In a 3-2 vote Monday, the City Council gave its final approval to an ordinance that lets city officials have a say in the selection of retail stores for new shopping developments.
City officials called the ordinance, which goes into effect early next month, an unusual but necessary way to foster variety. It applies to any new development that has at least five stores or occupies at least one acre.
One backer of the new law, Mayor Christopher F. Houseman, said the city had previously "left (tenant selection) all up to the marketplace, and, frankly, the city is in serious trouble." Councilwoman Patricia Reichenberger, who also supported the measure, said she and her friends must travel to Glendale Galleria or Santa Anita Fashion Park to buy basic clothing items and appliances. Councilman Barry Hatch cast the third affirmative vote.
But Councilman Cam Briglio said existing laws and common sense are sufficient to encourage diversity. Councilman G. Monty Manibog, who cast the other dissenting vote, said property owners are the best judge of which tenants can yield the most profit.
The only public opposition came from Lili Altman, who operates CW Building Supply on Garvey Avenue. "I'm afraid of this," she said, adding that she would consider suing the city to block the law.