The Whittier City Council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday night to provide the developer of a more than $20-million redevelopment project with a quarter-mile portion of magnolia Avenue north of Whittier Boulevard.
Slow-growth advocates Helen McKenna-Rahder and Bob Henderson voted against the measure.
Closing part of Magnolia, a popular north-south shortcut, remains an essential feature of the proposed shopping center, designed by Urbatec of Encino. The city's Redevelopment Agency had already approved the site plan.
The road abandonement " is an inconvenience," said Mayor Thomas K. Sawyer. "There's no question of that. But it would be extremely difficult not to go ahead with this project."
At the hearing Tuesday, Urbatec's proposed 16-acre shopping center drew nearly as much criticism s the road closure from more than a dozen residents who addressed a standing-room-only crowd of about 130.
A handful of residents living on Magnolia argued for the closure, saying it would make the street safer and quieter.