The Appeal for 320 Alamitos development at the Nov 14th City Council Meeting was unfortunately a bust for residents’ quality of life.
More parking bites the dust.
While there were many residents who came to voice their concerns over 320, in the end, Councilwomen Jeannie Pearce and Lena Gonzalez lead the way in an approval vote for the project, as is. It needs to be noted that those who spoke out in support of this development did not include any area residents or property owners. Speakers in support included representatives of the Downtown LB Alliance (business association), Apt. Ass'n of CA Southern Cities and two Willmore City residents (one a City employee, the other a member of a City Hall Commission.)
We described Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce's November 8th "outreach" meeting in our previous post. At this meeting her constituents were asking her for help on parking requirements and mitigation to 320 Alamitos. The Councilwoman made some fairly large statements in support of those things. She said lots of, " I hear my constituents", " I'm working on finding parking", and I'm here to help you" kinds of statements. Unfortunately the councilwoman seemed to have forgotten her statements days later when she moved to approve 320 Alamitos without any changes made. The Councilwoman had also promised during that outreach meeting that she would meet with TAPS before the 320 hearing and to get the data/evaluation that supported the downtown parking requirements. Neither was done. The Councilwoman did make a point of publicly asking Linda Tatum at the hearing about the data/evaluation. Linda Tatum is the same staff member that has been insisting there is data/evaluation but hasn't seen any herself. Senior staff in 2013 told us there was none (this was shortly after the downtown parking requirements were passed).
Less talking, more action
Speaking of forgetting her statements and promises, Councilwoman Pearce and her office have been mostly incommunicado with TAPS. People have been asking us where she stands on those parking requirements. We could not get an answer, either. Unanswered emails and calls have left TAPS with the impression that the Councilwoman has been too busy with other matters and that inadequate parking requirements in new development is not one of her priorities. TAPS' impression was confirmed at November 14th's meeting.
Councilwoman Pearce's key points were:
Parking was the biggest issue raised by residents
Councilwoman Pearce believes that parking can be addressed by better managing current parking opportunities.
The project proposed for 320 Alamitos is consistent with the "Downtown Plan" which included promoting "walkability" and "transit use"...and said, "some people may find that hard to accept".
She did not mention supporting a review of those low parking requirements, despite people begging her to do so.
People tell us they remember Jeannine and her supporters going door to door before the election, telling people that parking was one of her biggest priorities. They are tired of city council members saying that parking was the biggest issues raised by residents, and then turning right around and approve yet another short-on-parking development. Remember this before the elections next year because we can expect more parking promises, then no action to fix the cause of the problem once they are elected.