PICO RIVERA – Business owners concerned about the rezoning of their properties were offered an olive branch by the Planning Commission last week. City staff reported to the commission that a change of zoning, from Commercial General and Commercial Manufacturing to Commercial Planned Development, will likely not be necessary to create more openness and transparency about building projects. “The zone change option will be taken off the table,” Community Development Director Jeff Brauckmann said. Zone change consideration in November by the City Council and later the Planning Commission would have changed zoning at Rosemead and Beverly boulevards and at Rosemead Boulevard and Slauson Avenue to require a public hearing for all new construction in those areas. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonNew plans would affect Commercial General zones citywide, and would require all builders in those areas with projects more than 2,000 square feet to have a public hearing and city approval for their work. “Under the current conditions, nobody would have a say,” Commissioner Ruben Garcia said. City staff will now research their rough plan, and will create an amendment for the zoning code, to be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council. Raul Murga, director of the Pico Rivera Community for Truth in Politics, said he hopes that the changes will be a good compromise for the city, but he is waiting to see a final version of the amendment. “I’m elated that they responded to the community and the businesspeople in the community and took appropriate actions,” Murga said. Murga distributed fliers warning business owners that their properties could be subject to eminent domain — the taking of private property for the public good — when the zoning change was under consideration. While eminent domain was outlawed in 1998, some business owners still attended the first Planning Commission meeting on the changes to ask questions and express concerns about potential actions. Some worried that their property would be subject to forced change or remodeling might become impossible. “This item has gotten a lot of attention lately,” Brauckmann said. According to Brauckmann, the change was never meant to adversely affect small businesses, but was intended to better regulate the activities of new developers. Agoura Realty and Investment, Inc. is in escrow to purchase the lot on the corner of Beverly and Rosemead boulevards, where the vacant Big Lots building stands. Brauckmann said the changes were meant to force more transparency from developers of that site. “They are proposing a significant site there, upwards of 40,000 square feet,” Brauckmann said. Mayor Rob Beilke said he did not know the details of the change that would be made to all Commercial General zoning, but expected the decision would offer a way to appease business owners’ fears and accomplish the city’s goal. “I haven’t heard anything about it yet, but it sounds like a prudent decision,” Beilke said. “It was simply about improving the appearance of the community as a whole.” Beilke said he does not believe the decision constitutes a compromise to cater to Murga and others concerned about the zoning change. “I don’t think the change came from Murga, because he is ineffective,” Beilke said. “He’ll just find another way to spin this into a panic.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!