We have reviewed the staff report on the draft alternatives to the LUCE revisions and would like to share with you these concerns:
1. Where is the missing alternative?
That is, where is a managed growth option that compromises between the no-growth option already dismissed as unacceptable by city staff and the four “solutions” prepared by city staff, all of which contain increases in density and traffic which are incompatible with residents’ desires for the preservation of our small, beach town scale and a reduction in traffic congestion? Where is the managed growth alternative which identifies the minimum amount of development required to accommodate state requirements for housing production and which caps annual construction within those parameters? Where is the option in which increases in density are offset by more open space and in which neighborhood scale is preserved?
2. Alternatives A, B and C need to be quantified: Exactly how much density will be added under each scenario and how much of a percentage increase over existing density does each option propose?
At this stage the alternatives are vague and difficult to assess and there is no way for the average citizen to gauge how much growth and traffic would ensue under each option.
3. All of the alternatives talk only of growth – where are any ideas or plans to control growth, such as annual caps on both commercial and residential development? Why is there no discussion of means to solve our traffic and parking woes before adding any density?
4. The “Status Quo” option is a semantic two step. Most people will think this option will preserve our town as it is today, rather than allow for extensive new construction per our current zoning ordinance. Residents have expressed a desire for the perpetuation of current as-built densities and heights and have been ignored by city staff in the options presented — they shouldn’t be allowed to think the Status Quo option will satisfy their ambitions for preserving our current scale. It is vital to once again reiterate that people want current, as-built heights and densities, not the existing allowable scale.
5. The LUCE revisions should be linked to a community-oriented economic development plan which assures local ownership of real estate and business rather than allowing outside individuals and entities to export profits from our city. Also, Jennifer Wolch’s proposal for an eco-industrial park consisting of high-tech, nonpolluting industries should be further explored.
6. Some specific needs for Ocean Park from the LUCE revisions are:
–Retain as-built conditions on Main Street; no more tall buildings, not even on the north and south ends.
–Likewise, preserve existing conditions along our stretches of Pico and Lincoln: no buildings over 2 stories.
–Narrow and improve Ocean Park Boulevard as it is a residential street.
–Rezone the community gardens from C3 to a designation which will protect it.
–Rezone the beaches and beach lots as parks so they fall under citizen oversight.
We hope you will give serious consideration to our concerns and direct staff to come back with a more comprehensible and quantified set of alternatives which more truly reflect the public sentiment gleaned from the Emerging Themes phase of the LUCE revisions.
OPA General Plan Committee