The Lakewood City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to create a redevelopment zone that would take in 15 different sites scattered throughout the city.
Sales tax revenues are not increasing as rapidly as they used to, city officials say, and upgrading small shopping areas and luring new commercial developers to small, vacant industrial sites is a way of maintaining the city's economic base.
Some 25% of the city's tax revenue last year came from sales taxes.
Among the sites that fall in the new zone--the city's second redevelopment area--is the old Chevron tank farm on Downey Avenue in the northwest corner of Lakewood. Last year, city staff members recommended that the 33-acre site be zoned for commercial and office buildings but the council rejected the idea after residents in the area objected strenuously. Under the new redevelopment plan, the site would be used for a housing tract.
By making use of redevelopment laws, the city can give financial incentives such as low-interest loans to private landowners or businesses to help them expand or upgrade their facilities.