General Plan Noise Element – ORCA Comments

Ed Note –┬áThe Ocean Residents Community Association (ORCA), one of our neighborhood associations, provided this analysis of the City of Long Beach draft Environment Impact Review (EIR) and General Plan Noise Element. The Editor has updated (in brackets) certain portions of their document with appropriate information. The Downtown Residential Council holds no official position on the Review, the Element or this analysis but provides ORCA’s position as a service to that association.

We invite all other associations to submit their own analyses and we will include them in separate posts.

Hi ORCA Residents:

We have an opportunity to review and provide comments on the City of Long Beach draft Environment Impact Review (EIR) and General Plan Noise Element prior to them going to the Planning Commission and City Council for approval. This process started two years ago and many of us provided comments then. Many of our comments have been incorporated into the documents, but others have not. The documents are 160 and 100 pages respectively, so not everyone will have time for a thorough review. To this end, I point out a few areas where you might want to look. Comments are due to the City by May 21st [now June 14] –send to LBDS-EIR-Comments@longbeach.gov. Both documents are attached [click link to https://www.longbeach.gov/lbds/planning/environmental/reports/ and scroll to Draft Noise Element] for your convenience.

EIR Highlights:

Para 1.5 Areas of Controversy and para 2.2.1 Initial Study. The City heard us!

Para 3.4.3.1 Project Strategies: #13 “Balance the needs of special events while prioritizing the well-being of residents.” (This is the concept where we need to emphasize recommendations to the documents.)

Tables 3.2 and 3.3 (page 3-17). Exterior and Interior Noise Limits have been reinstated (they were left out of the original draft). According to Table 3.1, interior noise limits are measured with windows closed. Some of us closest to outdoor entertainment do not have air-conditioning, so in summer we must have our windows open. Also, it appears from Figure 3-3 that the Villa Riviera and The Pacific have been moved from Noise District 1 to Noise District 2, allowing for higher noise maximums.

Para 4.2.1. (bottom of page 4.2-1.) “Analysis of special events is not within the scope of this Draft EIR because special events are temporary and often seasonal in nature; as such, they are not considered….” (Absurd! Those that have documented special events every weekend of 6 months, please include in your comments.)

Table 4.2.4 Community Noise Exposure indicates that noise above 70db is unacceptable. (Those with documentation of special event noise reading above 70db please include in comments.)

Page 4.2-26, Strategy 13: the policies stated that will “balance the needs of special events while prioritizing the well-being of residents should be closely reviewed.

Noise Element Highlights:

The Noise Element generally reflects the concepts and policies in the EIR. It is more important, though, since it becomes part of the General Plan for the City.

Table N-2, page 12, specifies that exceeding 70db is unacceptable, but Special Events routinely exceed 70db for hours on end.

Page 24, Special Events. “…with residents living in close proximity to these event, ensuring managed frequency and intensity of these events is a priority for the City.” (Good thought, let’s hold them to it.)

Page 46, Table N-5. Indoor noise measurements with windows closed, previously this table specified windows in seasonal configuration. (Once again many residents need windows open to stay cool.)

Page 55, Policy N 16-7 recommends the City providing a sound-attenuating program such as updated windows. (What about air-conditioning for those who need to have windows open.)

Pages 66-67. Strategy No. 13 and six sub strategies. “Balance the needs of special events while prioritizing the well-being of residents.” We need community comments on Strategy 13. For example, do they propose a Special Events calendar, so that residents know what weekends to leave their homes?

Noise Limits. I may have missed them, but could not find the noise limits that are contained in the EIR. They need to be in the Noise Element, since the Noise Ordinance (the law) derives from the Noise Element.

These are just the issues that jumped out to me after a cursory examination of the documents I’m sure there are others. Please if you are concerned about the excessive noise the enters your home, send comments to these documents to the City so they know we care.

by May 21st [June 14] –send to LBDS-EIR-Comments@longbeach.gov.

Best regards,

Jim Goodin

ORCA President