The Press

Site of former hospital set for redevelopment in Huntington Park

HUNTINGTON PARK — The City Council is expected to take final action at its meeting Feb. 2 on a resolution for a zone change and new general plan designation permitting the development of a 25,865-square-foot retail and office complex on a former hospital site at 3111 Florence Ave.

If approved the change would take effect in early March. Tentative approval on a 5-0 vote came after a public hearing Jan. 20.

In a written report, Planning Manager Albert G. Fontanez said demolition of the hospital building, which has been vacant for several years and has deteriorated and is attracting vagrants; is underway by the developer. The building will be completely leveled.

The new project calls for a two-story building along the north end of the site with 9,782 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a 10,182-square-foot medical office on the second floor.

A 2,837-square-foot bank or retail building is proposed at the southwest corner and a restaurant with 3,064 square feet is proposed on the southeast side.

A meandering public sidewalk with five-foot wide landscaping is proposed along the east, south and west boundaries, Fontanez said.

He explained that the site must be rezoned from public facilities use to general commercial and a variance is needed for height limitations and setback rules.

A zero setback is proposed along the north property line near homes. The hospital had a zero rear setback as do several commercial buildings in the area, Fontanez added.

The Planning Commission recommended approval when it reviewed the plan Dec. 17.

Request for the changes and submittal of the development plan came from Abdy Khorramian and Devarim Investment LLC.

In other action Jan. 20, the council approved an application to the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund for a grant to construct a splash pad at Salt Lake Park, 3401 Florence Ave. Parks and Recreation Director Josette Espinosa said the estimated cost of the project is $650,000.

She noted that the splash pad would be built on the site of the former wading pool, which has been closed since 2000. A recent polled indicated that 24 percent of those asked called for a water play feature at the park, she added.

Besides the requested water grant, funding could come from an expected $400,000 from the California Housing and Community Development program and $150,000 in federal Community Block Grant Development money, Espinosa said in a report to the council.

She added that Huntington Park also will apply for a $100,000 grant from the city of Vernon, its neighbor to the north. The heavily industrial city has previously contributed to Huntington Park recreational facilities as there is little park space in Vernon.