The City of Long Beach, in close collaboration with local stakeholders, is launching the process of reviewing its land use planning documents for the Downtown area including the adjacent oceanfront. The planning initiative is designed to update the regulations for development in Downtown and to establish a common vision and supportive land use strategies for the future of the Downtown Shoreline area.
“One of the primary goals of this initiative is to meet the great need for more housing units for our residents in the parts of our city that are near high-quality public transportation and filled with wonderful walkable areas,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “The visioning effort for the shoreline area provides a truly exciting opportunity to identify land use strategies to support thoughtful economic development to benefit local residents and the region alike by capitalizing on our incredible waterfront location.”
The City’s Downtown Plan, which encompasses the downtown area north of Ocean Boulevard, will be updated and renewed with a focus on preventing tenant displacement and building new housing for all income levels, including affordable housing.
The Development Services Department is now studying the existing Plan, analyzing issues and opportunities, and evaluating the Plan’s impacts over the past 10 years as part of devising new strategies for most effectively updating it for the next decade and beyond.
The planning regulations for the area south of Ocean Boulevard, under the plan currently known as the Downtown Shoreline Planned Development District, have not been systematically updated since the 1970s. The first phase of the project will include a visioning process to gauge stakeholder expectations and aspirations for the downtown shoreline area and establish a contemporary community Vision Plan for a world-class waterfront.
“We have a vibrant downtown zone and an iconic shoreline, and this initiative shows how Long Beach remains dedicated to finding new ways to improve its status as an attractive and accessible waterfront destination for all,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “I look forward to the development of new equitable strategies and updated plans for this wonderful part of the city.”
There will be a variety of ways for residents, businesses and neighborhood and community organizations to participate in the initiative. The Department’s Planning Bureau plans to host several community meetings over the next few months and will share the schedule for those gatherings when they are finalized.
The Downtown Plan and Downtown Shoreline project updates are available at longbeach.gov/DTLBplan. People interested in receiving update notifications can sign up here.
“The Downtown Plan has been a ten-year, huge success for the City and its residents. This effort is really exciting because it is not starting from scratch but rather how do we build on that success and chart the path for the next ten years of inclusive growth and community-focused change,” said development Services Department Director Christopher Koontz. “We are committed to ensuring the City complies with state housing and climate laws, providing the capacity to accommodate thousands of new downtown residential units all while doing so in a way that serves all of our residents and stakeholders well and maintains what makes Long Beach already so special.”
Since its creation in 2012, the Downtown Plan has yielded more than 5,000 approved dwelling units, a new Civic Center as well as other pedestrian, retail and other improvements. The Downtown Plan has been a catalyst for most of the City’s housing development in the past decade. Through quality design standards and development incentives, the Plan has facilitated sustainable development and bold architecture.
The Downtown Shoreline Plan was developed in the 1970s. Since the city’s incorporation as a seaside resort in 1897, the Downtown Waterfront has been both a destination and a gateway serving as a residential neighborhood, an office workplace, a tourist mecca, an active waterfront for mariners and a venue for seasonal regional events. The revitalization effort, taking into account climate change and water resilience strategies, will help the Waterfront reach its potential of becoming a first-class venue that is also accessible and inviting to all.
To learn more about the development activity and the progress of construction projects in and around the Downtown area, view the City’s 2022 Year in Review Downtown Plan Update. Additional information about the Planning Bureau is available on its website.
For specific questions about the initiative, please contact Alison Spindler-Ruiz, Planning Bureau Manager, at 562.570.6946 or Alison.Spindler-Ruiz@longbeach.gov.