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George Woo family to ask for compromise

June 03, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The George Woo family has filed an appeal of a recent city Planning Commission decision and is asking the Calexico City Council to allow construction of a 12-unit apartment complex on the Second Street property where the Woo family grocery store once stood.

The council will formally hear the request at its meeting Tuesday and likely set a date for a public hearing to further discuss the matter. That public hearing, and maybe Tuesday's meeting as well, could be packed with Second Street residents who oppose what would be called the Woo Apartments.

At the May 18 Planning Commission meeting, a good number of Second Street residents voiced displeasure with the prospect of a complex because they think apartments in their neighborhood could be populated by drug dealers and gang members.

One of the residents asked the Woo family to consider building a house on its land, another market or maybe, if the family had to, a much smaller apartment complex.

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George Woo said the apartments would cater to teachers or law enforcement officers who are not willing to purchase homes in the area but would like to rent nice, liveable apartments, according to the minutes of the commission meeting.

Woo then stated his family was requesting 14 units but would (be satisfied) with the 10 units recommended by staff.

After a lot of discussion during that May 18 meeting, the commission approved plans for a 10-unit complex.

Now the Woo family is asking the City Council for a "compromise," a 12-unit complex.

In addition to entertaining the Woo's request, the council will discuss the 2002-03 budget, talk about hiring an assistant to the city attorney and consider approving the ratification of the paramedic education special fund.

The council meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 608 Heber Ave.

Ratification of the education fund would officially create a city managed account to collect donations from those who want to help city firefighters pay for paramedic training. City Councilman David Ouzan has touted the fund as an ingenious way for Calexico's residents to help firefighters become paramedics.

The way the fund operates now Calexico residents contribute by paying something extra when they send in their water bill. In the future, the city could stage fund-raisers to help boost the pot for the firefighters.

City Attorney Michael Rood has said he will present the council with a proposed resolution Tuesday that would specify how the monies collected for the fund could be used.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or aclaverie@aol.com

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