The Seal Beach Planning Commission is set to vote today on the city’s most controversial development project, a proposal to build 48-homes on the 10.7-acre parcel known as the DWP property.
Located on the city’s last major waterfront open space at the corner of First Street and Marina Drive, the project has pitted the property’s owners – Bay City Partners - against a vocal group of residents who believe the property should remain 70 percent open space as the city designated it several years ago. A year of legal wrangling between the city and Bay City Partners and another year of reports and community meetings have led to this point. Already, the city’s Environmental Quality Control Board and DWP Advisory Committee have shot the project down. In the end, the City Council and California Coastal Commission will have the final say on the project.
If the project is approved, the developers would give the city 6.5-acres for open space and access to a bike trail and the First Street parking lot, according to a settlement agreement between the city and Bay City Partners. In exchange for the open space, access and a sewer easement, the city will pay Bay City Partners nearly $2 million and give the developers about 7,000 square feet of roadway along First Street. The city would also agree to support the project if it goes before the California Coastal Commission for approval, according to the agreement.
Reached last year, the settlement agreement rankled project opponents, who feared that it preordains the city’s approval of the project. However, city leaders insist that agreement only requires that the city give the project good faith consideration.
Tonight’s Planning Commission meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 211 8th Street.
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