Downey council receives initial plan for county-owned law

By Arnold Adler

Contributing Writer

DOWNEY — The Rancho Los Amigos South Campus, a 172-acre, county-owned site in the southwest part of the city, is ready for redevelopment following the City Council’s acceptance of a 4,300-page report.

“At this time, there are no new developments planned,” said Aldo E. Schindler, deputy city manger, who submitted the report.

That report, reviewed by the City Council Sept. 28, included a resolution approving the water supply assessment, stating sufficient ground water is available in the area; numerous land designation and rezoning changes and an environmental impact report listing possible problems and how to mitigate them.

The action rezones the entire site of the Rancho Los Amigos South Campus Specific Plan, which will allow construction of about 700 dwelling units and about 1,100 square feet of office and commercial and public sites along with a proposed station for the West Santa Ana Branch light rail line planned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The proposed 19-mile route extends from Artesia through 11 communities to Union Station in Los Angeles.

Schindler said the revised plan is aimed at generating economic development surrounding the light rail station, expected to be in operation by 2028.

The South Campus study, funded by an MTA grant, covers the area bounded by Old River School Road on the west, Gardendale Street on the south, Rives Avenue on the east and Imperial Highway on the north.

The county-owned Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center is on the north side of Imperial and within the listed boundaries, but is not affected by the plan.

The specific plan for the area surrounding will promote development of transit-supportive uses, neighborhood commercial and open-space linkages, Schindler told the council.

“The specific plan promotes the idea of livable communities with access to regional transit and promotes alternative transit opportunities,” Schindler said, referring to enhanced bicycle and pedestrian connections between community entities and activity centers.

Schindler noted that the plan was put together with input from the community at public workshops.

The specific plan seeks to establish a complimentary mix of cultural uses, public spaces, outdoor activities and stronger connections with local neighborhoods to promote a family-oriented lifestyle.

However, no changes are planned for almost two-thirds of the site, which may be committed to other projects, Schindler said.

The remaining 62.5 acres where new development is planned, could include residential units and commercial or office sites.

Los Angeles County previously announced plans for a soccer field and the use of a building off Gardendale Street for the Downey Rose Float Association, a private group that builds the city’s entry in the Rose Parade in Pasadena every year.

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