Long Beach residents file suit against city to stop $103M aquatics complex

Rendering of Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center (City of Long Beach)
Rendering of Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center (City of Long Beach)

Updated Tuesday, June 19, 2017 at 4:10 p.m.: A group of Long Beach residents have taken the city to court over its plan to build a competition-grade swimming pool complex in the neighborhood of Belmont Shore.

The group, Citizens about Responsible Planning, filed a lawsuit last week to stop the project, alleging its environmental impact report, which was approved in May, was inadequate. 

The complaint cites insufficient analysis of topics that include the potential effect of the new construction on residents’ ocean views and rising sea levels. It also argues that alternative sites did not receive enough consideration, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

The $103 million buildout of the the Belmont Beach and Aquatics center would take place on the former site of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, just steps from the beach. Demolition crews tore down the former pool in 2013 after engineers determined it was in danger of collapse in the event of an earthquake.

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The new facility would include an indoor and outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool, competitive diving platforms and recreational and therapeutic swimming facilities, according to the Press-Telegram.

Long Beach officials are hoping the complex will be able to host competitions at the level of events like NCAA conference championship.

The Long Beach chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club, as well as other groups also oppose the project and have filed a separate appeal.

While city officials approved the project, the California Coastal Commission still has a say in whether the plan can proceed. Long Beach officials acknowledged that commissioners may want to alter the project. [PT]Subrina Hudson

This story has been corrected to show Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club are not part of the lawsuit.

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