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GARDENA : Plan for Market Near Wetland to Be Discussed

October 06, 1994|SUSAN WOODWARD

The City Council will hear public comment Tuesday on plans to construct a Smith's Food & Drug Center in the city.

The hearing comes after the August release of a report outlining the development's potential environmental effects.

Development of the 10-acre site at Artesia Boulevard and Vermont Avenue has been a contentious issue in recent months. Opponents are concerned that the market will hurt a wetland, known as the Gardena Willows, next to the development site.

Members of the Los Angeles Recreation and Open Space Assn. have designed an alternative proposal to the Smith's center, advocating turning the vacant site into a park that incorporates the Willows wetland. Other community members are concerned that a park would draw crime to the area.

The city's Planning and Environmental Quality Commission approved the development plan after hearing three hours of public testimony Tuesday.

Chairman Duane M. Hinds praised activists who advocate an alternate plan to turn the site into a park, incorporating the Willows.

He said he was torn between the two proposals. But he said he had to vote for the market development because a park would be a threat to public safety and the city could not afford its upkeep.

The council hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers, 1700 W. 162nd St.

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