High Rise Condos Feed Debate In Long Beach

Plans for high rise condominiums in Long Beach continue to create controversy. Supporters say such development will provide much needed tax revenue. Opponents worry that high rises may ruin the charm of their bedroom community.

Heavy equipment clears land for a proposed high rise at the old Paradise Beach Motel. It's one of at least a half dozen projects feeding an ongoing debate:  Should Long Beach welcome high rise condos?

Colleen Overton has no problem with such development.

"I think Long Beach needs something. They don't have casinos. So, I really think condos would be good in Long Beach. I have no objections at all," said the Long Beach resident.

Another woman, who grew up in Long Beach and now works there, has a very different opinion.

"This place is nice the way it is. It's a family community. It's just more family oriented. If you get the condos and stuff in here, you get more crime and different things that goes along with it," she explained.

"I think they ought to get some more retired people in our state. Get them down here where it's nice and warm. Like I got a dad living up north. He'd love it here. Have the condos here would be really good," said resident Dawn Allen.

Long Beach citizens are invited to share their opinions about proposed condominium developments at city hall during a public hearing on Monday, January 3rd. One longtime resident also wants their input on a computer web poll he created.

"It was the only method I could think of to easily allow citizens to have a say.All the citizen has to do is pull the page up and click the "vote" button," said Richard Burton.

Burton's poll gives residents five options regarding the height of condo projects. He'll forward results to city leaders.

"No one I've talked to is against condo development. Everyone thinks it's a good thing for Long Beach. The main sticking point is who makes the terms, the city or the developer," Burton said.

Anxious developers are awaiting resolution of the city ordinance issues before they can move forward with their projects.