LOS ALAMITOS : Committee Hopes to Revitalize Business
The City Council has again approved the formation of an economic revitalization committee in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, but this time, aggressive development plans are out of the question.
In 1990, the city’s Redevelopment Agency adopted its first plan to attract and retain businesses in the hopes of increasing revenues.
However, voters in June decisively rejected that plan, and the Redevelopment Agency was dismantled last month.
How does a city revitalize its tax base when residents are obviously against redevelopment?
That’s the key question faced by the committee’s nine members, five from the Chamber of Commerce and four from city government.
The group is expected to meet for the first time next month to seek ways to attract new businesses and retain existing ones.
“We can’t come up with grand things that will dramatically alter the characteristics of the community because that’s not what we want to do,” City Manager Robert C. Dunek said.
With a population of about 12,000 people, Dunek said, the city may be at a disadvantage in competing against neighboring cities for new business.
“Our strategy would be more in keeping the businesses we already have than in attracting new ones,” he said.
In addition to Dunek, members of the committee representing the city are Marilyn Poe and City Council members Anthony R. Selvaggi and Alice Jempsa.
Chamber of Commerce representatives include Kay Koford, Jim Duncan, Ray Roberts, Ron Montgomery and David Holland. Murl Fast was appointed an alternate.
Dunek said he doesn’t know what type of businesses can be attracted to the city, but without a redevelopment agency to aggressively pursue development efforts and with available land scarce for new construction, it will be hard for the city to compete for any new business.
However, he said, the city has an ideal location.
“The three important business variables are location, location, location,” Dunek said. “We can offer that to businesses looking to relocate.”
He said Los Alamitos is in the center of Orange County, close to John Wayne Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, with easy access to the San Diego, Garden Grove and San Gabriel River Freeways.
He said the committee will look at the businesses already in the city and find new ones that will diversify the city’s economic base. He said the city has light industrial zones and business parks available for new businesses.
After the committee has its first meeting in the “next couple of weeks,” it will meet monthly, Dunek said.