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SIMI VALLEY | East Ventura County Focus

Council to Prioritize Tapo Street Wish List

May 03, 1997|NICK GREEN

Simi Valley City Council members will get down to the nitty-gritty Monday when they discuss plans for the long-awaited make-over of Tapo Street.

Council members will narrow a $5.3-million wish list of public improvements for the Tapo Street business district. The list of improvements covers everything from fancy street lighting to new trees.

In addition, the council is expected to decide on guidelines for a plan intended to improve the appearance of the district's stores. City staff recommends allocating at least $100,000, which would be divvied up in grants of up to $20,000 that merchants would match to improve their businesses.

The two-pronged approach to sprucing up the area between Los Angeles Avenue and Cochran Street is the cornerstone of the initial phase of revitalization, said Dan Penman, assistant to the city manager.

Eventually a large-scale second phase could transform the venerable business district into a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare along the lines of Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade.

But for now, council members are being urged to move cautiously, partly because it remains unclear exactly how the area will evolve and partly because money is unavailable to accomplish everything on the wish list, Penman said. Still, the city needs to show merchants it is moving forward, he said.

"The importance of this item to those people is that the city is committed to revitalization and we don't just have a plan sitting on a shelf," he said. "We want [the council] to tell us what they want included in the first phase so we can get going on it. . . . These landscape improvements should go in anyway. The public areas down there are tired."

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