Here’s the text of a press release Baldwin Park city officials sent out today about the decision to exclude owner-occupied homes from the downtown project:
MAYOR ANNOUNCES THAT CITY WILL NOT ACQUIRE OWNER OCCUPIED HOMES FOR ITS DOWNTOWN PROJECT
At the Council meeting last night Mayor Manuel Lozano made the following statement on behalf of the Council regarding the proposed downtown redevelopment project:
“As we have stated earlier, the City of Baldwin Park needs this project, which when completed, is expected to benefit the more than 80,000 strong community of Baldwin Park by improving the quality of life, creating jobs and providing greater economic opportunity, just as projects such as Wal Mart, Target and others have done.
A redevelopment project takes many years just in the planning stages. As most of you know, this Council and Community Development Commission (CDC) must review and approve several actions for this or any redevelopment to occur. Until now, the Council and CDC had been striving to complete several of the actions required as part of that process. The project is still in planning stages and a lot more still needs to be done before we can say “This is what the project is” and “This is what it is going to look like.”
As elected officials representing the voters we want to honor the spirit of Proposition 99.
Even though Proposition 99 allows the CDC to consider acquisition of those owner-occupied homes whose owners received offer letters from the CDC in December of 2007, the Council has decided to exclude those owner-occupied homes from the proposed revitalization project. Therefore, we will not be approving a resolution of necessity regarding those homes even though that would be permitted under Proposition 99. Based on that, we have also directed staff to work with the developer to redefine the scope of the proposed project. Staff will also be working to evaluate if any additional changes to the proposed project’s timeline are needed in view of the changed economy and condition of the financial and housing markets.
It is our continued strong hope and desire to see the proposed redevelopment of our downtown come to fruition, as we seek to achieve the much needed revitalization of the community we all love. Therefore, the Council and CDC will be pursuing review and consideration of matters such as certification of the Master EIR, redevelopment plan amendments and land use entitlements. We anticipate the EIR certification process to start next month with the other processes taking place over the next six-months or so.
On behalf of myself and the Council, I would like to thank all of you who have supported the proposed project, to date, and ask you to continue your support. We are confident that the much needed revitalization of downtown and the surrounding area will happen.
To those who have opposed the currently proposed project, we thank you for and seek your constructive input. We hope you will understand and accept the benefits a revised revitalization effort would offer the whole community of Baldwin Park.”