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VALLEY FOCUS | Canoga Park

Street Lighting District Approved

March 26, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Property owners along Sherman Way in Canoga Park overwhelmingly approved a new street lighting assessment district to add pedestrian-friendly street lights to heighten security in the area.

City officials said of the 61 property owners on Sherman Way between Jordan and Canoga avenues, 35 turned in ballots by the March 11 deadline.

Of those, 32 favored and two opposed the new lighting district, according to Stan Horwitz, division manager of the city's Bureau of Street Lighting.

The City Council ratified the ballots Wednesday, and the property owners should expect to see the new item on their next property tax bills.

They will be assessed about $1 per frontage foot of their land. For instance, the owner of a 25-foot-wide lot will pay $25 per year.

Horwitz said the district is expected to bring in about $2,461 annually to pay for the electrical power, maintenance and repair of the lights.

The city's Community Redevelopment Agency will pay to install the lights, which illuminate the sidewalk rather than the street.

The move was part of the city's effort to revitalize the street, highlighting the area's boutique shops and entertainment at the Madrid Theater, now under construction.

While the new district proposal proved popular with most property owners, some antique shop owners complained they would not benefit.

Those property owners said they generally close their doors before dark and therefore would not gain customers.

Ken Bernstein, planning deputy for Councilwoman Laura Chick, said the new lights are designed to encourage pedestrian traffic in the area.

"Some stores are open at night," he said. "And we hope that more will adopt longer hours, especially when the Madrid Theater opens and there is more activity out there at night."

Installation of the 32 lights is part of the entire street-scape project due to begin in mid-April and be completed in July or August.

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