EL SERENO : Residents Assured Homes Will Stand

More than 50 residents who feared their homes were targeted for possible demolition under a study to revitalize some Eastside neighborhoods were told last week that there are no such plans in the works.

The residents left a meeting on the ongoing Adelante Eastside study with assurances from the Community Advisory Committee that, although housing in the neighborhoods was evaluated in the original 16-month study, there are no plans to demolish homes in favor of economic development.

"This housing and residential (component) is over with," said committee chairman Steve Barba when a resident asked for a vote to ensure that homes would not be torn down. "What the committee presented to the City Council was two areas to study--the commercial and industrial."

Many who attended said they had received flyers or heard from neighbors that housing within the 10-square-mile area studied for revitalization could be torn down to make way for commercial and industrial areas.

The committee has outlined local business corridors that it hopes residents, who currently travel outside the area to shop, will use and thus raise the local tax base.

Barrio Planners Inc., an architectural firm, is conducting a technical study of the area to document conditions of blight as defined by state law, whether in buildings, streets or other physical characteristics. It will also study the area's economy and determine sources of tax revenue. With city approval, the redevelopment area could then be established.

Although they received assurances that their homes were safe, many in attendance at Wednesday night's meeting complained that the community is not aware of the study and its potential impact.

Estela Herman, who has attended meetings for 13 months, said the committee has not been receptive to comments from residents.

"They come and the community tries to talk and then time runs out," she said. Herman thanked the committee for listening to residents' concerns Wednesday night.

The next Community Advisory Committee meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. June 22 at the Boyle Heights Senior Citizens Center, 2839 E. 3rd St.

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