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South Bay Digest

Torrance : R-3 Zoning Under Review

May 28, 1987

After property owners complained that proposed changes in development standards would reduce the value of their lots, the City Council sent the proposals to the Planning Commission for review.

The council has been examining building standards for months in the wake of complaints that box-like apartments on small lots are ruining neighborhoods of single-family homes.

A city survey, presented to the council Tuesday, indicated a potential for rapid development of the city's 2,000 parcels zoned R-3. In the R-3 zone, a density of 27 dwelling units per acre is permitted.

Housing at least 20 years old was found on 1,584 R-3 parcels, suggesting the likelihood of redevelopment soon.

The survey also found 691 lots that were not developed to the maximum density permitted for R-3 lots.

The staff recommended imposing design restrictions on R-3 lots with less than 10,000 square feet to diminish the visual impact of buildings. The proposal would require that third floors be smaller to create a terracing effect and eliminate the "canyons" created by tall, box-shaped buildings.

Another regulation would require providing half as much open space as floor space, with up to 600 square feet of open space.

Property owners said the proposals are difficult to understand and would hurt them financially. The council directed the staff to bring back Planning Commission proposals in 60 days.

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