ONE WOMAN’S RESPONSE TO THE SECOND+PCH ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT—COMMENTS DUE MONDAYBy Dave Wielenga
EDITOR’S NOTE: The period for public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed multi-use (residential, retail, hotel) Second+PCH project closes today. Longtime resident and environmental activist Lisa Rinaldi has already submitted her comment, and has offered a copy to Redistricted! The DEIR can be read here and comments e-mailed to Long Beach Department of Development Services Senior Planner Jeff Winklepleck at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s what Rinaldi wrote:
Dear Mr. Winklepleck:
My comments on the DEIR for the Second+PCH project are set forth below.
(1) The proposed project violates existing SEADIP height limitations.
(2) The DEIR erroneously includes sidewalks, parking lots, building footprints and balconies among its open space measurements to calculate the 30% open space required by SEADIP. These are not “on-the-ground” areas for the purpose of calculating usable open space in accordance with SEADIP.
(3) (a) As stated in the DEIR, increased traffic cannot be mitigated. (b) The “potential improvement recommended to mitigate traffic” (at page IV.L-41, Mitigation Measure (a), L-1) is vague and bereft of detail regarding Shopkeeper Road. It describes restriping Shopkeeper Road and modifying the “signal accordingly”. Question (1): does this assume the oft-discussed extension of Shopkeeper Road? If so, there are significant environmental and coastal issues regarding such a proposal, which the DEIR has failed to address. It goes on to say, “Implementation of this improvement completely offsets the impact of the proposed project.” This is a sweeping assertion. Question (2): how is this assertion arrived at?
(5) The proposed project, with its 12-story heights, significant traffic increases (with accompanying air and noise pollution) and density will adversely affect the neighboring Los Cerritos Wetlands, as well as the fly-ways for birds.
(6) The DEIR says nothing of the Development Agreement announced at public meetings by the Director of Development Services.
(7) The DEIR says nothing of off-site improvements repeatedly and publicly touted by the applicant.
(8) The DEIR proclaims at page VI-3,E., “Precedent Setting Action” (drawing its conclusions from the “Land Use” section), that this “project would be consistent with the land use standards and would not result in any precedent-setting action.” [emphasis added] However, prefacing these conclusions, the DEIR enumerates amendments which would be required to four different plans to build its proposed project: (1) SEADIP, (2) LCP, (3) Urban Design Component and (4) General Plan. In direct opposition to the DEIR’s assertions, amending the zoning requirements of SEADIP, LCP, Urban Design Component and General Plan is precedent-setting on a grand scale.
As regards SEADIP: I am one among many citizens of this City who continuously questions why the zoning requirements of this historic plan are attacked over and over again. The tiresome history of those who would ride roughshod over SEADIP (and who have done so in the past) is reprehensible, to say the least. In the face of these repeated attacks on SEADIP, it is difficult to keep one’s cynicism in check.