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Community News: South

WATTS : Market, Mini-Mall Projects Approved

February 14, 1993|DUKE HELFAND

The owner of a mini-mart that was destroyed in last spring's riots said he plans to reopen the business by July.

The city Planning Commission approved owner Louis Chan's plans to rebuild Lim's Market, 10626 Weigand Ave., and to continue selling beer and wine at the site, which is within walking distance of the Jordan Downs housing project and Jordan High School.

But the commission placed several restrictions on the conditional-use approval Jan. 21. Among them:

* Advertising and drinking of alcohol on the property is prohibited.

* Cups and glasses must be sold in packages of no less than 24 and ice must be sold in quantities of at least three pounds.

* Signs in English and Spanish stating the legal drinking age, as well as signs bearing, "No Loitering or Public Drinking," must be posted in the store.

Chan said he foresees few problems, noting that his uncle operated the 1,120-square-foot store 34 years before Chan bought it one week before the riots.

"A lot of people ask me when (I) am going to rebuild," Chan said. "They need a grocery store there. They have a real hard time and wish I could open as soon as possible."

Representatives of the Los Angeles Police Department's Southeast Division said that a survey taken last fall among residents within a block of the site indicated strong support for the new store. Police and city planning officials noted that the area has little public transportation for residents, who often must walk a quarter of a mile or more for groceries.

"The store provided a convenient, needed service to the community and has been missed since its destruction," Horace E. Tramel Jr., an associate zoning administrator, wrote in an analysis of the site.

Tramel approved a variance to the city's General Plan--which zoned the site for residential use--allowing Chan to rebuild the store. The business was originally opened in 1936, before the city adopted the General Plan and the current zoning guidelines that call for a residential use of the property.

In a related matter, another city planning official approved plans Dec. 30 to rebuild a mini-shopping center on South Broadway between 87th and 88th streets that was also destroyed in the riots.

Co-owner Joseph Noah said he hopes to rebuild the 30,750-square-foot center--which housed 45 retail shops selling clothing, toys, electronics and jewelry, among other items--by May.

Noah said he plans to replicate the former center and expand the 30-space parking lot to about 150 spots. City planning officials said a new center, at which alcohol sales and consumption are prohibited, will be a benefit to the community.

"Based upon the information available . . . it appears that the rebuilding of the proposed mini-shopping center would provide retail convenience to the residents of the community and contribute to the physical improvement of the immediate neighborhood," zoning analyst Herminigildo L. Agustin wrote in a report on the project.

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