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WESTMINSTER : Residents Win Fight, Keep 21st St. Name

Residents of 21st Street have won their fight to keep the name of their street.

The City Council Tuesday rejected a proposal by a realty company to change 21st Street to Medical Way and agreed with residents that the change would cause too much disruption.

“It’s a good concept, but I see too much community opposition,” said Councilman Craig Schweisinger, who joined his colleagues in a unanimous vote to deny the request.

Earl Keegan of Keegan Realty proposed the name change to reflect the medical uses of the buildings on Hospital Circle, which uses 21st Street as its main access from Beach Boulevard.

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Keegan said that changing the name to Medical Way, or to one with a medical connotation, would enhance the image of the street and attract more clients for the nursing home, the medical offices and a respiratory-care facility on Hospital Circle.

“It’s now tougher for medical areas to survive,” Keegan said. “We just want a chance to survive.”

But residents said that the name change would be like robbing the identity of their neighborhood.

“I’ve lived there since 1955,” said Irene Harbison. “I want to live on 21st Street, not Medical Way.”

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In addition, residents said that a name change would cause postal difficulties because they would have to notify friends, relatives, insurance and utility companies, the Department of Motor Vehicles and other public agencies.

Another resident, Catherine Garcia, said that changing 21st Street to Medical Way could confuse people who might think that there is still a hospital with emergency services inthe area.

Recently, a 19-year-old college student shot in Garden Grove was rushed to Vencor Hospital-Orange County on Hospital Circle and died because the hospital does not have an emergency room.

City officials said that more signs would be posted to help motorists find the medical facilities on Hospital Circle, and 21st Street would be repaved to improve its appearance.

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