Bellflower is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California. It is bordered by Downey on the north and northwest, Norwalk and Cerritos on the east, Lakewood on the south, Long Beach on the southwest, and Paramount on the west. Bellflower is part of Southeast Los Angeles County and the “Gateway Cities Council of Governments” (GCOG). As of the 2010 census, Bellflower is the 25th most densely populated city in the United States, of cities over 50,000 residents (and 8th most densely populated in California). The City had a total population of 76,616 as of the 2010 census.
The City was founded by F.E. Woodruff in 1906 and originally named Somerset in 1909 when the post office was established. However, the Post Office Department rejected the name to prevent confusion with Somerset, Colorado. The present name is derived from the bellflower apple, which was grown in local orchards during the early 1900s.
Incorporated on September 3, 1957, the City of Bellflower has a long tradition of implementing programs that uphold the mission of the City, which is “to protect and enrich the quality of life, to make Bellflower an excellent place to live, work, and play.” The City places a high value on programs that attract new businesses, provide recreation activities and community services, preserve the environment, and protect the safety of Bellflower residents.
The City continues to meet the growing economic needs of the community by attracting new businesses and facilitating the expansion of existing businesses through its programs. For one, the City Council has adopted a self-certification program which allows licensed design professionals to voluntarily self-certify building plans in order to expedite the issuance of building permits. By eliminating this hurdle, a large portion of the downtime associated with obtaining the permits necessary to begin construction can be eliminated. In addition, the economic development restaurant attraction and retention program operates with the purpose of attracting new restaurants, as well as retaining and supporting existing restaurants in their efforts to expand or relocate. Through this program, the City of Bellflower absorbs all City fees associated with the processing of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the purpose of on-site sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, in order to help support business growth, the City has launched the Yelp Promotions Program to assist businesses with their social media presence by providing businesses free access to social media tools and resources. As a result, businesses can connect with customers, as well as improve their business model. Thus, the City of Bellflower has taken the lead in serving its local merchants by creating an economically vibrant atmosphere in which our local businesses are able to thrive and grow.
The City also continues to promote health and fitness by offering recreation activities to residents of all ages in the community. In recent years, the City has added, expanded and refurbished more than 25 acres of park and open space across all areas of the City. Bellflower also offers recreation programs to youth and teens, including after school programs, youth sports and directed classes. There are also adult sports leagues that provide adults the opportunity to participate in softball and basketball teams. In addition to the City’s static park space, it also offers its residents the opportunity to bring play to their neighborhoods by scheduling the Bellflower Recreation In Motion (B.R.I.M.), a mobile recreation unit made up of three recreation leaders that bring recreational equipment, games, and activities directly to our neighborhoods. Furthermore, the City continues to foster human development by providing recreation programs and activities to those that are developmentally disabled or autistic through programs that include the SHARE Program, Recreation Therapy, and Special Olympics Training. As a result of such programs and services, the City of Bellflower has been recognized as a 2015 Playful City USA Community.
The City of Bellflower is also committed to protecting the safety and welfare of the community. The City’s Community Policing Plan is implemented in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and members of the community. Crime prevention programs like Neighborhood Watch, NextDoor, and Nixle serve as the cornerstone of the Bellflower’s Community Policing Plan, which aims to play an active role in preventing crime. Furthermore, through the Strategy Against Gang Environment (SAGE), a program established by the Deputy District Attorney’s office, was established to provide alternative methods to combat gang activity by focusing on environmental conditions that promote and encourage gang activity. SAGE helps landlords and tenants work together to improve living conditions, evict tenants engaged in criminal activities, and attract better tenants. Moreover, in an effort to promote and solidify law enforcement-citizen partnerships, the City holds an annual National Night Out campaign. This campaign serves as a platform designed to enhance the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement, as well as provide residents an opportunity to discuss their concerns about public safety. Public Safety programs continue to be an utmost priority to the City, and these initiatives help to enhance public safety and foster community trust.
The City of Bellflower continues to take progressive and proactive steps to implement programs that enhance the quality of life of residents by creating a better place to live, work, and play.