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SEAL BEACH : Airport Report May Stall Bixby Ranch Plan

The final round of public hearings on Bixby Ranch Co.'s 223-home development plan, expected to be scheduled next month, may be delayed until October.

City officials say they want to await the outcome of a review of the 46-acre residential and commercial project by the county’s Airport Land Use Commission, which is expected in mid-September.

Some opponents of the proposed Old Ranch development have questioned the safety of homes planned near the end of the runway at Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center.

The city’s Environmental Quality Control Board rejected the project’s environmental impact report May 23, citing concerns about aircraft noise and traffic.

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But Bixby Ranch Co. officials say none of the residential areas would be subjected to excessive aircraft noise.

Aircraft noise in the city’s College Park neighborhood is already greater than noise levels expected in the proposed development, according to Bixby officials.

After three public hearings, the Planning Commission on June 28 rejected the Bixby Ranch Co.'s request for a required General Plan amendment.

Yet the commissioners also voted 4 to 1 to approve the development’s environmental impact report. The Planning Commission vote is not binding on council members.

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Mayor Marilyn Bruce Hastings said the council will schedule at least two public hearings before voting on the project.

“This development is going to have traffic impacts,” Hastings said. “That’s one of the things that’s going to be difficult to mitigate.”

Bixby Ranch Co. officials are offering $1 million in traffic improvements.

Company attorney Ken Bornholdt said traffic and aircraft noise can be “mitigated to a level of insignificance.”


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