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Mooring Plans off Pier Moves Slowly

{mosimage}Published on 3/22/2007 

By Carla M. Collado, Staff Writer

 

Revised plans for a Catalina-Style boat mooring project proposed for Long Beach’s inner harbor have yet to go to the Planning Commission for approval, despite being placed on the meeting agendas for several weeks.

The city’s Marine Bureau chief, Mark Sandoval, explained that the Planning Department staff still has to write another report — as a result of three additions made to the project proposal back in January. The report must then be put in public circulation for 20 days. It must, for example, be given to opponents of the project who were present at the Planning Commission’s Dec. 21 meeting.

Sandoval said he expects the project proposal to reach the commission in May at the earliest.

Plans for the mooring area have been ongoing for much of the decade. Originally, the project would have placed up to 90 fixed mooring buoys in the water near Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier and Island White. Changes now have been made to cut that number down to 45 buoys, Sandoval said. 

 “It’s just an accommodation to try to get it through,” he said of the drastic reduction.

The Planning Commission kept the mooring project from moving forward last December when it delayed taking action on the Mitigated Negative Declaration — waiver of an environmental report needed for the project to proceed. The commission voted 3-3 and asked the Planning Department staff to return with tougher mitigation measures.

 

Certain groups such as the Surfrider Foundation had voiced concerns to the commission, saying the proposal needed stronger regulations to keep boaters from polluting the water with their trash.

 

In January, the Marine Advisory Commission recommended placing three boater regulations on the proposal. They include offering an at-boat pump-out service to boaters that would be included in the mooring fee. (The mooring fee would range from $23 to $46 a night, depending on the boat’s size.) Second, encouraging boat owners to report any illegal dumping by fellow boaters out on the mooring area. And finally, making sure the mooring master has a vessel available to provide at-boat trash disposal for those who need it.

 Once the Planning Commission approves the mooring project, it must then go to the City Council and the state Coastal Commission.

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