In a 6 hour debate on Tuesday May 16th, the City Council approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the replacement Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool here in Long Beach. While this is a win for Aquatics in the city of Long Beach, it is one of two major steps in the journey to reconstruct this iconic facility. With this approval, the pool project now moves to the biggest hurdle of them all: the California Coastal Commission.
Created in the 1970’s, the CA Coastal Commission is a state agency that “plans and regulates the use of land and water in the coastal zone. Development activities, which are broadly defined by the Coastal Act to include (among others) construction of buildings, divisions of land, and activities that change the intensity of use of land or public access to coastal waters…”. City staff, through constant communication with the Coastal Commission believe the EIR fulfills all requirements of the Coastal Act of 1976. However, the EIR is expected to be returned to the City with recommendation to the project. That can range anywhere with zero alterations to a complete redesign of the project area. Hopefully, it will not come to that.
If you’d like to read more about it you can read it here: Press-Telegram article by Courtney Tompkins