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Alamitos Bay Marina Environmental Work On To City Council

Published 12/23/2009 on Grunion Gazette

The environmental work for the massive Alamitos Bay Marina rebuild got a thumbs-up from the Planning Commission last week, but already has been appealed to the City Council.

Even with the appeal, the project remains on track, said Mark Sandoval, Marine Bureau manager.

“I still believe we’ll be at (state) Coastal Commission next summer and begin work in the fall,” Sandoval said.

It is a thick Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a large rebuild project. The project itself calls for redoing all the docks and all 1,694 slips in the 50-year-old east Long Beach marina. In addition, there would be work to renovate all the bathrooms around the marina, making the docks ADA compliant, repaving parking lots and more.

The report calls for measures to deal with several issues, primarily with contaminated soil and potential mercury in the 272,000 cubic yards of sediment that will need to be dredged.

A couple of the speakers expressed concern about that sediment and other issues in the report. One speaker, activist Larry Goodhue, said he opposed the EIR approval and project in its entirety.

However, 12 of the 15 speakers to the Planning Commission recommended approval of the EIR, saying the project had been a community effort.

The commissioners agreed with that majority and approved it unanimously (with two commissioners recused from the voting due to conflicts).

Goodhue has appealed the EIR to the full City Council, which is expected to take up the issue in January.

The Planning Commission also approved the development permit for two smaller land-based parts of the marina rebuild, things that were in the city’s jurisdiction and do not have to be approved by the state Coastal Commission. That includes the bathroom rebuild and parking lot repaving near the Long Beach Yacht Club, and some work over by Marina Pacifica, Sandoval said.

If approved, the project is expected to cost $88 million. Sandoval said work could begin due to the $22 million in place through the California Department of Boating and Waterways as well as some funding from the city through slip fees.

Plans call for the rest of the money to come from a revenue bond, paid back by money generated from slip fees. In the current bond market, the city has been waiting going forward, Sandoval said. However, with a recent bond for the new airport parking structure approved, Sandoval said the bond issue will be discussed again after the first of the year.

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