Despite objections from people who live across the Long Beach Freeway from the proposed site of a court building for abused and neglected children, the City Council on Monday approved selling the land to Los Angeles County for $3.5 million.
The hilltop site, next to the Sybil Brand Institute, the county women’s jail, will house the county Dependency Court. Fire inspectors and a grand jury have said the court’s current facilities, in downtown Los Angeles, are overcrowded to the point of being unsafe.
Monterey Park once considered developing the land for a hotel, but Redevelopment Agency officials say the hotel would be better located in the Los Angeles Corporate Center, which is next to a residential area called the Highlands. The city will use the money from the sale to develop a hotel site there.
Cindy Yee, one of a half-dozen speakers who opposed selling the land for the six-story courthouse, said she and many of her neighbors fear that it will generate more traffic and bring in a “negative element” because some parents of abused children are criminals.
“We’re not opposed to the facility, just the placement of it,” Yee said.
Having lost the battle over the court building, Yee said in an interview that she and others “will gear up for fighting the hotel. You’d never see Glendale or Beverly Hills slam-dunking a hotel next to residences.”
Councilman Christopher F. Houseman, the only council member to vote against the land sale, said he wanted the county to provide more assurances about traffic and safety issues.