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WESTMINSTER : Plan Approved for Little Saigon Area

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The City Council has approved a redevelopment plan for Little Saigon aimed at creating a consistent Southeast Asian architectural style and improving traffic and parking along a large swath of Bolsa Avenue.

“It will probably emphasize the tourist draw, really playing up the design and appearance of the area so that it draws in more people than it does now,” said city Fiscal Services Manager Brian Fisk.

Mayor Charles V. Smith said the resolution passed at Tuesday’s meeting “set the boundaries of the plan, but the plan itself is going to evolve around the next year or so” as committees meet with local businesses and citizens. The 1.5-mile strip of Bolsa Avenue planned for redevelopment is bounded on the east by Ward Street and the west by Magnolia Street.

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As a result of redevelopment, Smith said, “over the next four or five years, you’re going to see some consistency in the architecture pattern, (and) resolution of the parking and traffic problems in the area. You’ll see an active effort to promote and lure tourism into the area.”

It is hoped the Southeast Asian motif planned for the area will draw tourists by establishing “an upscale type of development, instead of just random” development, Smith added.

“You’ll probably see an increase in financial activity,” he said. “These are the kinds of things that are going to make Westminster’s financial picture look better in the future (because) 40% of the city’s income is from sales tax.”

“There’s been no plan at all for that corridor,” Smith added. “It’s just kind of grown on its own based on existing regulations. It’s time that we put together a plan so that we have some long-range control over what happens.”

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