Final Draft of Management Plan for Property Based Improvement District Released by DLBA

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Following an extensive public process spanning the course of a year, the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) released the final draft management plan for the proposed Downtown’s Property Based Improvement District (PBID), in an announcement made today by President and CEO Kraig Kojian.

The PBID is a special benefit assessment district formed in 1998 and renewed in 2003 that conveys special benefits to each individually assessed parcel located within the district boundaries. Downtown property owners are now seeking to continue the PBID for an additional ten year term. The PBID will continue to provide funding for enhanced maintenance, public safety, beautification, marketing and economic development programs, above and beyond those provided by the City of Long Beach.

This final draft plan is the culmination of a yearlong progression which engaged Downtown stakeholders to help develop, create and refine the proposed management plan. During this time, over 1,000 voices played a role in articulating the community’s priorities and shaping the plan. The local community was engaged through a variety of public participation avenues, including meetings with the PBID Steering Committee, DLBA Board of Directors, Downtown Residential Council, homeowners and neighborhood associations, as well as roundtables with stakeholders, residential open houses, an online survey, a DLBA hosted community meeting, and First and Second Council District community forums.

Additionally, the most recent and expansive avenue for public participation was an online comment tool which provided another opportunity for greater feedback on a page-by-page basis of the proposed plan. The public comment period, which remained open for 76 days beginning in mid-November when the first draft of the plan was released, to its close on January 31, resulted in 412 comments. Those that utilized the online tool included Downtown commercial property and business owners, residential owners, renters, employees, non-profits and visitors. To ensure the final draft plan accurately reflects the expressed needs of the community, all the comments were synthesized and considered during the process of amending the plan, resulting in the following 15 significant changes:

General Comment

Resulting Revision

Not supportive of community court Community court eliminated
Overall budget increase too aggressive Budget reduced by $400,000
Administrative budget should be reduced to 10% Reduced from 13% to 9.8% (line item includes 3% reserve)
More focus/resources to economic development Economic Development budget increased by $25,000
Increase residential representation Management plan anticipates DLBA Board to explore appropriate representation
Assessment methodology for condos should be equitable Methodology changed from flat rate to per square foot, consistent with other property types
Supportive of residential coordinator Residential Coordinator position is further described
Tri-County Consumer Price Index escalator should be a specific amount Continued 2003 model of using CPI as a benchmark with a 5% ceiling
Add further explanation for inclusion of homeowners Language added – legal memo summarizing case law available as an exhibit
Remove bond issuance language Language removed
Change property south of Seaside Way to Standard Benefit Zone modification incorporated
Include more language about growing residential population Language added
Include an example property assessment calculation for illustration purposes Sample calculations added
Methodology for rental residential should reflect property use, not ownership type Rental residential property changed to reflect benefits experienced by individually owned units
Create exemption application process for non-profit owned properties Added process for property owners seeking non-profit rates to document both building ownership and tenant use by non-profits

The revised PBID management plan including the input received via the online public comment tool, are available online at www.downtownlongbeach.org.

On Thursday, February 16, the Downtown Residential Council will host a community forum to discuss the final draft plan. The DLBA will continue its commitment an inclusive public engagement process by presenting a summary on how the final draft management plan incorporates the recommendations received during the public comment period. This meeting is open to the public and will take place at the Renaissance Hotel, located at 111 East Ocean Boulevard beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Additional opportunities to provide comments are available at upcoming public meetings and thru the ballot process.

On Thursday, March 8, the proposed plan will be presented to the DLBA Board of Directors, comprised of individuals that represent Downtown property and business owners, residents and community partners – many of whom currently contribute to the PBID. This meeting will take place at the Hilton Hotel, located at 701 West Ocean Boulevard beginning at 8 a.m.

During the second quarter of this year, stakeholders will have the opportunity to sign a petition in support of the plan. After garnering the legal requirement of support through the petition process, all Downtown property owners will have the opportunity to vote yes or no when ballots are mailed to them directly. Following the ballot process, a mandatory action is necessary by the Long Beach City Council.

To stay up-to-date on the remainder of the PBID process, please visit www.downtownlongbeach.org or call 562-436-4259.

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