In December, 2nd District Councilmember Jeannine Pearce brought an agenda item before the Long Beach City Council in the hopes of streamlining the city’s conditional use permit (CUP) process. The request passed, and a study is currently underway by consulting firm Dyett & Bhatia Urban & Regional Planners, which has a $95,000 contract with the city.


“Councilwoman Pearce had what she called a business roundtable meeting back in March,” Linda Tatum, planning bureau manager for Long Beach Development Services, said. “The consultant happened to be there to start her work by listening to the feedback that came from those on the panel and those members of the public who provided comment.”


Tatum explained that the scope of the study has not changed from when the item was introduced in December. The study will focus on examining uses which require a CUP, efforts to make the CUP process more cost effective, streamlining the public noticing process related to CUPs, expediting CUP modifications for existing businesses, and creating a simplified CUP process for existing businesses opening additional locations.


According to Tatum, the study is about a month and a half in, and she hopes to have preliminary recommendations by the end of summer. At that time, she said city staff would have a clearer picture of the study timeline and when there might be additional outreach meetings.


When the study is completed, it will be presented to the planning commission before being voted on by the city council. Tatum said the original estimates to come back to city council were for early next year but that city staff hopes it will be sooner.


“I think we’re excited about doing this work,” Tatum said. “I think it’s something that’s just going to benefit not only the city but our business community as well. And that’s kind of the whole point.”

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.