Long Beach initiates visioning process for Shoreline Marina area

Planning effort could result in revitalization of downtown waterfront area.

LONG BEACH—Boaters at Shoreline Marina should expect some changes to the Downtown Long Beach waterfront. The Summer Olympics will be coming to Southern California in 2028, and the city of Long Beach hopes the Shoreline Marina area will be a major draw for visitors – before, during and after the Games.

Members of the Long Beach City Council, accordingly, approved a visioning effort for the planned update of the downtown waterfront, which includes Rainbow Harbor, Catalina Landing, Aquarium of the Pacific and Downtown Marina. Council members authorized the new visioning effort at their Oct. 22 meeting.

The visioning process would update development regulations to facilitate a “repositioning of existing uses and resources in the Downtown Shoreline area,” according to city staff.

Any potential rezoning of the downtown waterfront area would be part of the Downtown Shoreline Planned Development zoning district. City Hall refers to the district as PD-6. The zoning district was created in the early 1980s.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia proposed a new visioning process for the PD-6 area earlier this year. Garcia reiterated PD-6 is a significant cog in the city’s redevelopment plans during the Oct. 22 City Council meeting.

“Updating our different plans across the city have been a priority. PD-6 is a critical piece of our infrastructure and our economy,” Garcia said.

The visioning process would start in January 2020 and run through July 2022. A project outline and schedule would be submitted to the City Council in December; council members would select a consultant for the process in January 2020. Working groups would be initiated in March 2020.

City staff added the visioning process is merely the first step in a larger, longer effort to make the downtown waterfront area an attractive destination.

“The visioning process would be the first step in a multi-year planning effort that would allow ample time for the city to develop community and stakeholder consensus for future development and enhancement of the area,” city staff said in a report to council members. “The visioning would provide a framework to subsequently prepare a Specific Plan to guide and facilitate new investment and repositioning of resources in the Shoreline area. It is anticipated that the visioning process and preparation of a Specific Plan would be completed and ready for implementation at the close of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.”

Long Beach is essentially looking to revitalize the Shoreline area, which, according to city staff, has spurred interest in the downtown waterfront.

“With the development and revitalization of most of the city … there has been increased interest in the vacant and underutilized properties in PD-6 for uses that complement and enhance the attraction of the Downtown Shoreline area,” city staff said in a report to council members.

The visioning process is expected to cost $250,000.

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