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Without Too Much Ire, Long Beach Moves Downtown Plan Forward

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Compromise was reached in Long Beach yesterday, with the city council refusing to delay the release of an environmental impact report on a new downtown development plan, but allowing for more days of public comment on the massive project, reports the Long Beach Post. The extra days allowed for input, 115 in total, are to accommodate time for a local group that's in the middle of conducting its own study on the Downtown Community Plan, which would redevelop a one-square-mile area to make room for 9,200 new residential units, 2 million square feet of office and retail space, and 3,200 new hotel rooms over 25 years, and help move the developments along with a streamlined approval process.

The local group, known as Housing Long Beach, thinks the redevelopment plan will raise rents and force downtown Long Beach residents out--a recent article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram indicated "75 percent of the estimated 31,400 residents who live downtown have a median household income below $50,000." Their $100,000 study, financed by the California Endowment, will look at how developers will benefit from the plan and how downtowners may be affected; it'll be wrapped up by the end of public comment in mid-March. Ultimately, city officials were hesitant to delay movement on the plan, which has been in the works since '07.
· City Rejects Delay of Downtown Plan, Extends Public Comment [LB Post]
· City Council to Weigh Downtown Options [LB Telegram]
· Downtown Community Plan [Official Site]