The City Council decided unanimously this week to appeal a federal judge's ruling that, in effect, ordered approval of two apartment projects designed as replacement housing for residents who will lose their homes to the Century Freeway by next spring.
Judge Harry Pregerson last week said council zoning actions, which eliminated a 96-unit project and prevented a 32-unit building from inclusion in a state-funded housing program because of a limit on low-income occupancy, will "prevent low-income minority displacees from continuing to reside in Hawthorne." He ruled that the city violated federal and state fair housing laws and ordered it not to stand in the way of the buildings.
Mayor Guy Hocker Jr. said the council believes its actions were based on planning and zoning concerns, including possible school overcrowding and traffic problems, and were not discriminatory against minorities and the poor.
Attorney Richard R. Terzian, who represents the city, said an appeal will be filed shortly with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles.