The Whittier City Council has voted to pursue annexation of 1.8 square miles of west Whittier, a move that would add about 18,000 residents to the city of 70,000.
The city has asked the county Local Agency Formation Commission to approve annexing the area bordered by Whittier Boulevard, Washington Boulevard and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. Local business leaders had pushed for annexation as a means of redeveloping the south side of the Whittier Boulevard business corridor.
LAFCO has to approve the annexation boundaries and then hold public hearings on the proposal. If fewer than 25% of the registered voters or property owners in the area protest the move, the annexation can be approved by a vote of the City Council. If there is a protest, LAFCO will call for a special election on the issue.
Planning Director Elvin Porter estimated that the annexation process would take about eight months, provided there are no objections from area residents. Additional police, utility and street services for the area will cost Whittier about $750,000 a year, Porter said.