The recently established city Archeological Advisory Committee takes on its first project this month as Unocal seeks city approval to remodel and reopen a portion of its oil transfer operation.
The committee will be asked to evaluate whether there are any historic sites on the land that would be harmed by the project.
In the hope of broadening the cross-section of opinions from the community, the City Council last week doubled the size of the committee from five members to 10.
Unocal wants to reopen and upgrade its facility at Marina Drive near 1st Street to receive oil shipments from offshore. The facility has been closed for a number of years.
Under Seal Beach's 2-month-old archeological guidelines, the city will hire an archeologist to examine the site and write a report describing what impact the development might have, said City Manager Jerry Bankston.
The committee is to consider the report and application and make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final decision on the project.
Seal Beach has some of the most stringent archeological standards in the county. The guidelines came out of a bitter 1990 battle over the proposed Hellman Ranch development. A Gabrielino Indian tribe said that an old burial site existed on the land and that development would destroy it.
Before the guidelines, the city had limited access to archeological information about proposed developments. Such information was gathered by archeologists employed by builders.