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Long Beach Planning Commission Held Study Session To Develop Adaptive Reuse Incentive Program and Ordinance

July 5, 2012

From the Long Beach Business Journal – Long Beach city staff is studying ways to streamline the planning process, relax the city’s zoning codes and provide more flexibility to developers of “adaptive reuse” projects that completely convert old, historic buildings with previous land uses to new purposes that fit current needs.

The Long Beach Planning Commission held a study session June 21 on a proposal to develop an adaptive reuse incentive program and ordinance that recognizes the “economic, environmental and cultural value of preserving older and/or historic landmark buildings within the City of Long Beach.”

The study session comes after the Long Beach City Council, last October, directed city staff to come up with an initiative similar to the City of Los Angeles’ Adaptive Reuse Ordinance that was established in 1999. Other cities with adaptive reuse ordinances include Santa Monica and Pasadena.

Long Beach city staff states that the key to the success of L.A.’s ordinance, which refers to buildings built prior to the 1980s, was flexibility of land use and life safety issues that resulted in “reduced risk and enhanced project economics and feasibility for developers and investors.”

The proposal is to expand Long Beach’s existing adaptive reuse ordinance and the California Historic Building Code by applying to structures other than just designated historic buildings, while allowing other buildings to be converted as well. This would incorporate non-historic buildings into the ordinance and consider reverse adaptive reuse, such as converting historic residential structures to commercial spaces.

Becky Blair, chair of the Long Beach Planning Commission and president/ principal of Coldwell Banker Blair Commercial Westmac, said the city is currently studying ways to implement the ordinance mainly in…to read the rest of the story, please click here.

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