DOWNEY — The City Council will hold public hearings this month and in June on proposals to expand by 305 acres its redevelopment district along Firestone Boulevard and to create a separate industrial redevelopment zone.
At a meeting last week, the council set a hearing June 9 on a plan to expand the city's 125-acre Firestone Boulevard redevelopment district. The other hearing is May 26 on the so-called Woodruff Industrial Project, a 118-acre industrial area along Woodruff Avenue south of Firestone Boulevard.
More than 20 property and business owners who would be included in the Woodruff project voiced their opposition at the meeting.
Leo and Lois Du Lac, who said they own 16 buildings in the proposed redevelopment area, presented a petition asking to be excluded from the project. The petition was signed by the owners of 12 businesses in the buildings, they said.
Lois Du Lac said her buildings are in good condition and do not need to be redeveloped. Several business owners said redevelopment could increase their rent and force them to move or raise prices for their products.
When a redevelopment district is created, property taxes used to support traditional government services are frozen. Additional tax revenue generated from the higher value of redeveloped properties is then diverted to the redevelopment agency, which uses the money to promote additional projects to eliminate blight.
If the redevelopment plans are approved, the city would have condemnation powers for 12 years to promote redevelopment. Owner-occupied residential property would be exempt, but once the original owner leaves the property, it also is subject to condemnation.