The meeting was called to order by Linda Pemberton, Vice President, at 7:10 p.m.
Linda introduced the board members who were present and special guests including: Tom Modica, Assistant City Manager, and Jack Cunningham, 3rd District Field Office.
Linda introduced Karen Quimby, one of the owners of Twig & Willow, and the new store manager, Jenna. Twig & Willow is located at 3740 East 4th St (corner of 4th and Grand) and is a boutique specializing in women’s jewelry, clothing and gifts. Linda thanked Karen and her staff for sponsoring our meeting.
Linda introduced Tom Modica, Assistant City Manager, and thanked him for coming and providing an overview of the new design of the Belmont Plaza Pool. Tom emphasized that his presentation is NOT a CEQA presentation; rather an informal presentation to our community group.
Tom provided some background information including the following:
In the 1960s, the City voted to build a public pool on the beach site where the Belmont Pool was located. If this history did not exist, it is unlikely that the California Coastal Commission would approve a NEW pool on a beach site.
The Belmont Pool was closed in January, 2013 because it was structurally not sound. It was predicted that the building would collapse with a 5.0 earthquake.
The temporary pool was opened in December of 2013.
In October of 2014, the City Council approved programmatic elements for a new pool.
Tom’s presentation can be viewed at the following link: http://belmontpool.com/uploads/docs/meetings/4-9-16/BBAC-%2004092016%20Public%20Meeting_FINAL_.pdf
Additional information, including how to make a comment on the EIR can be found at BelmontPool.com
Comments and Questions from the Audience:
What is the budget and what is happening with funding?
City approved a $103.1 Million project budget in October, 2014
Current deficit is $43 Million
Funding delayed due to drop in oil prices
Currently the City has enough budgeted to complete the entitlement process and finalize construction documents
City Staff is developing a strategy to address revenue shortfalls
Construction cost escalation will affect the total cost
Cost will not be certain until the design is ultimately approved by the City and Coastal Commission and the project is bid
If the project were fully funded today, construction would start in 2018 and the pool would open in 2019
Describe the polymer roof – will it discolor and how difficult is it to maintain this product?
Polymer has been used since the 1990’s; it is not known to discolor; will require some maintenance; surface self-cleans in that dirt doesn’t stick; will require cleaning every 5 years
Will continuing operational expenses be self-funding?
Answer: No; ongoing maintenance expenses will come from Tidelands monies
Why has the name been changed to Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center when the pool has been known as the Belmont Plaza Pool for almost 50 years? Many local residents prefer that the name remains the same.
Answer: Tom noted the comment
What assumptions did the City use for projecting sea level rise?
Answer: A 50 year model of sea level rise was used. This model resulted in an elevation of approximately 7 feet higher than ground level
Why was a diving well included?
Answer: There was lots of discussion about including a well as it added significant cost and additional height to the project. However, the stakeholder committee decided to include this element and it was approved by City Council. Long Beach has a long history of supporting diving.
How will parking for large events be managed?
Answer: The Pier lot and the east lot can accommodate 1,050 spaces. Some discussion has taken place on re-striping the Granada lot
Has the City been talking to the Coastal Commission (CC) about this project?
Answer: Lots of discussion has taken place with the CC. Programmatic elements have been discussed. If an existing pool had not been at this location, the CC would not have approved this project
Is the history and some of the art from the old pool being incorporated into the new design?
Answer: Yes, the architects documented elements of the old design and plan to incorporate into the new. The mosaics in the old pool contained asbestos so could not be saved.
Has the City considered how to connect the pool to public transit?
Answer: Bus service stops by Jack In The Box; whether other routes will be considered is not known at this time.
Linda then asked Tom to comment on how residents can most effectively make comments on the DEIR.
All comments on the DEIR must be submitted by June 16 and should be sent to Craig Chalfant, Senior Planner, City of Long Beach – [email protected]
The DEIR and other information on DEIR study session locations and times can be found at this link: http://belmontpool.com/contact.php
Comments should be specific; general comments such as “I like the design” are too general and will not result in a specific answer/response.
The DEIR is many pages long and includes many different elements. If you have a specific concern such as “noise”, go to that section and formulate your questions, if any.
A brief tutorial on how to respond to the DEIR was available as a handout. A copy can be found here:
Linda introduced Jack Cunningham, 3rd District Council Office.
Jack mentioned the “Touch a Truck” and “Marina Vista Park Party” events, both of which were very successful. He also noted that the PEROW north of 7th St will have an opening celebration sometime the beginning of July; he also announced the 3rd District Council meeting on May 25 at the Long Beach Yacht Club.
Linda also reviewed the following meetings:
Follow up to the brainstorming in April: Meeting scheduled Tuesday, May 17th @ 6:30 pm at Temple Israel, 3rd and Loma
Other BHCA Meetings:
June 8th 2035 General Plan
July 13th Queen Mary
August No meeting – Summer Vacation
Sept 14th Bungalow Kev
Oct 12th Meet the Candidates
Nov 9th LB Geological Past
December No meeting – Holiday Party
Question from Craig Starnes about what is happening at 420 Grand. Dianne will follow-up with Maureen to see where we are with scheduling a meeting with the owner to review plans for the building.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.