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new citizens group battles montebello on eminent domain - small smart board
New civic group led by former city councillor William M.
Molina is busy in the City Hall.
Group, residents of the South Montebello region (SMART)
Organizers say the association, a Community Improvement Association established earlier this year, aims to address issues such as crime reduction and improving youth programs south of Whittier Avenue.
But for now, SMART is launching a growing campaign against the proposal to give urban reconstruction agencies the right to take over in two districts in South Montebello.
The organization has collected hundreds of signatures against the proposal.
At the Council meeting on Monday night, about 50 smart members appeared to watch their leaders attack the council for not consulting them on the proposal.
SMART believes that the proposal could have a devastating impact as it brings more industry into the community without properly buffering the traffic, noise and air pollution of residents ---
Eventually people may be forced to leave their homes.
City officials are listening.
City councillor Art Payan has asked the City Council to set up a civic council to provide public comments as the City advances its expropriation plan.
"Citizens South of Whittier Avenue do not have enough investment," Payan said . ".
The council will decide at its next meeting whether or not to form a Civic Council.
The city also plans to hold seven town meetings next month to explain the controversial proposal.
"Public opinion on this (eminent domain)
Mayor Arnold M.
Said in an interview.
"Measuring the Mind of the community is one of the most difficult tasks.
Intelligence helps with information dialogue.
"But while officials acknowledge that SMART is growing, they are also a little wary.
City officials say the group may use intimidation to raise opposition to the expropriation plan.
Female MP Kathy Salazar said she had received some reports that the smart MP had told local residents about their singles --family, owner-
Occupied houses can be acquired through expropriation rights.
The city council says the plan they will consider will exempt the owners
Occupied home from expropriation.
At least until October, the plan will not be submitted to the city council for final approval.
"It is very difficult for me to accept the intimidation tactics that have been used," Salazar said . ".
"I can understand a community group getting together, but I can't understand if it's going to be used in a negative way.
Senior community activist and savvy chairman Molinari said the reports sought to discredit a group that was challenging urban planning.
Molinari said members tried to tell residents exactly how they would be affected by the right to requisition, including increased traffic and other development-related issues.
"We never tried to do this (
Why should we be with the people we have to live?
What we are talking about is ensuring that people understand all aspects of the right to requisition.
"Morinari, who failed in the city council elections in last November, said he first started discussing the formation of the South Montebello group in last January.
But it was not until May that the organization began actively recruiting members.
SMART claims about 400 adult members, including 30 registered last week, Molinari said.
The organization said the membership fee was $10 for operating expenses only, including SMART's newsletter.
The organization's visibility in the community has been increasing over the past few months.
It held its first plenary meeting on July.
About 300 people attended the meeting, said Molinari.
SMART has been distributing balloons with the name of the organization at city events.
At a recent board meeting at South Montebello House in Molinari, about 15 directors and members discussed the problems facing their community and the group's goals.
SMART is a non-profit Community Association, says Molinari.
Big issues they talked about big issues like improving police and fire fighting in the area, fighting drug use and gang presence in South Montebello.
They talked about improving the overall look of Montebello by organizing young people to paint on graffiti, cleaning up trash and lighting up dark alleys.
The clever director cheered for a small victory: last month, after a member complained, the council expanded its event program at South Monte Belo Hollyfield Park.
Al King, director of Parks and Entertainment, said the city is expected to expand the services of the park, but the input from SMART members has helped to speed up the expansion.
City officials said they were upset because the group divided the city into the North and South, which could create hostilities between residents of the same city.
But Molinari said the department was created by Montebello's economy.
In fact, all the industry in the city is south of Whittier Avenue, while commercial and residential development is concentrated in the north. Sixty-
A city official said 6% of the city's population lives in the north and 34% live in the South.
Molinari noted that none of the current council members live in South Montebello and that only a small number of residents from the southern region serve on the various committees of the city.
"We have a feeling here that there may be a lack of sensitivity in some ways," said Molinari . ".
"When we talked to each other, we realized that we had a common concern, but there was no car to go into town on their behalf.
"SMART Board members say most of their common problems stem from getting along with the industry.
There was noise and smoke in the yard of the truck.
Smart members say their sleep is often disturbed and they are worried about the exhaust of vehicles and the emissions of nearby industries.
"35 years ago, when I bought my house, it was all residential," board member Harry Haprov said . ".
"Slowly, they turned it into a commercial.
Smart members say that because of these issues, what they are most concerned about now is the right to requisition.
The city's reconstruction agency wants Parliament to give it strong power to stimulate growth in the two reconstruction areas of South Montebello.
The reconstruction agency has the right to requisition in the third reconstruction area in the north.
These two areas are 287-
Acre South Montebello industrial reconstruction project area established in 1973 and 332-
The project area for economic revitalization of akrimonte Belo was established in 1982.
The southern industrial project area is dominated by industry, but includes some residential and commercial properties.
The economic revitalization zone covers Central Montebello and extends to the southern part of the city, mainly industrial and commercial properties, along Whittier Avenue and some housing.
There are 374 residential units in both areas, including 25 single units
Family homes, officials say.
The general strategic reconstruction officer has an overall strategy that is expected to bring more industry to the region, create more jobs and increase taxes for the city.
Victor Grgas, director of community development, said the strategy is not expected to replace "large" homes in the area.
City officials noted that new trucking operations are being suspended in the region, indicating that they are dealing with developments affecting South Montebello.
But Molinari said SMART would like to have a more specific plan detailing how residents will be protected from noise, pollution and traffic if more industries enter the area.
He said the organization would also like to have a plan for where they can move to affordable housing if RRR is required to be relocated.
Molinari said that the organization collected more than 700 signatures in the petition campaign against the right to expropriation.
"At least give people all the information about it (eminent domain)
Before making a decision, "Molinari said.
"Our view is that those who have to accept this decision within a day --to-day basis.
"A smart member who lives on Espanol Avenue in the southern industrial project district is worried, even if the owner --
The occupied residence will not be affected by the expropriation.
A disposal company with a truck fleet is already across the street, and the rebuilding agency recently purchased two nearby houses from sellers willing to sell.
Grgas said the agency had no plans to develop the two properties immediately, but ultimately wanted to see revenue --
Produce business there.
Eleanor Trigueros, 74, said: "I don't know if I want to be surrounded by bad conditions here . " She has lived at home since the beginning of 1940.
City officials said the group's concerns would be taken into account when the proposal was submitted to the City Planning Commission and then to the City Council.
Some city officials are at least a bit upset that the group made so much noise before the hearing.
"I think they can be a very constructive group," Payan said . ".
"My personal experience has told me so far that they are impatient.
"In view of the strong opposition of industrial companies and residential owners, the Council on 1981 rejected a proposal to grant the reconstruction agency the right to requisition the southern industrial project area.