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ORANGE : Planners See Renewed Katella Avenue

City planners have a vision for the Katella Avenue corridor, and they are hoping that businesses and residents will help them fill in the details.

Officials from several departments gave City Council members a preview Tuesday of a rezoning project they hope will lead to a revitalization of the corridor. Among businesses they propose for the area are movie production studios, auto repair shops, business schools and sports facilities.

“What we are trying to do is send the message out to current and future property owners that the city wants to do something there,” said Jack McGee, director of community development. Although plans to redevelop the entire northwest side of the city have languished for two years, “activities in Anaheim caused us to make this a priority,” he said.

Planners would like to attract entertainment and sports-oriented businesses that would be compatible with Anaheim Stadium and other enterprises nearby.

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Though zoned for the small industries that dot the landscape, Katella Avenue in Orange has attracted retail businesses. “You can see that it is changing to commercial uses just because of market forces,” city planner Barbara Gander said.

Zoning changes must be made before the city can aggressively recruit entertainment centers, office buildings and other facilities that would expand the city’s tax base, Gander said.

The plan that will be presented to the Planning Commission and the council in October would establish a commercial recreation zone from Glassell Street west to the Santa Ana River.


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