CARSON — The City Council, reversing its previous refusal to support the annexation of 788 acres in unincorporated Rancho Dominguez, moved this week to initiate annexation procedures.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve an agreement that would allow the county to keep the $9 million in tax revenue generated annually in Rancho Dominguez and forward it to the Local Agency Formation Commission. If the agreement is accepted by the county, the city will begin procedures to annex the largely industrial area--bounded roughly by Wilmington Avenue, Del Amo Boulevard, Alameda Street and the city of Compton--which includes 2,000 residents.
In September, the City Council voted 4 to 1 against annexation of the area, citing concerns primarily about two lawsuits the county filed against Carson over redevelopment revenue. A Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Carson in both court cases.
At that meeting, an estimated 200 Rancho Dominguez residents--most of them mobile home dwellers--threatened to retaliate against two of the council members who voted against the proposal by mounting a drive to get Carson's large mobile-home population to vote against them in the April election.
Residents in the Rancho Dominguez area have been seeking annexation for the last six years. Proponents say that such a move would protect them from stiff rent increases because Carson has a strict mobile home rent-control ordinance.
A staff report also indicated that the most recent financial feasibility study has concluded that tax revenue--other than property taxes-- generated by the Rancho Dominguez area would be almost twice that of the estimated cost of providing services to the area.
Council members said Tuesday that they had voted for annexation this time because many of the issues that had concerned them in September had been resolved.
"I didn't change my mind on this. I have made statements that once the issues were resolved with the county, that I would take a serious look at annexation," Councilwoman Sylvia Muise said.
Only a few Rancho Dominguez residents attended Tuesday's meeting, and most of them did not seem surprised that the council was willing to proceed with annexation.
"The council realizes that there is enough revenue in the area to be self-supporting. I personally feel that once the city starts taking the lead, within a matter of months we will be in the city of Carson," said Clifford Sackols of Rancho Dominguez, a member of Action for Carson Annexation.