The Long Beach Airport Association stands in opposition to Boeing Realty’s preferred (2,500 housing units) and alternative (1,400 housing units) plans for residential development within the proposed PacifiCenter complex. While we support many elements of the PacifiCenter concept, we feel such residential development, virtually on the airport, as proposed by Boeing realty, is inappropriate. Research and development activities, light industrial/warehouse, office space, and even some limited retail, as well as a hotel, are good uses for this property, and would be compatible if not complimentary, to the airport, its business community, and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Since the Long Beach Airport has been established in its present location since 1923, it is now essentially ?built out?. Although redevelopment of some existing airport parcels continues, the last major development on airport land was the Kilroy project, on the southeast side of the airport, begun in the early 1980s. The Kilroy project included some aviation use in the planning process, but in the end result, no aviation development occurred. With the Boeing property being immediately adjacent to runway 25 Right, thus with easy airport access, we feel some aviation use is appropriate in the Boeing Realty project, for hangar and tie down space for general aviation aircraft dispossessed by other airport development and redevelopment projects in the recent past.
Long Beach Airport has residential neighborhoods in its surroundings, but none is as close to often-used runway approaches as the proposed residential development at PacifiCenter. Our airport has limits on numbers of flights, noise levels, and hours of operations, in order to be protective of the concerns of nearby residents. But placing new residential areas of this density so close to the airport is sheer folly, from the standpoint of noise and safety considerations. Boeing Realty?s Plans have new housing units directly under the approach of one of the north-south runways (16 Left), within close proximity to the main air carrier runway (30-12), and within even closer proximity to an east-west general aviation and secondary air carrier runway (25 Right). In addition, on-the-ground engine run-ups for maintenance purposes are conducted in close proximity to the proposed residential development.
As part of the “Fly Quietly” program for general aviation, which the Long Beach Airport Association helps sponsor, pilots, whenever possible use the boundaries of Carson Street on the north, Clark Avenue on the East, Willow Street on the south, and Cherry Avenue on the west – the extended boundaries of the airport – when in the air traffic pattern, to avoid noise sensitive areas. No housing is currently inside these boundaries; but with the Boeing Realty plan, as many as 2,500 residential units may be built within them! As early as the 1950s, city planners wisely developed a buffer zone east of the airport – Sky Links Golf Course – on the approaches to Long Beach Airport’s two east-west runways. As far as distance to runway is concerned, Boeing Realty’s residential plans would be the equivalent of placing housing in the middle of Skylinks! Aircraft over flight would be as little as 200 feet above the proposed residents!
Comments on the Boeing Realty EIR must be received by Ms. Reynolds by April 12, 2004.
IN THE NEWS — QUOTES AROUND TOWN
Les Robbins, Beachcomer April 2, 2004: “Only a moron would build houses on airport property …”. “…thus allowing this to be turned into a ‘housing project'”, and “… fast becoming the worst idea that this city has been confronted with in a long, long time!”
Tom Hennessy, Press Telegram March 25, 2004: “A friend, who is more knowledgeable than I about airport operations, says, ‘Of all the ditzy projects that have been proposed for Long Beach, PacifiCenter housing is at the top.'”
STATEMENT: LAKEWOOD VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
Adopted Resolution: In order to preserve the safety, general welfare, stability and overall integrity of the Lakewood Village neighborhood, the Lakewood Village Neighborhood Association (LVNA) hereby opposes the high-density housing component of the PacifiCenter project.
Supporting Findings: PacifiCenter’s high-density housing would not be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. Lakewood Village averages an approximate gross density of 3 units per acre (Lakewood Country Club is 1 unit per acre) and Boeing proposes 25 units per acre. LVNA opposes a greater density than exists in this property’s immediate neighborhoods.
PacifiCenter’s high-density housing would not be appropriate next to the 13th largest airport in the state. LVNA supports a job-producing business park similar to Boeing’s six other redevelopment projects in southern California. The high-density housing component does not produce jobs for the City of Long Beach and would be a financial burden on city services and the Long Beach taxpayers. A business or light industrial park, including aviation-related uses, would create jobs, would be more appropriate next to the Long Beach Airport, would be more compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods, and would have the least amount of impact on city services and revenues.
Boeing has successfully redeveloped six other job producing commercial and industrial parks in southern California and now proposes high density housing on their Long Beach property only, LVNA opposes high-density housing on a property where its souls are toxic and under which a methane plume purportedly exists.
ITEMS OF CONCERN ABOUT THE PACIFICENTER RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT — Concerned Citizens of Lakewood