Council Seeks to Improve Local Economy

As the economy continues to sour, the City of Temple City is pushing new ideas to bolster the local economy.

The City’s latest efforts focus on redevelopment and land-banking for a new redevelopment project. These moves follow the passage of the moratorium on non-retail businesses in April and the adoption of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) proposal in June.

On Tuesday, July 1, 2008, the City Council, acting as members of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) voted 3-1 to designate a survey area for a new or amended redevelopment project. Councilmember Fernando Vizcarra cast the sole opposing vote.

The City aims to expand the jurisdiction of the CRA by including downtown Temple City, land to the west and east sides of Rosemead Boulevard, and a portion of land on Sultana Avenue adjacent to the current redevelopment area into an expanded redevelopment zone.

Councilman Dave Capra, who was absent from the July 1 Council meeting, stressed the importance of bringing redevelopment to Temple City at the previous City Council meeting in June.

Next, the City Council as members of the Community Development and Housing Authority (CDHA), voted 4-0 to proceed with property acquisition of properties on Las Tunas Drive and Temple City Boulevard.

Under the authority of the CDHA, Executive Director Charles R. Martin will find a negotiator and present to the CDHA a final offer for approval.

Finally, the City Council, during the public comment period, heard from both supporters and critics of the three-month old moratorium.

The moratorium on non-retail businesses, affects all businesses on Las Tunas Drive between Sultana Avenue and Rowland Avenue. Since April 1, all incoming businesses must provide at least 50% of sales tax for its business services in order to move into Temple City. Existing businesses were not affected by the moratorium.

“The moratorium is not working” argued Pablo Poomes, a Temple City businessman. Poomes criticized the local measure and cited an inability to rent his property because the moratorium prevented service businesses from moving into his property.

As evidence of the futileness of the moratorium, Poomes pointed out to the increasing number of vacancies on Las Tunas Drive.

Peggy Miller, a moratorium supporter, countered critics by stating “we need to take a stand.” Miller stressed that Temple City residents wanted stores to shop at in Temple City instead of spending money at neighboring cities.

The City Council took no further action on the moratorium.


This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on September 17, 2008.


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