Redevelopment Zone in Pacoima Suggested

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon proposed Tuesday that city officials consider setting up a redevelopment zone in Pacoima's deteriorated commercial district if they believe that's what it would take to revitalize that community.

Alarcon's proposal was referred to the council's Housing and Community Redevelopment Committee, on which he sits.

Last August, Alarcon told a group of northeast San Fernando Valley community leaders he was ready to support a study to determine if it made sense to give the city's often controversial Community Redevelopment Agency a role in stimulating economic growth in Pacoima.

In redevelopment areas, the CRA funds public improvements and, using its powers of eminent domain, assists private parties seeking to buy and develop property.

The Alarcon motion asks the agency to look at a variety of ways to revitalize the area. It asks the agency to include but look beyond the idea of setting up a formal redevelopment project, which would typically bring fairly radical changes.

Moreover, if establishing a redevelopment zone is the strategy the CRA believes would work best, the zone should not include residential areas unless expressly permitted by the City Council, the Alarcon motion states. Homeowners have often been the biggest critics of redevelopment.

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