(The Environmental Impact Report [EIR] for the proposed Second+PCH project was released this week, and local environmental activist Heather Altman—who also happens to read these types of documents for a living—is not impressed. “As I pick through it,” she says, “I am becoming increasingly aware that it isn’t very defensible—for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.” With a nit-pick here and a head-scratch there, Altman has agreed to take Redistricted! readers through the more confounding parts of the analysis in a periodic feature we’re calling, “E-I-R-I-O.”)

Today’s dilemma: How high is Second+PCH’s 12-story hotel?

Says Altman: “The text of the EIR states that the maximum building height will be 12 stories—that is, 136 feet. But if you look at one of the accompanying diagrams, you can see that the 136-foot building isn’t the total height of the structure—it’s only to the height of the roof…and there is an almost two-story thing on top of the roof that they just aren’t counting!  And it’s not tiny—it covers, like, one-third of the roof! Check it out!”

To make our checking outing easier, Altman attached a PDF of  Page I.V. A-8 of the EIR, which is a diagram entitled “Marina Drive Project Elevation.”  Sure enough, it  shows the elevation of the 12-story tower to be 136 feet. (“Most of the diagrams show this,” she says. “I just picked one of them.”)

To see the diagram, click here: Page IV.A-8

Altman continues: “If you blow up the image on the mid-lower right, you see—and I’ll say this again—that the 136-footbuilding isn’t the total height of the entire structure! What. The. Hell. I’m sorry, when I asked how high the buildings were, I meant to the TOP, not some arbitrarily lower point. Should we be asking how many stories are on top of the 12-story building?”

  1. Dwight K Snider
    April 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    E I R I Owe You !

  2. laura
    April 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    What is the two story thing on top? My educated guess would be housing for the
    obstruction beacons which are crucial for marking tall structures which may serve as a hazard to aircraft. Usually red LED lights–blinking-blinking–

  3. Richard Blaine
    April 29, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    It’s a helipad–taller buildings require one.

  4. Anonymous
    April 30, 2010 at 4:15 am

    Most, if not all, jurisdictions do not count rooftop mechanical equipment, protruding elevator shafts, or utility enclosures towards a building’s height. The windowless box is certainly not a “story” (i.e. habitable space), architecturally speaking.

    • April 30, 2010 at 6:06 am

      In an environmental analysis document, when conducting a viewshed analysis and determining potential visual impacts on and off-site, you utilize the height of the entire structure in your impact analysis, not just the portions which represent profitability to the developer.

      Moreover, a Draft EIR should not raise more questions than it attempts to answer. As a member of the reviewing public, I should not have to speculate as to: 1) what that thing is, 2) how big it is and how many feet it adds to the height of the total structure, and 3) what potential visual impacts result.

      • shhhh
        May 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

        you are an idiot. please stop purporting to be an CEQA expert.

  5. Gordana
    April 30, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Maybe it’s the wetlands viewing platform?

  6. Nick
    May 3, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Thanks for bringing the facts to the unsuspecting public regarding this monstrosity! Don’t think it will make much difference to the organized realtors group bent on making a buck with condo sales…but..
    We know you’re an expert. Shhhh –probably Ratkovich and Malmuth–still “trying” to flex what’s left of their muscle–should bow out NOW.
    Can’t wait til Second+PCH’s phony “open space” and underparked parking is exposed!
    Keep educating the public.

  7. May 16, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    This all sounds like a plan to extend downtown Long Beach to the Southeast side of Long Beach to me. If I wanted to live among high rises I would have moved downtown a long time ago. How do they think they can fill up all that retail space? It’s not like LB is the most business friendly city and much of the surrounding retail space has been vacant for long periods of time. And forget about the traffic problem on PCH keeping me from getting to Seal Beach to enjoy the ocean and Main Street with my grandkids–there is no way to mitigate that problem. Just like in downtown area which I avoid as much as possible, if a monster development causes traffic problems and congestion I won’t go there. I want to see buildings that conform to SEADIP and the California Coastal Act, I want a safe bike path down Studebaker Road so I don’t have to drive down to Marina Pacifica and the Market Place, I want coastal features such as a publicly accessible wetlands and restoring our beaches (note real estate types–quality water front property is more valuable), and I want to see our suburban style neighborhood preserved. People here don’t want to raise their children in a urban/downtown congested high rise atmosphere! I know many others who want the same. A group of tall buildings does not fit into this concept. However I don’t see where our opinions have really been counted by either the developers or the city.

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