is a neighborhood in the south-central portion of the city of Long Beach, California
, United States
The neighborhood is bounded by Junipero Avenue on the east, Alamitos Boulevard on the west, Fourth Street on the north, and Ocean Boulevard on the south.
Surrounding communities include the East Village Arts District
to the west, Hellman
to the north and Bluff Park
to the east, with a wide sandy beach along the Pacific Ocean
to the south.
The neighborhood is mainly dense residential, with large condominium buildings along the beach and apartment buildings as one moves inland. The neighborhood was laid out in the 1920s, and many of its buildings date back to that era. As a result, the experience of living here is to feel the human scale of its often-quaint two-story-building setting, and with many conveniences only a short walk away. The urban yet human-scale neighborhood makes this section of Long Beach unique among beach communities in Los Angeles
and neighboring Orange
It is known for its vibrant nightlife, and for its significant LGBT community. There are many who refer to Alamitos Beach affectionately as "The Gay Ghetto." The Broadway Corridor business district in Alamitos Beach, is home to many well-established gay bars, restaurants and other businesses that are gay-owned. Bars serving a largely LGBT clientèle include The Paradise Piano Bar, The Brit Pub, The Mine Shaft, and The Falcon. The 4th Street Corridor, along the constituting the northern border of Alamitos Beach, is where the straight bars like The V-Room, and The Pike Bar & Fish Grill are located. Ocean Blvd is the home of many city events including the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade. the Amgen Tour of California Bike Race to name a few.
Politics and Issues
Alamitos Beach is part of Long Beach's 2nd Council district, and is represented by Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal.
There are some in the community who are very critical of the city government's permit process to owner-preferred residential neighborhoods to the neglect of Alamitos Beach's highly transient population, most notably in urban planning relative to automobile parking, i.e. the chronic shortage of available places to park. Those who believe the city to be responsible for the problem, cite the extreme difficulties in parking on weekend nights, when bar and restaurant patrons take up parking spaces on neighboring residential streets, leaving residents with nowhere to park. Others, including Broc Coward, Councilwoman Suja's chief-of-staff, have stated that the density of the community precludes adding prohibitively-expensive parking structures, and that the idea that Alamitos Beach residents can park near their homes is no longer a viable concept. New construction permits seek to redress this issue with off-street parking requirements partially due to the Bluff conversion of single family dwellings into condominium complexes in the early 1990s as well as public parking and access to public beaches governed by the California Coastal Commission. It should be noted that in the 2008 City Budget, the City projected a total of $19 million revenue from parking tickets ($11 million in tickets to be written by the Police Department and $8 million in tickets to be written by the Department of Public Works, and plans to hire more parking enforcers to extend enforcement hours), revenue that some believe amounts to a penalty tax for living in Alamitos Beach, and which, to some residents, explains the city's reticence to seriously address the parking problem, so long as the current parking shortages continue to generate a large volume of parking ticket revenue.
Alamitos Beach is also downwind of the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles, which together generate a high volume of diesel-engine particulates into the atmosphere, making outdoor activity in Alamitos Beach and surrounding neighborhoods, what some believe to be a significant health risk. The Ports have entered into an agreement with the Cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles to have docked ships turn off their engines and, by 2012, to eliminate the truck engine pollution coming from the high volume of trucks moving containers to destinations further inland. It is a common sight in Alamitos Beach to see a layer of black particles coating outer window sills and other outdoor horizontal surfaces, Some believe that the public health impact from increased childhood-onset-of-asthma cases and overall mortality from inhaled particles, which has been documented by researchers, is considerable, and that the city's 2012 target for the truck cleanup is too business-friendly and people-unfriendly. Others believe that while they concede the dangers of particulate pollution, that the major pollution reductions planned between now and 2012 cannot be realistically be accomplished overnight, and that adverse health effects must be balanced against the need to not disrupt the operations of the two ports which play a major role in the movement of goods between the United States and its Asian trading partners.