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South Bay Digest

Hermosa Beach : Density Reduction Gains

January 30, 1986

The City Council forged ahead this week with sweeping density reductions in two-family and multifamily residential zones by introducing an ordinance to implement the changes over the objections of Mayor Jack Wood and nearly 100 people who filled the council chambers.

The council did, however, add a "grandfather clause" that will allow residents to submit completed plans for additions under the current law until April 1. The applicant would then have six months to obtain a building permit.

An amendment by Councilman Tony DeBellis, allowing slightly higher density on particularly large lots in two-family residential and limited multifamily zones, also was approved.

Under the new ordinance, two apartments or condominiums would be allowed on a lot of at least 3,500 square feet. With DeBellis' amendment, one additional unit would be allowed for each 1,720 square feet above 3,500.

Current law allows a maximum of two apartments on lots larger than 2,400 square feet.

In multiple family/residential and residential/professional zones, 33 condominiums or apartments would be allowed per acre. Currently, 46 apartments or 40 condominiums are allowed.

The ordinance passed on a 4-1 vote. Wood argued that the changes would only redistribute wealth by making multifamily lots less valuable and single-family lots more valuable.

Wood circulated leaflets at his own expense informing residents of the proposed changes that passed at the Jan. 14 council meeting and encouraging them to attend Tuesday's meeting.

The reductions, which will take effect 30 days after final council approval, expected in two weeks, could affect more than half of the 6,000 residential lots in the city, city officials estimated.

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