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Sat, Jun 24, 2006

LGB Neighbors Threaten Suit Over Expansion Approval

Split City Council Approves Growth Plan

Opposition is growing to expansion of the terminal and aircraft parking areas at Long Beach International Airport (LGB), even though the newly approved plans call for no increase in the amount of air traffic.

The Grunion Gazette reports leaders of neighborhood advocacy group LBHUSH2 were shaken Tuesday by a split city council decision to accept as valid an environmental impact assessment of the proposed expansion.

Harry Saltzgaver, executive editor of the Gazette, said a capacity crowd sat in stunned silence as the under-manned and divided council first certified the Environmental Impact Report for improvements at the airport, then okayed a conceptual site plan just 5,000 square feet smaller than the maximum allowed under the EIR -- which, as Aero-News reported last week, is 102,850 square feet.

LBHUSH2 President Mike Kowal said legal action is almost assured.

"We have an attorney... Long Beach Unified (school district) has retained an attorney, and John Eastman (the law professor who appealed the EIR) is talking about legal action soon. I don't have a timeline," Kowal told the Gazette, "but we will sit down and discuss it as a board."

FMI: www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/, www.longbeach.gov/airport/

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