At a special City Council meeting held Wednesday afternoon, Bishop got in under the wire on all four properties being divested by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power within the city limits.
This doesn’t mean the City will launch a land shopping spree. The action taken simply gives Bishop the first right of refusal on the parcels. Councilmember Stephen Muchovej made the motion to go big or go home after deferring to Elaine Kabala, the City’s planner. “We don’t want to over commit,” she said. The land should be considered in terms of its highest and best use, but, she added “the letter is not binding. There’s no risk in submitting a letter identifying all four.”
Elsa Jimenez, property manager for the Department, explained the process of purchasing surplus LADWP lands has just started. The nine parcels in Inyo County identified earlier this month still have to be appraised which could take months.
If Bishop wants to proceed once the price is set, the Council has to submit a letter of intent and the parcels will be pulled from the list of available lands.
The last time the Los Angeles sold or auctioned properties in Inyo County was 2011. But Jimenez said the Department intends to “pick up the pace of divestitures” in the future.
The four parcels available now include: 0.89-acre at 620 S. Main Street, next to Allen’s Outdoor, commonly referred to as the red horse; 0.71 acres at 794 North Main, next to Holy Smokes; a half-acre at 1220 N. Main Street, next to Wye Feed and 1.38-acre on Wye Road, just west of K-Mart.
At a recent Inyo County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, the Board opted to identify three parcels, one just outside Bishop City limits north of Wye Road and one each in Independence and Lone Pine.