Still shaken by a 1983 lawsuit claiming that the makeup of a citizens advisory group was unfair, the Council is proceeding cautiously with formation of another citizen group that will review an amendment to the city's redevelopment plan.
In 4-0 vote, with Mayor James Santangelo abstaining, the council adopted a resolution Tuesday calling for the formation of a Project Area Committee.
In 1983 committee members were appointed by council members, according to Jim Cutts, director of community development. But in its successful lawsuit, Downey CARES, an anti-redevelopment group, argued that the committee did not fairly represent the redevelopment area.
Now, in order to solicit members, the council plans to publish notices in two newspapers, make announcements at meetings and may also mail notices to property owners in the amended redevelopment area. According to state law, the city must establish a committee of residents and business people to review redevelopment plans that may displace low- and moderate-income families. The Downey redevelopment plan calls for an additional 305 acres to be included in the city's 125-acre redevelopment district.
The City Council has 60 days from the time the amendment was approved to form the committee. The Planning Commission approved the amendment on July 16.
A public meeting to discuss the committee will be held in City Council chambers at 7 p.m. Aug. 7, Cutts said.