To operate in California, seaports must have a master plan approved by the California Coastal Commission that guides their development and ensures ports are using coastal lands and waters in accordance with state law.
The Port of Long Beach has met this requirement ever since the mandate took effect in the late 1970s. Over the years, the Port revised its Master Plan twice, with the most recent update in 1990.
Join the conversation
The Port is looking for representatives of the maritime and goods movement industries, environmental and health groups, local business and community organizations, and prospective tenants and developers to participate in focus group discussions on the Master Plan Update this spring. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please contact John Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 283-7156.
Nearly three decades later, the time has come for the next comprehensive update, said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.
“We’re in a new era of global shipping, technology and environmental stewardship,” said Cordero. “The Port needs to update our Master Plan to reflect our goals and priorities for making the best use of our resources, so that we can continue to move cargo efficiently and responsibly in today’s world and into the future.”
After laying the groundwork last year, the Port is ready to engage the public and gather input from industry and community stakeholders for its new Master Plan. The public process kicks off on Wednesday, April 4, with a Let’s Talk Port workshop at the Homeland Cultural Center, 1321 E. Anaheim St., in Long Beach. The event begins with an open house at 6 p.m., followed by a presentation and interactive workshop at 6:30 p.m.
“This event is the first in a series of public meetings and focus groups we’ll be holding over the next nine months to explain the purpose of the Port Master Plan and get feedback on the best use of Port property,” said Rick Cameron, Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs. “With a wealth of ideas and perspectives from a broad range of business and community stakeholders, we can develop the best possible Master Plan for Port operations.”
Ports must have a master plan under the California Coastal Act in order to have local authority to make land use decisions and issue development permits. For the Port of Long Beach, the document covers the use and development of nearly 2,700 acres of land and more than 4,500 acres of water that make up the Port of Long Beach Harbor District.
Process and elements
Since the 1990 Master Plan update, the Coastal Commission has certified 12 amendments. The new Master Plan will be a single, consolidated document that integrates those changes, as well as existing capital projects such as the Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment and ongoing improvements to the Port’s on-dock rail network.
The new Master Plan will also incorporate economic and environmental studies, initiatives and policies the Port has advanced in recent years. These include the Port’s Strategic Plan, Supply Chain Optimization initiative, Green Port Policy, Clean Air Action Plan, Energy Initiative Roadmap, Water Resources Action Plan, Climate Adaptation and Coastal Resiliency Plan, and the long-term cargo forecast for the San Pedro Bay.
Document elements will address terminal operations, intermodal rail, navigation, environment and sustainability, climate change adaptation, transportation and circulation, oil operations, and recreation and public access. The latter includes pedestrian and bicycle paths.
When completed, the new Port Master Plan will reflect the Port’s overarching goals and strategies for maximizing land and energy resources and environmental goals to accommodate projected cargo growth. In conjunction with the update, the Port will prepare a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) that analyzes the environmental impacts of various levels of future development.
While the document will establish general parameters for future development – including wharf, terminal, rail, navigational and facilities improvements – each project will be subject to specific analyses and environmental reviews on an individual basis.
In addition to informing the public and getting feedback, the process of updating the Master Plan involves developing a draft document, holding formal public hearings and preparing a final proposal for the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners to consider. If the Board approves the document, it will then be subject to certification by the California Coastal Commission. The entire process is expected to be completed by fall 2019.
For more information on the update, visit www.polb.com/masterplanupdate. To RSVP for the Let’s Talk Port workshop on April 4, visit www.polb.com/letstalkport.