Given that the Second and PCH development team has indicated their intention of entering into a Development Agreement (DA) with the City of Long Beach, I'm starting to get some questions about DAs. Gotta say, however, I have zero experience with DAs....but I do have easy access to planning-type material and I can read.
Generally, DAs are contracts negotiated between government agencies and project proponents that govern the land uses that may be allowed in a particular project. The allowable land uses and other terms and conditions of approval are negotiated between the parties, subject to the public agencies approval.
DAs are regulated by the provisions put forth in California Government Code, commencing with Section 65864, and Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 21.29.
The Institute for Local Government publishes the "Development Agreement Manual: Collaboration in Pursuit of Community Interests" and has some good pro/con info, I thought.
Additionally, my understanding is that the City of Long Beach entered into a DA over the Douglas Park Project. The City produced a FAQ sheet associated with that project. Therein are some DA-related questions/answers which may be of use.