3 Development Plans Get Initial Approval

Three developers have received preliminary approval to go ahead with projects that will bring the city a new shopping center, 102 homes and a carwash.

The proposed shopping center, at 1740 to 1820 W. Whittier Blvd. and 800 to 870 N. Beach Blvd., will include an Albertsons supermarket. For the last few decades, the property has sat mostly vacant and deteriorating, city officials said.

Nearby residents said they are concerned the new business will increase traffic. City Council members said traffic probably will increase but cited the property value benefits of replacing an eyesore.

The housing development, in La Habra Hills just north of the Fullerton city limit off Idaho Street, will include three styles of upscale homes. The planned houses will have large windows with hilltop views and will sell for $340,000 to $425,000.

Paul Frederick, a longtime La Habra resident, said he fears the development will "widen the gap between the classes of this city."

"I personally don't think it does anything to enhance the community value of bringing this city together," Frederick said. "It does more to pull it apart."

The council disagreed and said the project will enhance the community rather than separate it.

Chevron Products Co. of La Habra plans to open a carwash and convenience market at 1950 W. Imperial Highway, where it runs a gas and service station. The gas will remain but the service station will be replaced with the new development, officials said.

The council is expected to give the projects final approval Thursday. Construction for all three projects is expected to start within weeks of the final approval, officials said.

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