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VALLEY FOCUS | Panorama City

City Seeks to Expand Job Creation District

April 23, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion Wednesday to ask the state to expand the Northeast Valley Enterprise Zone to include portions of the former General Motors site and the Carnation Dairy plant on Van Nuys Boulevard.

Enterprise zones are part of a state program to encourage economic activity in depressed areas. The city has five such zones, including the one in the northeast Valley.

The city is allowed to request an expansion of about 15% of the zone's original size through the 10-year life of the zoning distinction, city officials said.

Businesses that relocate to or stay in the zone are given job and sales tax credits for hiring local residents, low-interest loans and discounted Department of Water and Power rates.

Because the zone was created to stimulate job creation, only the manufacturing section of the GM project will be included in the expansion, city officials said.

"The companies that do better from enterprise zones are those that have a lot of employees and buy a lot of equipment, which would be manufacturers," said Councilman Richard Alarcon, who represents much of the area.

The expansion would also include commercial and industrial areas around Panorama Towers and south to the Metrolink railroad tracks on Van Nuys Boulevard, as well as those on San Fernando Road, Lankershim Boulevard and Tuxford Street in Sun Valley.

The original zone encompasses portions of Pacoima, Sun Valley and Arleta.

The motion now needs approval from Mayor Richard Riordan and the state Trade and Commerce Agency before the zone can be expanded.

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