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Plan Would Ban Auto-Related Businesses Along Stretches of Broadway, Stockton Boulevard

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SOUTH SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento City Council is poised to ban auto-related businesses on parts of Broadway and Stockton Boulevard from Broadway to 65th Street and focus instead on developing housing.

That means businesses like auto repair shops, car lots, car washes and the like will no longer be allowed. In addition, businesses with drive-thrus, like restaurants, pharmacies, banks and coffee shops, would also be banned.

The proposal is designed to make the area more friendly for alternate and mass transit uses, as well as for much-needed affordable housing units.

"The demand for housing is huge," said Roberto Jimenez, the CEO of Mutual Housing California. "It's the most challenging step in the process, is to get access to the land that we need."

The plan is opposed by the Stockton Boulevard Partnership, a business booster group that says what the depressed area needs are businesses that will provide jobs for area residents. It said the plan will kill two projects that are planned.

The partnership believes the council is rushing into a plan without coordinating with Sacramento County, which controls parts of the corridor.

The group said it isn't opposed to housing but said such projects can take years to develop. Meanwhile, empty lots have proven to be a magnet for blight and homeless campers.

"These are long-term, ideal goals that will prolong the blight that currently exists along Stockton Boulevard," Martin Rosenberg, vice-chair of the Stockton Boulevard Partnership.

City Councilman Jay Schenirer said he wants the city to come up with a basket of incentives that could be offered to developers to jumpstart housing projects. But if they don't bite, the ban could handcuff economic development on the corridor soon.

"Development is going to happen," Schenirer said. "We want to make sure it happens in the right way. So, we have an opportunity now to do that that we haven't had in the past."

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