LB City Council purchases park from Tanaka Family

Council also makes appointments to several charter and non-charter commissions.

Tanaka Park Sign

Tanaka Park Sign

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The following are some highlights from both the June 11 and June 18 Long Beach City Council meetings.

Harbor bonds
At its June 11 meeting, the city council, in a 7-0 vote, adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of the Harbor Revenue Bonds Series by the Board of Harbor Commissioners, on behalf of the City of Long Beach, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $2 million, secured and solely payable from Harbor Department revenues.

Naples seawall
The council voted 7-0 to adopt plans and specifications for construction of the Naples Island Seawall Repair Phase 2 Project. It also awarded a contract to Reyes Construction, Inc., of Pomona, for $13,881,331, with a 13-percent contingency in the amount of $1,804,573, for a total contract amount not to exceed $15,685,904.

Tom Modica, assistant city manager, said many people do not realize that the walkways along the seawall are open to the public, as opposed to being part of private residential properties.

“We’ve been assessing those Naples seawalls over the last several years, and they are in need of repair,” he said. “There are six different phases, and two of them have been the most critically identified as in need of repair, specifically for seismic and other types of degradation.”

Modica explained that phase one was completed in 2015 and that the second phase involves protecting homes while dismantling the existing seawall to create a new one with a new walkway.

During discussion of the matter, Mayor Robert Garcia expressed his desire for the aesthetic of the new seawall design to be consistent with what has been in place.

Commission appointments
The council approved appointments to various non-charter commissions, such as the Airport Advisory Commission and Economic Development Commission, and charter commissions, such as the Citizen-Police Complaint Commission.

HEAL Zone
At its meeting this week, the council voted to accept and expend grant funding in the amount of $90,000, with the California Community Foundation, on behalf of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, for North Long Beach Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zone activities, for the period of June 1, 2019 through June 1, 2020, and increased appropriations in the Health Fund Group in the Health and Human Services Department by $90,000, offset by grant revenues.

Tanaka Park
Also at this week’s meeting, the council approved the execution of a lease for a 10-year term for the 1.4 acres of land at 1400 West Wardlow Rd., to make the space a permanent mini-park.

“This truly is a very unique night,” said City Manager Patrick West. “We have the opportunity to make Tanaka Park a permanent park in the city of Long Beach. Our team has been working very hard on that.”

Officials said the park was developed through a unique collaboration between the 7th District council office, the surrounding community, various City departments and the Tanaka Family.

Through the development, the property, which is about 61,926 square feet, currently serves as additional outdoor recreational space in a densely populated area, officials said.

Completed in January 2004, Tanaka Park includes a playground, a half-court basketball court, benches and a rubberized perimeter-walking trail.

The city council had authorized a lease in 2011, extending the lease term through 2016 with the property remaining under lease through a month-by-month holdover status.

The current owner, the estate of Roy Masaru Tanaka, as successor-in-interest to Jean A. Tanaka, decided to sell the property and offered the City the option to purchase.

The City purchased the property for the listing price of $1,050,000, and an additional amount of up to $55,000 will be expended for due diligence and escrow and closing fees.

Deeming the purchase of the property as a priority, the 7th Council District office has agreed to allocate $50,000 in one-time council district priority funding toward the acquisition costs. Additionally, three years ago, the LA County Safe, Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure of 2016 was approved by voters, continuing funding for local parks, beaches, open space, and water resources by approving an annual parcel tax of 1.5 cents per square foot of development. City records indicate that the City anticipates funds from County Measure A for the West Planning Area that will be earmarked for the purchase of the property in the amount of $764,455. Furthermore, $234,679 from construction and demolition funds in the Development Services Fund Group will be provided for the purchase, with the remaining $55,866 paid for by Breakers Development, LLC, as a result of the current renovation of the historic Breakers Hotel.

“The current use of Victory Park for driveway access allows for ingress and egress pursuant to an existing license agreement,” state public records on the City’s website. “Renovation of the site includes a larger reconfigured driveway necessary to enhance vehicular circulation to and from the site, while maintaining more continuous park improvements and minimizing pedestrian vehicle conflicts.”

To comply with development requirements, including the reconfigured driveway access, the developer will contribute $55,866 toward the purchase price of the subject property, according to city records. The developer and the City will enter into a reimbursement agreement to memorialize the monetary contribution in compliance with development requirements, in order to ensure the contribution is received, records indicate.

Officials indicate that the purchase of the property will allow the City to preserve 1.4 acres of open space in an area that has been identified as a priority area for the addition of parks.

The next Long Beach City Council meeting will be Tuesday, July 2 at 5pm in council chamber, 333 West Ocean Blvd.