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Atlantic Square Development Called a 'Hostage to Politics'

July 06, 1989

I don't want a self-appointed savior to decide for all of us, including the City Council, the city's staff, the Planning Commission and the developer, how Atlantic Square should be redeveloped. So because a letter to the editor (Times, June 22) urged residents to speak up about the mall, I am doing so.

Atlantic Square is being redeveloped from 200,000 square feet to 210,000 square feet. It is unlikely that a 5% increase in space will double the number of stores. Furthermore, how the space is divided is up to the developer, and at this time nobody knows how many stores are being planned because there is no finalized plan.

However, the latest plan revision shows that the developer is not asking for any variances and that all setbacks are being met. The revised plan calls for a one-story building with the possible exception of one building on a separate pad that may be two stories--20 to 25 feet.

As for the liquor licenses, four stores in the square have them now. The developer is asking for one additional liquor license for a planned new restaurant, not five new liquor licenses as stated by the letter writer.

There is no environmental report at this time because there is no finalized plan. The environmental statement referred to the development agreement dated December, 1988.

Last, a 1987 traffic study done for the city indicated the need to widen Atlantic Boulevard. It is true that street trees will have to be removed, but new trees will be planted in their place. Unfortunately, the same situation exists in other heavily trafficked areas of the city.

There is no need for the citizens of Monterey Park to panic over the redevelopment of Atlantic Square. I think we're purposely being fed misinformation that can only mean the opening shot of the 1990 council campaign has been fired. It's too bad such an important project as the Atlantic Square redevelopment has become a hostage to politics.

IRV GILMAN

Monterey Park

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