Proposed medical building next to Sunnyside Cemetery heads to City Council for approval • Long Beach Post News – Long Beach Post

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A new 3,000-square-foot medical building could be built next to Sunnyside Cemetery if the Long Beach City Council approves a zoning amendment to clear the way for construction.
The Planning Commission voted Thursday night to recommend that the council approve the project, which would include the construction of the new medical building at the corner of California Avenue and Willow Street, and the removal of a small walking trail and picnic area north of the proposed project.
It requires the City Council to approve a zone change because the parcel is currently designated as open space. The parcel is west of the cemetery and south of Willow Springs Park, but if approved, the site would be changed to neo-industrial.
A city report said the rezoning would correct a city “error” because the land is privately owned and used as commercial space. The trail and picnic area currently on the lot were added by the site’s private owner. The site is not considered to be a park.
Across California Avenue from the lot is the city of Signal Hill, where a number of industrial and commercial buildings are located.
The parcel was originally approved for use as a parking lot for an adjacent business in 2017, but city planners accidentally zoned it as open space when the city updated its Land Use Element in 2018.
“We just got it wrong. The line is drawn in the wrong place,” said Christopher Koontz, acting director of Development Services. “Even though it’s an error, staff can’t correct it. It needs approval from this body.”
A picnic area at 2600 California Ave. that is connected to a narrow parking lot would be turned into parking spaces for a proposed for a medical building as part of a project the Long Beach Planning Commission approved on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.
Much of the existing parking lot would still be used by the business across California Avenue with the new medical building being built toward the north end of the parcel near where California and 27th Street intersect. The walking paths would be removed to make room for parking spaces north of the building, according to plans submitted to the city.
The city exempted the project from a full environmental review because of its intended use, and the project is under 10,000 square feet.
However, the developer will have to track tribal resources that may be under the proposed site. Conditions for approval for the project include about three pages of requirements for partnering with a Kizh Nation-approved monitor to track the discovery of tribal resources, including burial sites and human remains. If remains are found, construction would have to stop while a plan for relocating the remains or resources is agreed to by the developer and the monitor.
Long Beach is part of the Tongva tribe’s footprint that once extended from Palos Verdes to San Bernardino. The proposed project site is a few miles northwest of Puvunga, a sacred Tongva site located on the campus of Cal State Long Beach.
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