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Montebello Hills Project To Get New Fiscal Look

The city of Montebello will be running the numbers again on a 1,200 unit housing project proposed for the Montebello Hills, especially in light of the state’s elimination of redevelopment agencies.

The original fiscal impact study was completed in 2009. The city is in the process of bringing in a third-party consultant to conduct a new study, and is waiting on the developer Cook Hill, LLC, to return with new financial data. In the meantime, the environmental impact study, a draft version of which was produced over three years ago, will be put on hold, said Montebello Planning Director Michael Huntley.

The 487-acre Montebello Hills specific plan project, the largest proposed project in the city’s history, is in a former redevelopment zone. The previous project analysis was based on a generous tax increment through the city’s now closed redevelopment agency, which no longer exists, said Huntley.

While the revenue yield from property taxes would be “less than anticipated,” Huntley said it could be used to directly fund city services, where funds are needed the most. Redevelopment agency tax increments could only be used for redevelopment purposes.

The developer, a subsidiary of oil and gas company Plains Exploration & Productions, proposed the project five years ago. They are looking to build park space and residential units on 172 acres of the hills. The remaining acres will be kept as a nature preserve and natural habitat for the endangered gnatcatcher bird. PXP plans to continue its oil extraction activities.