The City Council Tuesday rezoned the Douglas Aircraft plant property to allow buildings of unlimited height, but required the site plan for each building to be reviewed by the city's Site Plan Review Committee or the Planning Commission.
The new zoning paves the way for the $340-million expansion project Douglas plans for its manufacture of C-17 cargo planes for the Air Force. Up to 10 new buildings are planned, but only two are expected to exceed the 45-foot height limit that had governed the plant.
Douglas projects hiring 10,000 more people through the mid-1990s to build the planes.
The first request for approval, expected to be heard by the Planning Commission May 22, is shaping up into a battle between Douglas managers, who say a 45-foot building at the corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Carson Street must be expanded, and homeowners in the nearby exclusive Lakewood Country Club Estates, who say the proposed expansion will shade their homes, subject them to industrial fumes and excessive noise, and reduce the value of their property.
Their attorney, Charles E. Greenberg, said the homeowners may hire a consultant to examine alternative locations of the huge parts-processing building, an issue he says was inadequately addressed in the environmental report on the project. Douglas managers and Long Beach city officials say there is no practical alternative.