A federal judge has refused to permit the city to delay two Century Freeway housing replacement projects while an earlier court order, directing the city to approve the buildings, is appealed. Judge Harry Pregerson said a delay would "not be in the best interest of the public." The city also has been ordered to pay $26,000 in costs related to the case.
A month ago, Pregerson ruled that the city violated federal and state fair housing laws when it refused to approve a 96-unit complex and prevented a 32-unit building from being included in a state-funded housing program by placing a limit on low-income occupancy. Under a court agreement which ended years of litigation over the freeway, the housing is intended for Hawthorne residents, predominantly minorities, who will lose their homes to the Century Freeway.
In appealing the ruling, the City Council said its actions were based on planning and zoning concerns and were not discriminatory.