to the quality of life for the surrounding residents. Build what it was coded for, pure and simple.
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:12 PM
In 2007, Councilman DeLong invited Chip Conley (Steve Conley’s son) to be on DeLong’s secret SEADIP committee to rezone the wetlands area to allow increased development. This is the same secret SEADIP committee whose every recommendation was shut down by the entire city council (except for DeLong) and referred back to city staff to re-conduct in a manner open to the public
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Attached is a link to a Naples Attorney’s comments on the proposed 2nd & PCH traffic impacts you may find interesting. http://www.gazettes.com/opinion/spit_&_argue_club/article_9fc64780-4d6e-5bb5-bf2b-5c59fdfbc57c.html
Mike Ruehle April 05, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Maybe some day the east side of LB can be just like Hong Kong. http://popupcity.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Hong-Kong-Outside.jpg This is a visually effective comment I copied from someone.
Nancy Wride (Editor) April 05, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Mike, I happen to find it interesting how busy that hotel is, despite what people may think of the appearance, whether it is intentionally being unmaintained to help the bid to replace it, etc. To me, that speaks to the need people have for more moderate hotel prices, and I think that has long been under $75 a night. I have long heard but not seen accurate data on vacancies being substantial at the various condo buildings downtown. Anyone have info on that?
Mike Ruehle April 06, 2011 at 12:40 AM
You can hear Mayor Foster and Councilman DeLong talk every City Council meeting about how essential city services need to be cut because of the budget. Yet, less than a year ago, DeLong sponsored a city council motion to pay Second + PCH developer Steve Conley an extra $46,000 per year of taxpayers money to manage the city owned Alamitos Bay Landing and Marina. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:PPsEYtz2QA0J:www.lbpost.com/ryan/9394+%22steve+conley%22+%22yacht%22&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com Considering Conley was DeLong’s campaign election chairman, wasn’t it a conflict of interest for DeLong to sponsor the motion and then vote for its approval? Shouldn’t DeLong have recused himself from voting on this issue? It’s clear DeLong takes care of people he calls his close friends and family like he did for developer Tom Dean. Its unfortunate DeLong does so with taxpayer’s money. Is there any doubt DeLong will attempt to further enrich Steve Conley and his developer friends by pushing through the Second + PCH monolith?
Richard Ogilby April 06, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Obscene greed strikes again. PCH and 2nd street is the lawless intersection.Run the the red left turn any direction at will,No worry No Cops EVER! That will be beautiful ;6 story buildings creating the Canyon of idling cars. I liked when the Artsy members of the Council described the architecture as having "POP".The drawings of the buildings looked like the car dealerships that used to grace Long Beach Blvd. before the Watts riots.They misspelled "POP".
Panglonymous April 08, 2011 at 03:11 AM
The Truth About 12 Story Buildings - This slide show examines the way the 2nd+PCH marketing drawings manipulate their perspective points and sense of scale to minimize the visual impact of a 12 story building. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWuttHNIfqM A first rate analysis by Jeanine, commentor on Kerrie Aley's post at LBReport: 2nd+PCH -- Fool the Eye to Fool the Brain? http://www.lbreport.com/11ops/aley/2ndpchop.htm
Nancy Wride (Editor) April 08, 2011 at 03:25 AM
I have not looked at LBReport.com today so missed this. I appreciate the literal perspective added to this discourse, so thank you whomever you are Pan. I am on a project breaking tonight so have reporter Nancy Woo at the planning commission meeting.
Elizabeth Borsting April 08, 2011 at 04:34 AM
It seems like most people I speak with (and those on this thread) are in favor of redeveloping the corner of PCH and 2nd Street where the old Seaport Marina Hotel currently stand, but only adhering to the current building codes (no variances). So why the need to rehash it at every city council meeting and planning meeting? Why not just listen to what the citizens of Long Beach want (especially those on the east side) and build a hotel and mixed-use space that adheres to the current zoning laws and building codes? It's that simple - really.
x April 08, 2011 at 01:47 PM
@Nancy, I do not know if it is true, but I have heard that the Seaport's occupancy is "up" because it hosts homeless people. Apparently during the winter, the city gives homeless people vouchers they can use to stay at inexpensive hotels.
Nancy Wride (Editor) April 08, 2011 at 01:56 PM
You'd think they'd paint it a cool color or play up a retro look to rent it out for movie shoots. Homeless people, there is always a new wrinkle to this project, isn't there? Thanks Jeanine.
Panglonymous April 08, 2011 at 07:32 PM
Cynically, if true, one could see that as soliciting "human blight" to amplify that of the property. And guaranteed occupancy is a nice business bump. The nearest homeless support services are on the other side of town, though, I think. Would it be practical or likely for the homeless to hump all the way across town to an area where they are generally not welcome? Easy enough to check out, I guess.
Panglonymous April 10, 2011 at 02:43 PM
How'd that meeting turn out? Can't find any coverage of it anywhere except for a lone comment by Gary ("Disgusting!") at the bottom of this GreaterLongBeach thread: http://greaterlongbeach.com/01/04/2011/blight-makes-right-in-long-beach
Kosal Da November 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM
This is some great information. Air quality is so important because it effects our health greatly. In your opinion, how does HVAC service relate to our health, or does it? http://www.cencal.us

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