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San Fernando Acts to Rezone Old Airport Site

Times Staff Writer

The San Fernando City Council voted unanimously Monday to initiate a general plan amendment and zone change on 20 acres of old San Fernando Airport property, clearing the way for a Manhattan Beach-based developer to purchase the land to build a shopping center.

Alexander Haagen Development Co. is planning to build a 200,000-square-foot shopping center along the 12900 block of Foothill Boulevard, with two or three main stores and 20 to 30 smaller shops, said Thomas Corley, the firm’s project manager. He would not give the names of the major stores.

It will take about four months for the city to complete the planning-change process, said City Administrator Donald E. Penman.

The land is now zoned quasi-public, reflecting the former airport use.

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A zone change allowing for commercial uses is needed in order for the shopping center to be built, Corley said.

Late last year, Lucky Stores bought for $8 million the 52-acre former airport site, the last large undeveloped piece of property in San Fernando. Lucky plans to build two distribution warehouses on the land, but does not need the entire parcel.

Since the airport was closed in 1984 and the land was put up for sale, the city has been intent on seeing a part of the property developed into a revenue-generating retail area. Although the city does not own the property, it can control what is built on it through zoning ordinances.

Last month, City Council denied a Lucky request to initiate a zone change on the land for industrial uses, because the city was still studying the commercial potential for part of the land.

Penman said it is in the city’s “best interest” to initiate the zone change for Haagen Development because “delays could hurt the project.”


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