The January 11, 2017 meeting was called to order by Maureen Neeley, President, at 7:00 p.m.
Maureen introduced the board members and special guests: Councilwoman Suzie Price, her Chief of Staff, Jack Cunningham, East Division PD Commander Liz Griffin, Eric Widstrand, City Traffic Engineer, and Meredith Reynolds, Park Development Officer.
Meeting Attendance – approximately 60
Maureen introduced Alex & Matt Maltezos, Long Beach residents and owners of Mattalou Shoe Boutique located on Ximeno just south of 4th St. Alex encouraged everyone to visit noting that she carries shoes for both men and women that are stylish, comfortable, and affordable. In addition, she supports local jewelry and other craft artists. Thank you to Alex and Matt for sponsoring our meeting! http://mattalou.com/
Maureen presented Jack Cunningham with a card and gift from the BHCA Board celebrating the arrival of his son Max on December 27, 2016.
Special Guest Discussions
Maureen provided an overview of the meeting agenda with Suzie Price and other guests. Maureen asked the Councilwoman to address plans for infrastructure improvements, progress on noise issues, plans for the Pacific Electric right-of-way (PERoW), crime trends in the Heights, status of the development at 2nd and PCH, as well as any other issues of importance to our community.
Councilwoman Price emphasized that she works very closely with City staff, as a team, to resolve issues and problems in her district. She called on Meredith Reynolds to review the status of the PERoW.
Meredith refers to this project as the “Red Car Greenway” so don’t be surprised if that terminology shows up in discussions and materials. She shared the following:
Questions from audience about PERoW
What is happening to the Loma section? Answer: At present there is no funding available.
One resident voiced concerns that the Greenbelt section just north of 7th St was not “up to snuff”; in other words, more money will be spent on the Belmont Heights section. Answer: Councilwoman Price reviewed the history of that portion (part of the Termino Ave drain project; because of that, the County was obligated to restore the park space to pre-construction state). She assured the group that the Greenbelt Heights Association was very involved in the restoration plans and that residents in the area are very happy with the outcome.
Is the Colorado Lagoon project tied to the PERoW? Answer: No. The Lagoon project is separate and scheduled for completion mid-March. Plant selection for the PERoW was made to complement those in the Lagoon; so called “up-stream” plants.
Councilwoman Price – Other Issues
Animal Care Services
Parking Inventory in Belmont Heights
Second and PCH – Marina Hotel Complex
3rd and Redondo – 7-Eleven
Comments/Questions from Audience about this development
One resident commented on a LA County Study that found that high-density areas had an increase in crime concomitant with an increase in liquor licenses. The resident provided a copy of the study to the Councilwoman.
The same resident provided a copy of a petition with several hundred valid signatures opposing the development. Councilwoman Price indicated that she is not as much influenced by petitions with signatures as she is by community members actually getting involved and coming to meetings.
Homeless Count in Long Beach
Eric Widstrand – Traffic Engineer:
Questions from Audience
With the reduction of traffic on Broadway, are drivers using other neighborhood streets? Answer: Eric did not know but thought the questions deserves study
Resident mentioned that cars don’t stop at the stop signs at the intersection of Broadway and Park. Answer: He will look into the issue
Question about bike safety on Broadway. Answer: The department is reviewing and in the process of approving the bike master plans. Additional bike lanes are planned for the west end of Broadway.
The City intends bike blvds/lanes to be an “8 to 80” network: in other words, safe for ages 8 to 80.
Question about the status of the 6th St Bike Blvd. Answer: The project is out for bid with plans to start construction by mid-year and completion by the end of 2017. The project will minimize changes to red curbs so as to maintain as many parking spaces as possible. NOTE: The BHCA has copies of the specs for this construction, if anyone would like to see them.
Question about the new LED street lights being excessively bright and bothersome. Answer: The Council office has received many complaints. Residents can contact the City re concerns: Here is the contact for the city staff handing LED lighting: Keith Hoey at 562-570-6586; Keith.ho[email protected]
Commander Griffin – Crime
Question from Audience
What role does the PD play in determining whether or not businesses are granted liquor licenses? Answer: The PD only provides facts regarding crime stats in the area. They do not weigh-in on the wisdom of granting a particular location a license.
Elections will take place in the first quarter of 2017. Let us know if you have an interest in serving on the Board. Contact Maureen at [email protected]
PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL BHCA PRODUCTS ARE ON SALE: 25% OFF!! T-SHIRTS, SWEATSHIRTS, AND TOTES……
Upcoming BHCA Monthly Meetings
February 8: Rachael Rifkin on the historic Brown’s Court Apartments and Early Belmont Heights founders
March 8: Annual BHCA planning meeting. Help set priorities and form the agenda for the coming year.
April 12: Congressman Alan Lowenthal will talk about what’s happening in Washington and how it affects us locally (waiting confirmation: check BHCA website calendar)
Other Neighborhood Events
Belmont Heights Book Club. Meetings on February 19, March 19 and April 9. 15.
February 23: Long Beach Heritage Preservation Awards. Award will be given to the Miner Smith Project. Queen Mary at 6pm. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.lbheritage.org/index.php/awards/preservation-awards
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
Some Images from the evening --