LONG BEACH — The Redevelopment Agency board has asked for an environmental impact report on the effect of building housing outside of the Downtown Redevelopment Area's costliest neighborhoods.
The existing Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan calls for a maximum of 7,000 units of housing to be built south of Ocean Boulevard.
But developers are more interested in less expensive downtown sites, and several planning groups--including the Redevelopment Agency board, Strategic Planning Task Forces, and the Downtown Project Area Committee--have recommended that more affordable housing be built, so the city is seeking to amend the plan, said Roger C. Anderman, assistant executive director of the agency.
If the plan is amended, apartment development in the vicinity of Pine and Pacific avenues is likely, Anderman said, but the 7,000-unit cap would not be lifted.
Anderman characterized the pending report as "a vehicle for resolving differences" that may arise if Long Beach Unified School District opposes the plan.
The school district has protested many housing projects in the downtown school attendance area on grounds that they may attract families with school-age children into already crowded schools. The school district has not taken a position on the proposed amendment.
District spokesman Dick Van Der Laan said mid-town apartments may attract more families with school-age children than high-priced oceanfront condominiums. "We'll have to wait and see the EIR," he said.