Tuesday morning report, Oct. 13

Five things to know this Tuesday morning: 

1.) The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Here is the agenda

One of the most interesting items -- for me anyway, due to personal reasons which I'll talk about in just a second -- is a request to create a preferential parking district on the east and west sides of Shellyfield Road, between Cecilia and Muller streets. This is just north of Stonewood Center. 

To ease congestion, residents of Shellyfield Road requested the parking district, which would prohibit street parking between 2-6 a.m. except for permitted vehicles. To obtain a permit, you must live on Shellyfield Road. 

Police said they surveyed the street at 3 a.m. on Feb. 11 and found that 68% of the vehicles parked on Shellyfield belonged to non-residents. 

City staff's recommendation is that the parking district is approved.

I happen to live in an apartment on Muller Street, just west of Shellyfield, so I feel I can give a qualified opinion on this proposal. Frankly, it's biased against apartment dwellers and unfair.  

Shellyfield can definitely get a little crowded sometimes, mostly because the apartments in the neighborhood lack sufficient parking. My apartment complex, for example, offers one parking space per unit, which isn't sufficient for my wife and I, let alone a larger family. We're forced to park on the street, and when Muller Street begins to fill up at around 5 p.m., the next closest option is Shellyfield. 

Do you know what will happen if the parking district is approved? Me and everyone else will start parking on Clancey, or Shellyfield north of Muller. I don't say that to be spiteful or petty, it's just the truth. 

The parking district doesn't solve any problems, it merely transfers it to another section of the neighborhood.


2.) Admittedly, council members have far more important agenda items to consider tonight, including a proposal to provide Downey Nissan with $2.25 million in financial assistance for its new dealership. 

Currently located at 7559 Firestone Blvd., dealership owner Tim Hutcherson wants to build a larger facility just down the road at 7321 Firestone. The new dealership would be spread over 6 1/2 acres and meet Nissan's corporate design standards. 

"Although Mr. Hutcherson is confident that the dealership can generate significant sales over time at the new location, the expansion cost will render the project infeasible without financial assistance from the City," community development director Aldo Schindler wrote in a staff report

If the proposal is approved, financial assistant would be provided two ways: 

a.) through an operating covenant agreement and sales tax revenue sharing arrangement valued at $1.25 million;

b.) and a $1 million grant through the Community Development Block Grant program. 

City officials are recommending council members approve the arrangement, and suggested Downey could potentially lose the dealership without a deal.

"The potential relocation of Downey Nissan and total loss of revenue would be much more detrimental and undermine the City's delicate economic recovery and cause significant impact to services," Schindler wrote. "The City is making a significant commitment to maintain the economic momentum it has gained over the past 18 months." 


3.) The City Council will consider the creation of a "park ranger" job position.

The part-time, non-sworn employee would work under the supervision of the Downey Police Department and patrol Downey parks. Pay is listed at $15.83 to $19.61 per hour. 


4.) Construction has officially started on Lakewood Boulevard, between Gallatin and Telegraph roads. Work is expected to last through March 2016. 


5.) Caltrans officials will hold a press conference this morning to discussing upcoming work on the 5 Freeway, which is expected to cause major delays. 

Crews will begin repairing the 5 Freeway bridge deck that runs over the San Gabriel River. The repairs are necessary due to a fire last July.