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Arcadia considers removing '4' from houses

May 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
One local city is making Asian homebuyers feel welcome by respecting their superstition about the number four.

The Arcadia City Council is considering drastic steps to help owners avoid the number in their street addresses.

Officials in Arcadia say the Asian population in the city is approaching 60 percent. They add with most current homebuyers being Asian, when some Asian residents made it known the number four in their street address is considered to a bad omen in many of their cultures, city officials had to see what they could do to help.

The Arcadia City Council is considering a policy that would let property owners pay to be assigned a different street number.

"It's not to catering to superstition. It's essentially to recognize that there is a superstition which is having an economic impact on a certain segment of our community," said Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Robert Harbicht.

"The fours represent the evil and where I come from it's pronounced 'say,' meaning it's death," said Arcadia resident Tony Triutt.

City officials says some Asian homebuyers have refused to pay market value for a home with a number four in the address, while some others will not even consider buying such a home. Officials say 20 years ago on the heels of the same issue, the Arcadia City Council voted to allow residents to pay a fee of $500 to change their address.

The city stopped doing it about five years ago because the fee charged no longer covered the cost to the city. Now he says the city is considering reinstating the policy under much higher fees.

"If the people who want to change their address want to pay the fee themselves, I don't see a problem with it," said Mission Viejo resident Bernadette Tran.

"I am in real estate for 10 years and I don't think just changing the address on your home will make a huge difference," said Triutt.

"I just think it's weird. I don't understand why they would want to do that after so many years, everybody's had the same address," said Arcadia resident Sheri Latifian.

City officials say if the proposal is eventually voted in it will not cost taxpayers a dime. The total cost will be covered by homeowners looking to change their addresses. The city council is expected to vote on the proposal next month.

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