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Long Beach : 3-Story Limit Reaffirmed

The City Council has sidestepped the state Costal Commission and reaffirmed support of a three-story height limit in Belmont Shore, Naples and the Peninsula.

The move comes three weeks after the Costal Commission refused to approve a new city ordinance that would have plugged a series of loopholes allowing rooftop structures, set a limit on the height of peaked roofs, and maintained existing height limits for other roofs.

In asking for the ordinance, the City Council was passing up the opportunity to limit building heights to two stories. The Costal Commission turned the plan down after hearing from many property owners who support a two-story limit, and 3rd District Councilwoman Jan Hall, who said they represented the majority.

On Tuesday, the council voted 5-3 to start the process leading to revocation of the ordinance and resubmit the loophole closures to the Costal Commission. Rescinding the ordinance requires consideration at two future City Council meetings, City Atty. William Keiser said.

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Building height limits in the costal area would then be covered under the previous ordinance, which also allowed three-story homes of up to 30 feet in Belmont Shore and Naples, and up to 35 feet in the Peninsula.

Councilman Marc Wilder made the motion at the urging of Jerry A. Borisy, a Belmont Shore resident and chairman of the Zoning Commission. Some council members said Borisy’s pitch was a surprise; it came late in the day and was part of an obscure agenda item.

Mayor Ernie Kell and council members Wallace Edgerton, Eunice Sato, Warren Harwood and Wilder supported the move. Council members Thomas Clark, Edd Tuttle and Hall opposed it. Councilman Jim Wilson did not attend the meeting.

Three-story homes in the 3rd District are a hot topic in the city. They have sharply divided the City Council and pitted neighbor against neighbor. On Tuesday, Edgerton and Harwood charged Hall with mishandling the issue. Hall, who is seeking reelection Tuesday, called the charges “outrageous” and “pre-election politics.”

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