The Long Beach Cruise Terminal is planned to become bigger. At its November 7 meeting, the Planning Commission approved plans to add a total of 657 new parking stalls, as well as fill an abandoned 450-foot-long tunnel between the parking structure and Windsor Way, and reconfigure the traffic lanes within the 45-acre area.
However, those plans were not the source of controversy which attracted dozens of residents. The commission also approved a city analysis that found the terminal improvements would not significantly harm the environment. A lot of the residents who showed up at the meeting were concerned about that document. They argued that the project, and the bigger ships it would accommodate, deserved "a more robust environmental review."
Carnival Cruise Line will be one of the primary beneficiaries of the expansion. The company plans to bring larger ships to Long Beach than the current cruise ship terminal can handle. Some residents pointed to Carnival Cruise Line’s environmental record as evidence that a deeper study of the project’s impacts is warranted.
The vote was approved 4-2 (Commissioners Erick Verduzco-Vega and Mark Christoffels) dissenting, and those in favor saying they believed the cruise terminal was headed in the right direction.