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The City of Bell is located in Los Angeles County, approximately 10 miles southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. The City of Bell borders the Los Angeles River. The City of Bell covers about 2.5 square miles and has a population of about 35,000 residents. The City of Bell is bounded by the cities of Maywood and Commerce on the north; Vernon, Maywood, and Huntington Park on the west; Cudahy and Huntington Park on the south; and Bell Gardens and Commerce on the east. The City of Bell is underlain by very deep, well drained soils. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates buses along the City of Bell’s major streets.
The City of Bell is composed of two distinct districts.
The Cheli area
The northern district is mainly industrial and is known as the Cheli area or neighborhood. The Cheli area is located east of the Long Beach Freeway (Interstate 710) and the Los Angeles River Channel. This is where the bulk of the city’s warehousing and distribution industry is located. A portion of what was the Bandini oil field underlies the area. Exploratory oil wells in the area have long since been plugged and abandoned. A United States Army Air Forces Depot opened in the area in 1943, on land purchased for a nominal price from the Chanslor-Canfield Midway Oil Company. The facility was later renamed the Cheli Air Force Station after medal of honor recipient and World War II military pilot Ralph Cheli. The station closed in 1961, one of seven Air Force facilities scheduled for closure during that period. The City’s first industrial redevelopment project was developed on a portion of the property.
The Central City
The southern district consists mainly of residential and commercial areas. The southern district, which is known as the Central City, lies west of the Long Beach Freeway and the concrete-lined Los Angeles River Channel, a major flood protection waterway, which, in the City of Bell, is approximately 500 feet wide. The Central City has a high concentration of residences, as well as some historic buildings. This is where the City’s traditional “downtown” is located. The City’s residential areas, which originally consisted of single-family dwellings, have gradually evolved over the decades so that apartment buildings are now common.Business and Jobs
Over 15,000 workers live in the City of Bell. These workers are employed in 13 major industrial sectors. The most prevalent sectors are Education & Social Services along with Manufacturing.
The City of Bell is near two major freeways, the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5), and the Long Beach Freeway (Interstate 710). Union Pacific Railroad also passes through the City. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are nearby.
The City of Bell is home to several large companies, including International Paper. Bell has an Economic Development Program ordinance promoting economic development. Bell seeks to retain a balance between its residential areas and its smaller commercial and industrial areas. The land area of Bell is fully developed, and population density is relatively high.
Atlantic Avenue runs through the heart of Bell. The City of Bell is seeking to initiate an Atlantic Avenue Specific Plan aimed at fostering future commercial and mixed-use developments along the Atlantic Avenue Corridor, creating a pedestrian-friendly corridor with landscaping and infrastructure improvements. Gage Avenue is another major city thoroughfare with several commercial properties situated along its length.Government
Bell, California is a Charter City. The City Charter defines how the City of Bell governs and administers its municipal affairs. The City of Bell Council has five representatives who are elected to serve four-year terms. The Bell Police Department has served the City of Bell since 1927. The City of Bell owns two mobile home parks, Bell Mobile Home Gardens and Florence Village. Bell High School opened in 1925 as a unit of the now defunct Huntington Park Union High School District. Public schools in Bell are now part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Magnolia Science Academy, Corona Avenue Elementary School and Nueva Vista Elementary School are also located in the city. The City of Bell contracts with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection and emergency services. County Fire Station No. 163 is located in the Central City area.History
The Gabrieliño people lived in the area for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Villages in the area included Apachianga, Isantcangna, and Tsungna. In the 1770s, the Spaniards established missions in the area. In 1822, the Mexican government assumed control of the area and the land was divided into large ranchos. Rancho San Antonio land grant once encompassed over 20,000 acres, including the land within the present-day boundaries of the City of Bell.
Later, James George Bell, a businessperson, settlor, and one of the founders of Occidental College, established an approximately 350-acre ranch in the center of what is now the City of Bell. James George Bell helped develop the area into a small rural farming and cattle-raising community. He began selling five-acre parcels in 1902. James George Bell also became the town’s postmaster. Originally known as Obed, the town was renamed in honor of James George Bell in 1898. The town was incorporated as a city in 1927 with the motto “Key to Industry.” The City was once home to a casino.Points of Interest and Recreation
The historic Victorian farmhouse, James George Bell House, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was once the home of James George Bell and his family. The house was moved to its present site at the Civic Center in about 1989. The house is an example of a California block farmhouse.
The City of Bell maintains and operates several parks, including Biancini Park, Ernest Debs Park, Treder Park, and Veterans’ Memorial Park, which features summer concerts. The parks are maintained by the City of Bell Community Services Department.
The LA River Bike Path and Green Trail, when complete, will connect the City of Bell to Long Beach and the San Fernando Valley.Contact Us
If you believe your employer or former employer has violated your rights, including by not paying you all wages due or discriminating against you, call the experienced and caring employment attorneys at Kokozian Law Firm, APC or Contact Us via our online form.