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SHERMAN OAKS : Target Area Detailed for Redevelopment

July 15, 1994|KAY HWANGBO

Details about the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency's proposal to create a redevelopment area in Sherman Oaks are beginning to emerge from recent community gatherings at which agency officials have presented their ideas.

The agency has targeted a prospective redevelopment area that runs along Ventura Boulevard from Coldwater Canyon Avenue to the San Diego Freeway.

The 570-acre area runs as far north as Magnolia Boulevard in one section, and in another part, extends as far south as Greenleaf Street--two blocks south of Ventura Boulevard. The proposed study area includes the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square mall, as well as sections of Coldwater Canyon, Fulton and Willis avenues, among other streets.

"What we hope to accomplish is to provide a mechanism, financial and otherwise, that will allow Sherman Oaks to rebuild, to recover from the earthquake," said Don Spivack, CRA director of operations.

On Tuesday, the City Council decided to order the CRA to study the feasibility of creating emergency redevelopment areas where local property taxes could be used to rebuild neighborhoods and businesses.

In each of the community meetings, CRA officials have stressed that the agency's power to condemn and take over property would not be used on homes where people are currently living. It would only be used on buildings which have become a public nuisance, and whose property owners are unable--or refuse--to improve their property after a reasonable period of time, they said.

The agency has also promised not to use its powers of eminent domain to assemble parcels of land.

Money generated from the redevelopment area would go toward repair, rehabilitation and reconstruction of quake-damaged residential and commercial property. It would also help pay for new housing construction and public improvements such as streets and sidewalks.

Under the proposal, the CRA will help property owners get financing to rebuild quake-damaged buildings. It could do this by giving direct grants and loans or by leveraging its money. For example, the CRA could guarantee a bank loan for a building owner, or give funds to a person that would trigger matching funds from a government agency.

The money to pay for the project would come from the tax increment, or the additional property tax that is generated by the project's improvements to the area.

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