Updated: Mar 3, 2020
By: Cynthia Gellis and Dianne Sundstrom
As we close out one decade and enter another, we thought it timely to look at some ways the Belmont Heights Community Association (BHCA) brings value to our community.
Our monthly meetings are a forum for speakers and topics that are relevant and of interest to our residents. They’re informative but also a great place for neighbors to bring local concerns. The BHCA works closely with our Council District (CD3) to see that issues in our neighborhood are addressed. A few recent accomplishments of that collaboration include:
Last fall, resident Jeff Rabin reached out to BHCA President Will Cullen about safety concerns around Fremont Elementary. Gabriela Yates, our CD3 field office representative, was asked to join them to assess those concerns. One of the issues identified was the crosswalk on 4th Street at Roswell. CD3 submitted a work order to have a flashing crosswalk indicator placed there and that was installed over winter recess.
At the October BHCA meeting, a resident expressed concern that the tree in the Vista/Ximeno roundabout had not been replaced. CD3 submitted a request to the appropriate City agency and the tree was replaced at the beginning of December.
A request was made at the November meeting to have “regular” park signage (the wooden signs with yellow lettering) at the Red Car Greenbelt park and CD3 has submitted the request to the department of Parks, Recreation and Marine.
Some other issues the BHCA has been working on include:
Wire Blight and Safety: With the support of our Councilperson, the BHCA has been working on this issue for many years. In the fall of 2018, Councilwoman Price brought a motion to City Council asking Public Works to evaluate the financial feasibility of a city-wide wire blight audit (see the Winter 2018 newsletter online for more on this matter). The motion was passed and since then Councilwoman Price has been actively “working with our Public Works department in order to find ways of reducing the cost of conducting the citywide wire blight audit.” In the meantime, neighbors can report specific hazards to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another long-term project supported by the BHCA is the installation of public art in the Red Car Greenbelt park. The Councilwoman’s office is managing the process for identifying an artist and installing the artwork; the BHCA is actively advocating for local Belmont Heights artists to participate in the request for proposal process.
In 2017, the California legislature proposed, and ultimately passed, SB 649. The bill was essentially a “giveaway” to the telecom industry, allowing these companies to use our City utility poles to install their cell phone antennas without letting the city have any input as to their location or aesthetic, while at the same time reimbursing the city at an 85% lower rate for using the poles. The BHCA and the City of Long Beach, along with residents and many others worked hard to defeat this bill and it was vetoed by Governor Brown.
We hope you agree that the BHCA plays a vital and meaningful role in our community. Come to a meeting, meet your neighbors, share your concerns and we’ll do our best to address them.