320 Alamitos, Long Beach, CA 90802
This project falls under the Downtown Plan. The lowered parking requirements in that plan will be applied to all new buildings downtown. People contacted us for info and help once they saw how this new project would cut down on parking in their area. The project was approved despite a big protest. You can see what happened at these updates:
You can find the site plans here.
77 residential units. 105 parking spaces.
0 commercial or office spaces. The original descriptions here showed medical offices but the site plans that are up for approval do not show offices. First floor common areas include a bike kitchen, leasing office, lobby, and fitness center, all of which total 3539 square feet. Even if all of that space were commercial or office space, it would be exempt from parking under the Downtown Plan.
How much parking is needed?
The City's current parking requirements are too low. One parking space per unit is required for residential
plus .25 spaces per unit for visitors. These new low requirements do not take into consideration the size of the unit or the number of incomes per household or that currently 77% of Long Beach residents work outside of the city.
They also do not consider lost parking lots.
The Planning Commission and staff set requirements last month that will apply to building an extra home on one's property, commonly known as Granny Flats. They required one parking space for units less than 640 square feet, then larger units up to 1,000 square feet must have 2 parking spaces.
Large units need more parking. 320 Alamitos units are larger than average.
Only 17 units are 640 square feet or less out of 77 units total!
29 studios = 563 sf - 720 sf
34 one bedroom units = 741 sf - 1152 sf
14 two bedroom units = 1056 sf - 1376 sf
The Downtown Plan's parking requirements (shown here) were made much lower than the rest of the city in 2012. The new requirements were not based upon data or professional evaluation to show how much parking is needed to prevent a building from adding cars to the neighborhood's parking.
A parking study will be completed in late 2018, giving the City data and recommendations to reconsider those parking regulations but in the mean time, buildings like 320 Alamitos will be built without enough parking. There also is no guarantee that the City will even reconsider the Downtown parking requirements even after the data is in.
Update: The parking study was ended without a review of the downtown parking requirements and other essential information. The City had signed a settlement agreeing to include that review and info but wouldn't honor that agreement.
The parking study firm confirmed multiple times including in April 2018, "..We have been reviewing and conducting needed research regarding parking requirements..." No such review was included in the Final Draft of the study.
Then the City lied to the public about the results of the study when it said, "KOA found no evidence that new development in Downtown has triggered any parking shortage, or that there is need to reconsider parking requirements for new development." That statement is not true nor does the parking study support it.
What can the Planning Commission and City Council do? (partial list)
1. Notify developers that residents of the new buildings will not be able to acquire residential parking passes if such new programs are implemented. This may convince some developers to make sure they have enough parking rather than depending on street parking for their Spillover.
2. Require the developers to perform mini parking studies to determine how much parking they need. These studies would consider site-specific details and the area immediately surrounding the project. This method is not expensive for developers and is not new to Long Beach. It may require a change to the current requirements, which can be done.
3. The City Council has the ability to declare a moratorium on new project approvals until the parking study is completed.
4. The City’s own “Carl Walker parking and access strategic plan” that was used to develop the Downtown Plan recommended that the city partner with some developers to add public parking to the new buildings. This has not been done. There is money coming from the RDA properties that is slated for downtown projects and could be used for this recommendation.