BHCA November 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order by Maureen Neeley, President, at 7:05 p.m.

Introductions and Attendance

Maureen introduced the board members and special guests: Jack Cunningham, 3rd District Field Office; Larry Rich, Sustainability Coordinator, Office of Sustainability, City of Long Beach.

Meeting Attendance – 43

rosters – 29 members and 14 guests

Meeting Sponsor

Maureen introduced Jerry Andis, a local resident and realtor with Main Street Realtors. Jerry worked for 34 years as an environmental engineer before becoming a realtor in 2004. Jerry outlined a special offer to BHCA neighbors for listing your home (provided you’re in the market to sell!) – Total commission of 4% with 2.5% to buyer’s agent; on closing he will donate 0.25% of his commission to a charity of your choice in your name; if you select an environmental charity he will add an additional $250.00. The offer is good through December, 2017. Jerry can be reached at 562-895-0675 or at [email protected]

Thank you to Jerry for sponsoring our meeting!

Special Guest: Larry Rich, Office of Sustainability

Larry has been with the Office of Sustainability since 1991. He oversees environmental programs for the City, one of which is bee keeping (who knew the City was in the bee business!) He also does computer mapping and cartography using GIS software. He was responsible for mapping archaeological resources at the Los Altos Shopping Center. Twenty-three burial sites were discovered and rescued through an archeological dig. There are also many archeological sites around Rancho Los Alamitos once inhabited by the Tongva people.

One of his passions, mapping the City of Long Beach, led to a project of layering progressive images of the City from the late 1800’s through today. If you missed this meeting, you missed a very interesting presentation. It was primarily visual so summarizing it in text leaves much to be desired. However, we plan to have another presentation scheduled sometime in the future so stay tuned!

A few highlights:

  • Early mapping showed groundwater at 800 to 1,000 ft below the surface. Much of Long Beach’s water comes from this source.
  • Maps from 1907 show the wetlands covered what is currently Naples, Belmont Shore, Marine Stadium and the surrounding area with water extending to Livingston, Recreation Park and the area north of Loynes. These waters and mud flats were rich with clams and scallops supporting local Indian life.
  • The LA River used to empty into the Santa Monica bay; a major storm changed the course of the river resulting in it joining the San Gabriel River. The course of the San Gabriel River also changed significantly over the years. The diversion channel for the LA River was created to prevent sand from filling up the Port area.
  • In 1881, Long Beach was established as Wilmore City. Twenty acre farm lots, called American Colony, were established along American Ave., now known as Long Beach Blvd.  Potential names for the city included Long Beach, Cerritos, and Crescent Beach. The discovery of large artisanal springs in Signal Hill, north of the cemetery, provided a water source thus facilitating the creation of the City.
  • In 1909, the unincorporated town site of Alamitos Beach was incorporated into the city of Long Beach.
  • Belmont Heights was its own incorporated City for one year – 1907 - 1908. BH wanted independence, fighting with Long Beach over liquor, the beach, and the pier. It joined Long Beach in 1909 after securing a promise that the City would build a pier.
  • Recreation Park was the original location of the Virginia Country Club.
  • Anaheim Rd is the oldest road in the City.

After almost an hour, the presentation came to a close with much still left to discuss.

3rd District Council Office Update

Jack Cunningham, 3rd District Council Office, reviewed the following:

  • Announced Beach Streets - Nov 12 on Anaheim from 9 am to 3 pm.
  • “Walk, Talk, Clean-Up” – Nov 13, 8 am to 11 am. Meet at Marine Stadium. The event will likely be repeated every 2 months.
  • The Nov 10, 6pm, 3rd District Community meeting will include a presentation on SEASP.
  • The League of Women Voters is holding a discussion on homelessness on Nov 12, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Main Library.
  • Comments on the updates to the General Plan are due by November 18. The BHCA Board is reviewing the material that pertains to Belmont Heights and formulating a letter outlining concerns/comments. Please review the article on the Land Use Plan in the Fall BHCA newsletter and send any comments to Maureen.
  • An open house on the proposed development at 2nd & PCH is scheduled for Nov 19 from 9 am to noon at the Seaport Marina Hotel.
  • The 4th St businesses are holding a holiday block party on Nov 26 from 11 am to 4 pm. See our calendar for details.
  • The East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (Breakwater Study) is being conducted over the next several years by the Army Corps of Engineers. This study is evaluating if measures should be implemented to improve the habitat and ecological sustainability of East San Pedro Bay. This is a preliminary study that evaluates what may be possible. From here they will begin narrowing down what could be implementable. One of the overriding commitments of the City is to protect the safety of the homes on the Peninsula. Review the full study here: East San Pedro Study
  • Both the 6th St bike blvd and the Pacific Electric right-of-way projects are moving forward. The crossing of the bike blvd over the PEROW is being coordinated between the city staff working on this project. A traffic signal will not be installed at Ximeno and 6th; bulb-outs and pedestrian crossings will be part of that intersection. Dianne mentioned that the 6th St bike blvd would likely not be completed until summer of 2018 based on the timeline outlined by City staff at a recent meeting.

Comments from Audience

  • Question raised about the road diet on Ocean; Maureen asked that the resident speak to Jack after the meeting as the changes are taking place primarily in the Shore. The plans have been well documented in the Grunion Gazette.
  • Wilson High School is selling Christmas trees to support school programs (Sale is over as of 11/17/2016.)
  • Dr. Masha Rechkunova-Goodson, a licensed naturopathic doctor, announced events at her business, Sacred Roots Holistic Healing Center at 316 Redondo Ave. Information on her services can be found at

Business Meeting

Budget – Treasurer’s Report

Sydney very briefly reviewed the financial statement. Our account balance is $17,602. A question was asked about donating to the Lagoon trees this year: Because of the restoration project, the trees will not be in the lagoon this year.

Board Elections

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]

3rd and Redondo development: Maureen noted that a 7-11 and Laundromat will occupy the space.

Belmont Heights Book Club

Book club meeting dates can be found on our calendar/events page.

Belmont Heights Parking Study

Maureen noted that the BH study team will be holding a strategy meeting with City staff on December 7. Please send ideas to [email protected]


Winter articles are due December 30.

Matalou Shoe Store & Belmont Burger Burglary

Maureen reported that the PD does not have a lead on this unusual crime. They tunneled from the shoe store into Belmont Burger; a fair amount of jewelry and cash were taken from the businesses.


Updates from Task Force teams tackling problems in the neighborhood:


Maureen reported that Doug Forasté, a board member, will attend the next meeting of the PD and local leaders on Nov 16 @ 6:30 pm. If anyone is interested in going please let her know.

Upcoming BHCA Monthly Meetings

November 28   Special Meeting: Mayor Robert Garcia

Dec  14            No meeting – Holiday Party

January 11       Councilwoman Suzie Price

Maureen paid special mention of the Nov 28 meeting with the Mayor. She attended a meeting where he talked about housing, growth, traffic and jobs and the future of Southern CA and CA itself. She and the board thought it was a topic of interest to our community and worked with the Mayor’s office to arrange the meeting. Everyone is invited!

Regarding the Holiday Party it has become so popular that space is an issue. With this in mind, we have decided that the holiday party is a perk of being a member!! So join and get invited! Of course, those who may not be members but have been attending the party will be invited. As usual, it will be a potluck. Look for information on the event soon!

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Dianne Sundstrom, Secretary
November 17, 2016

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