BALDWIN PARK – A city ban of certain businesses from the downtown area has some merchants worried about their livelihood. The Baldwin Park ordinance took effect Friday and forbids new businesses, including auto repair shops, pawn shops and manufacturing establishments, from opening downtown. The ban affects about 120 acres along Ramona Boulevard as far north as Los Angeles Street and as far west as Baldwin Park Boulevard, city officials said. Robert Ehlers, who owns a company that restores alternators, said the regulation has already made leasing out his rental property difficult. “I have one rental building just sitting there. I have had at least six people who wanted it but the city wouldn’t give me a conditional use permit because they say auto shops are dirty, oily,” Ehlers said.”Who are we supposed to rent our buildings to and how are we supposed to pay our mortgage?” City officials maintain they are not trying to put people out of business but are trying to implement their vision of a downtown urban village. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los Angeles“Eighty years ago, Baldwin Park was chicken farms and barns and was not in the best of interest of the city. At some point, there had to be a change and that’s where we are at now,” said Councilman Anthony Bejarano. “We are looking at our future and community for our kids and grandkids, and it’s a difficult decision we have to make. All we can do is hope to improve the community.” City Attorney Stephanie Sher assured business owners at Wednesday’s council meeting that the ordinance only affects new businesses. “Only new establishments are not permitted under the ordinance,” Sher said. “You can still use your buildings for what they were intended for.” Joe Seay, who owns a 21-unit industrial complex, said if the ban only affects new businesses he would not have had trouble leasing vacancies in his buildings. “I had a person who was going to open a woodwork business in one of our units, so we sent him to the city for a permit. He got a verbal approval, but a few days later the planner said no permit was available because the city had passed a new ordinance,” Seay, 53, said. Councilman David Olivas said the law may need to be altered. “We want to offer a place to dine and shop and in a sense have a diversity of uses,” he said. “Right now downtown doesn’t invite people to dine here or entertain here and that won’t happen if we maintain the same lax businesses. But maybe we can tweak the ordinance to work for everyone.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!