City Council members, overriding the recommendations of planning commissioners, voted Monday to allow a businessman to build a parking lot next to his business on Pacific Coast Highway.
The council unanimously approved a request by Drake Morton, owner of Morton Photography, to construct the lot despite objections by commissioners that a single-family dwelling would have to be torn down to make room for it. Commissioners feared that demolition of the house would not be in accordance with the city's general plan.
Planning commissioners had stated that they might be willing to change their minds if Morton would allow a restaurant next door to his business at 2500 Pacific Coast Highway to use the parking lot when the photography store was closed. The store is in Torrance, but the parking lot will be in Lomita.
"Just solving Morton's parking problem is not enough," Planning Commissioner Jack Mackel told council members. Mackel added that Torrance has contributed to traffic congestion in Lomita by refusing to force businesses to construct adequate parking facilities.
Morton, however, refused to go along with the idea.