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Trouble For L.A. Zone?

The Los Angeles Daily News has this interesting article describing some of the technical issues that Pacoima and the Los Angeles Northeast Valley Enterprise Zone are having with regard to their application for new zone designation:

State guidelines require an enterprise zone to have at least 51 percent of its land zoned for commercial or industrial use. But a housing boom in the Northeast Valley has reduced the supply of available land, and officials believe the area no longer qualifies unless there is a change in state law.City Councilman Tony Cardenas, whose 6th District includes the Northeast Valley Enterprise Zone, plans to meet today with city staffers to publish a strategy for salvaging the program, which is set to expire in October.

‘The councilman still believes there is a way to save the enterprise zone,’ spokesman Jose Cornejo said. ‘The problem is a combination of factors: more houses being built and land that we cannot use for development.’

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is aware of the problem and working on potential solutions, said Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrum, the former head of the Community Redevelopment Authority.

‘What we are looking for immediately is some kind of extension, perhaps two years, to give us time to look at a way to resolve this issue,’ Ovrum said. ‘We think what happened is the state looked at these programs a couple of years ago when it was having financial problems and said these tax credits are money not coming to the state.

‘That situation has changed and we want to try to get to the governor to give us some room to work this out.’

The notion that there might be a solution for a two-year extension, or that the governor might be able to step in and give them some time seems to reveal a lack of understanding of what has been going on in Sacramento over the last two years. Assemblyman Arambula did bring up the suggestion of a two-year extension to work out more comprehensive reform, but this idea never even made it into the now dead SB 1008, nor does it appear in his AB 485. There didn’t seem to be any support for such an extension with any of the other key committee chairs, so I don’t see how Villaraigosa or any of his deputies will be able to get this through.

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