Vacant Lot Registry
On October 3, 2017, the City Council adopted an ordinance amending the Long Beach Municipal Code by adding Chapter 18.29 regarding vacant lots. The intent of a Vacant Lot Registry is to complement the Foreclosure Registry and the Vacant Building Monitoring Program in protecting neighborhoods from negative impacts associated with vacant buildings and lots. Vacant lots, particularly those that are not well kept, are associated with decreased perceptions of neighborhood safety and decreased property values. Vacant lot registration, enhanced maintenance and upkeep standards, and proactive inspections can help mitigate the negative impacts associated with vacant lots while creating opportunities for community members and potential developers to activate such lots for community-serving uses and potential development opportunities.
Owners of Vacant Lots will begin receiving notification in early 2018 from the Code Enforcement Bureau regarding the new registry and associated responsibilities and fees.
Vacant Lots Map & Database
A publicly available vacant lot database and map will provide the community with access to information on available lots for such uses to allow neighbors, community members, and potential developers alike to access information on where vacant land opportunity sites exist throughout Long Beach. Changes to the vacant lot database are anticipated as lots are verified or as uses are added. City staff will periodically review demolition permits to identify new vacant lots, and staff will work with the community to verify any additional vacant lots not identified through the initial data scan and analysis.
A preliminary map of lots identified as eligible for the registry can be found here: insert pdf map(s) and/or excel sheet? Do we need to check with CA or anyone to publish this?
Additional Benefits: Urban Agriculture and Community Supporting Uses
The Vacant Lot Registry is expected to increase sustainability in Long Beach by providing opportunity sites for urban greening and community-serving uses while decreasing the negative impacts of illegal dumping. Staff recommends allowing case-specific fee exemptions for vacant lot owners who agree to allow temporary urban agriculture, other urban greening (such as pocket parks and community gardens) or specific community-serving uses.
In particular, with the expected adoption of a local Urban Agricultural Incentive Zone (AB 551) Implementation Ordinance in Long Beach, tax incentives are available for property owners to allow urban agriculture on vacant lots for a minimum of five years. On average, produce purchased in Los Angeles County travels 1,500 miles before consumption, so localizing food sources can help reduce vehicle miles traveled while increasing community resilience to climate impacts. As an example, local food sources increase community resilience to major weather events such as an earthquake or storm that could hinder transportation networks currently relied upon for food supply. More generally, activating vacant lots with community-serving destinations such as mini-parks, community gardens or community programming in local neighborhoods increases perceptions of neighborhood safety, helping residents feel comfortable walking or biking, while providing new local destinations accessible by non-motorized transportation.
Questions or Referrals?
For questions, to report a vacant lot not listed on the registry, or for more information, contact the City of Long Beach Code Enforcement bureau in the Department of Development Services. Code Enforcement can be contacted at (562) 570.CODE (2633).