Land Use Element

David P. Denevan

Parts of the proposed Land Use Element (LUE) reveal a lack of research and common sense on the part of Long Beach city planners. There is an insensitivity to some established land uses that work and need to be protected.

The proposed LUE misidentifies Bethany Lutheran Church and school, on the southeast corner of Arbor Road and Clark Avenue as a public park or open space.

The proposed LUE fails to show Donald Douglas Plaza, a vest-pocket public park, at the southwest corner of Carson Street and Lakewood Boulevard, thus diminishing the park's status as a public place. Apparently, through the LUE, city planners want to keep this space available for future non-park uses. They ignore the fact that the parks and recreation commission in October 2006 unanimously approved the plan for this oasis that honors aviation pioneer Douglas. There are statues, plaques, benches, a bike rack, big trees and City of Long Beach signage. City staff's disconnect with this reality makes me think our community development department is dysfunctional.

If the LBCC Board of Trustees ever wants to replace LBCC parking lots, north of Carson Street with 60-foot-high parking structures, the proposed LUE would support that. This would be to the detriment of those living in single-family homes facing the campus.

In Lakewood Village, where we own a home, the proposed LUE would allow new three-story apartment houses; that would eventually eliminate backyard privacy for at least some homes on Pepperwood, Montair and Greenmeadow. Unacceptable!

In North Long Beach, through the proposed LUE, city staff and the planning commissioners say it's okay to build new four-story apartment houses behind single-family homes on Via Barola, a street where I co-own a house. Unacceptable!

These city officials just don't give a damn, as long as they're not losing their own backyard privacy.

If the proposed LUE is certified by the city council, it would allow city officials to give their fellow citizens the shaft!



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