Yes, many months later, we are still peeved about the the i-Star variance. The wound opened by some recent press about the SeaPointe Tower’s developer’s suit/settlement/no-settlement with the City. Concerning i-Star and the Super Block, one of the biggest things to happen to Long Beach should not have been rammed through in a rushed, under the radar process, with no explanations or even attempts at pretending to care for the opinions of the citizens of LB. Even a Pollyanna might wonder if the process was impacted by the fact that an important member of the LBD Committee is a lawyer whose law firm counts i-Star as a client, but the Council members did not seem to care that such connections could raise an eyebrow. Ouch.
And now, on the heels of that, we come to learn that SeaPointe developer Haberman and the City are in a bit of a mix-up regarding further development near the SeaPointe Tower (by Lincoln Blvd), including a very recently signed settlement agreement apparently allowing Haberman to seek Zoning Board approval of a variance for two 19-story towers. The settlement was signed for the City by Corey Klein (now running for City Judge), but he apparently revoked it a day later and now Haberman is upping the $50 million he wants from the City for his pain and suffering over the years (allegedly as the result of cronyism). And the City has hired new bigshot lawyers and is being mum on the whole thing, except for Mr. Eramo, who sent an unsolicited blurb to SBTC saying he would never support 19 story towers. Yet, it appears that there was background music on the Haberman affair all the while the i-Star matter was being jammed through. From the Council and Zoning Board meetings at the time one would have no idea though.
What were the City Council members thinking? What are they thinking now? We’ll watch this one….