A decision by Los Angeles County to drop its appeal of a court ruling that halted redevelopment of a roughly 10-block area of unincorporated Bassett means the Community Development Commission must now go back to the drawing board and submit new plans for the $4 million revitalization project.
The county's two-year effort, initially for a 257-acre redevelopment project, was first thwarted last April when a Superior Court judge ruled that the county did not comply with the state redevelopment law requiring the election of an advisory committee of residents from the project area. Jerry Knudson, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the ruling also required the agency to submit its new plans for an expanded 350-acre version of the Valley Boulevard Redevelopment Project to the court for review. The only portion of the project not included in the court's ruling is the ongoing repaving and widening of Valley Boulevard.
Opponents of the project sued the county commission last June because they feared they would lose their homes in a county effort to help neighboring City of Industry, which has traditionally discouraged residential growth, annex their property. The residents charged that their interests were not represented in the project because most of the property owners appointed to Bassett's redevelopment advisory committee by County Supervisor Peter Schabarum favored the project.
Attorneys for the commission did not return telephone calls from The Times to explain their reasons for dropping the appeal. Spokesmen for Schabarum, whose district includes Bassett, have said, however, that the project is not designed to benefit Industry, but to revitalize businesses and create jobs in an area they claim is blighted.