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La Mirada : Retirement Center Opposed

October 09, 1986

A group of residents, angry over selection of the vacant First Baptist Church as the site for a proposed three-story senior citizen housing project, has organized and hired a lawyer to fight the development.

Calling themselves the Citizens Assn. of La Mirada (CALM), the group may go to court to halt the $3-million federally-funded project, which must get under way by early next year or risk losing its government financing. A spokesman for CALM, Harriet Dennison, said the group is not opposed to building a 163-unit housing project for senior citizens, just the location at 13001 La Mirada Blvd.

She contends that the development is oversized for the 3.6-acre site about two blocks south of Imperial Highway, and will result in parking and traffic problems in the area. She also said the city is setting a "dangerous precedent" by approving the high-density project on a lot that is zoned for single-family homes. "If the city does not reverse this decision, we will go to court to stop it," Dennison said.

The city bought the site for $1.5 million in March, 1985, and plans to sell it to St. Louis-based Love Real Estate Co., which will develop the retirement center. As part of the agreement, Love Real Estate must rent a fourth of the center's units to low- and moderate-income tenants for 10 years.

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