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Alarcon drops idea that could help wife

August 29, 2007|Steve Hymon | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon said Tuesday he will withdraw a motion that might have benefited his new wife's attempt to develop real estate she owns in Panorama City.

Alarcon's motion called for redesignating a one-block stretch of Wakefield Avenue from a secondary highway to a collector street. That could have helped Flora Montes de Oca -- whom Alarcon married Saturday -- by relieving her of having to give 2,850 square feet of her lot to the city to widen Wakefield.

The motion had not been publicized until The Times reported it Saturday. The City Council has not yet acted on it.

In a statement, Alarcon said his motion would have made Wakefield's designation consistent with the blocks immediately north and south of the block where Montes de Oca's property is located and was consistent with the community plan for the neighborhood. The site contains a rental house that Alarcon has listed as his official residence.

"However, irrespective of the truth of the matter, I am rescinding the motion so as to eliminate any perception of favoritism, as I reside on Wakefield Avenue in property that has been owned by my wife, whom I married last Saturday, for over eight years," Alarcon wrote.

Alarcon also explained why he had tried to get the council to redraw district boundaries to include Montes de Oca's residence in Sun Valley in his council district. The Sun Valley home is just inside the district of Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

In his statement, Alarcon said he hoped to live in the Sun Valley home while Montes de Oca developed the Panorama City property.

"Anyone who has redeveloped or remodeled a property knows that it is not ideal for a new couple with children to live in a property while it is being rebuilt around them," Alarcon wrote, referring to his wife's two young daughters, who live with her.

Without the district boundary change, Alarcon said, he and his bride would "continue to live" in the Panorama City home.

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steve.hymon@latimes.com

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