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The California Coastal Commission has approved plans to build a cat facility at the Seal Beach Animal Care Center. The commission approved the project, with some conditions, at the state agency’s Wednesday, Oct. 13 meeting.

This is the second time the coastal commission has approved a planned cat facility in Seal Beach. To date, there is no separate cat facility in the city.

The latest proposal is for a 2,400 square foot, one-story building. The city of Seal Beach approved the proposed project on Sept. 10, 2009.

The Coastal Commission approved a larger proposal  2,500 square foot, one-story cat facility on Oct. 12, 2006. According to the latest Coastal Commission staff report, the state issued a coastal permit for the cat building on June 16, 2008.

“However, construction of the project was never started and the permit expired,” the report said.

As the report pointed out, the Animal Care Center currently houses dogs and cats in one 4,145 square foot, one-story building.

“At any given time there can be 25-35 dogs and 65 or more cats and kittens on the premises.  All attempts are made to return strays to their owner.  After 96 hours, the animal becomes available for adoption to the public,” the report said.

The new cat building would be 14 feet 11 inches high.

“If construction equipment and staging is not appropriately managed, adverse impacts upon the Los Alamitos Retarding Basin, which contains wetland areas, could occur,” the report said.

“For instance, soil stockpiles could erode causing sedimentation of wetlands.  In addition, if not sited appropriately, construction equipment and activity could cause trampling of the wetlands,” the report said.

To minimize these risks, the Coastal Commission will require a Construction Staging Plan for the project.

The commission also imposed a Revised Landscaping Plan for the project.

“Although no intact cultural deposits were found pursuant to the subsurface archaeological investigation recently completed, it is nevertheless possible that significant resources may yet exist at the site,” the report said.

For that reason, the Animal Care Center will have to conform to the Archaeological Monitoring Plan that accompanied the application for a coastal permit.

The plans for the cat building will not change the existing eight parking spaces for animal shelter volunteers and potential pet parents.

“The project site is presently being used as a parking lot for volunteers and visitors to the SBACC and is devoid of any vegetation,” the Coastal Commission staff report said.