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In-N-Out expanding drive-thru, adds parking
Recap of this week's City Council meeting.
WRITTEN BY :   Eric Pierce, Editor

DOWNEY – The Downey City Council approved several items at its meeting Tuesday, including:
*Rezoned property at 11101 Lakewood Blvd. (at Firestone Boulevard) to accommodate an expansion by In-N-Out.

The popular fast-food restaurant is purchasing the three-story office building directly to its north in an effort to create 19 additional parking spaces.

Perhaps more importantly, In-N-Out will be able to lengthen its drive-thru lane, which is known to back-up onto Lakewood Boulevard during peak hours.

Planning commissioners approved In-N-Out’s plans last month with stipulations, namely that they install greenery and a decorative masonry wall at its northern property line.

Escrow on In-N-Out’s purchase is expected to close before the end of this year.

*Approved plans for a fiber optic traffic signal communication system along Paramount Boulevard, between Lubec and Gardendale streets.

The system allows city staffers to monitor traffic and facilitate its movement through remote surveillance.

The system is already in place on Firestone Boulevard between Ryerson Avenue and Stewart & Gray Road, Lakewood Boulevard between Gallatin Road and Gardendale Street, Florence Avenue between Old River School Road and Fairford Avenue, and Paramount Boulevard between Telegraph Road and Lubec Street.

Fire Stations Nos. 1 and 2, along with Downey’s Emergency Operations Center, will be tied into the system.

Total project cost is $1.537 million.

*Authorized concrete repair in the southwest quadrant of Downey.

Approximately 13,055 square feet of sidewalk, 2,194 square feet of driveway approaches, 3,420 square feet of curb ramps, 3,632 linear feet of curb and gutter, and 6,017 square feet of asphalt concrete pavement will be reconstructed.

Total cost is $419,000.

*Authorized the Downey Police Department to enter into a participation agreement with the Glendora Police Department to take part in the “Avoid the 100″ DUI Task Force.

The task force is comprised of several law enforcement agencies from throughout L.A. County aimed at increasing drunk driving awareness and enforcement during high-traffic holiday periods.

Participating in the program allows Downey Police to operate DUI checkpoints, roving patrols and arrest warrant operations, with the California Office of Traffic Safety reimbursing Downey for police officer overtime costs.

*Agreed to a three-year deal with F.M. Thomas Air Conditioning Inc. for heating, ventilation and air conditioning system maintenance services at city facilities.

The contract is worth $32,868 annually.

Brea-based F.M. Thomas was one of four qualified HVAC maintenance and repair contractors to bid for the work. No qualified Downey-based companies applied for the contract.

*Entered into a reimbursement agreement to sell 20 acres of city-owned land at the Promenade at Downey site.

Alberta Development Partners LLC, the developer of the Promenade of Downey (previously known as Tierra Luna), expressed interest in purchasing 20 acres of city-owned property on the site. The city purchased the property from the federal government in 1999 and 2003.

In order to resell the property, Downey must follow procedures specified in the transaction documents with the federal government. The city of Downey previously sold a portion of the property to Kaiser Permanente for its hospital. For that sale, Downey retained the services of special outside legal counsel as well as an economic consultant.

To facilitate the sale, the city of Downey and PCCP IRG Downey, LLC and IRG Downey LLC entered into a reimbursement agreement, with PCCP and IRG responsible for all legal and economic related costs related to the sale.

*Appointed Ronnie Fernandez to the Green Task Force, former mayor David Gafin to the Public Facilities Financing Corporation and Councilman Roger Brossmer to the Board of Trustees of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.

*Disbanded the Downey City Hospital Commission, which was no longer necessary since the city sold the hospital property to PIH Health last month.

*Agreed to move forward with plans to “brand” the Orange Estates neighborhood.

A preliminary plan calls for the installation of four monument signs that identify the Orange Estates. Council members also want to install approximately 20 street signs within the neighborhood.

*These improvements would solidify the traditional name, increase the neighborhood’s cache and bolster the city’s own marketing efforts,” wrote Shannon DeLong, assistant to the city manager, in a report to the city council.

The street and monument signs will cost about $15,000 and would be drawn from the General Fund.

*Scrapped plans to regulate yard sales by limiting them to specific weekends on a quarterly basis.

Earlier this year, Councilman Luis Marquez expressed concerns about the proliferation of yard sales in Downey, particularly illegal sales hawking brand new products.

City staffers recommended restricting city-wide yard sales to a specified weekend every quarter.
Council members, however, felt that plan was too restrictive and instructed city officials to find alternate solutions.

*Approved the location of 10 power boxes that will be decoratively painted throughout Downtown Downey and at the Old River School Road and Firestone Boulevard railroad right of way.

Council members approved the public art project last month, contracting with Hartzog & Crabill Inc. to paint 10 power boxes as part of an effort to increase beautification and cut down on graffiti.

Eight utility boxes will be decoratively painted at the southeast corners of Brookshire and Firestone, Dolan and Firestone, and Downey and Firestone.

Two boxes near the railroad at Old River School Road and Firestone also will be repainted.

Total cost to paint the boxes: $15,000.

Published: Nov. 14, 2013 – Volume 12 – Issue 31

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