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Pros and Cons of Redevelopment Zone : Commerce: Project could boost tax revenue substantially. But traffic congestion might increase significantly, a draft environmental report says.

August 06, 1992|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GLENDALE — A proposed redevelopment zone along Glendale's largely industrial western border could double the number of businesses and produce substantial tax revenue, officials said Tuesday.

But the new development also could snarl traffic significantly, according to a draft environmental report. If all agencies approve, the zone could be set up by December.

The project would affect 750 acres along San Fernando Road, parallel with the Golden State Freeway (5) from the southern tip of Glendale north to Burbank.

Consultant Cotton/Beland/Associates Inc. of Pasadena estimated that the zone could bring in $1 billion in taxes and fees to the city over its 35-year life. Annual figures were unavailable.

About 5.8-million square feet of commercial and industrial development could be created, as well as jobs and opportunities for the expansion of existing businesses, according to the report.

The zone could necessitate about $110 million in public improvements to streets and utility lines, and beautification measures to spur revitalization of the zone.

Redevelopment zones allow cities to collect a portion of property taxes generated from new development to help pay for improvements. They also allow cities, through eminent domain, to assemble a series of small lots into a large parcel.

The draft report, which cost Glendale $96,000, was presented Tuesday at the first of a series of public hearings.

It found that most impacts from the proposed project, such as added enrollment in schools and changes in land-use, could be mitigated. But it also maintained that a permanent and significant impact on traffic congestion is possible. A series of road widenings was proposed to lessen the impact, but problems could still develop.

Ruth Martinez, a city redevelopment assistant who has guided the study, said conclusions in the report are based on full development of the 750 acres.

"In reality, of course, that is not going to happen," she said. The impact of each project proposed in the zone would be studied individually, she said. Martinez said the current report "is not an OK for a development; it is just an OK to draw a boundary and say this is a project."

Copies of the report are available at city libraries, the city manager's office and at the agency office, 633 E. Broadway.

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