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South Bay Digest

Los Angeles : Committee OKs Hotel Curb

August 13, 1987

In an effort to block hotel construction in residential areas, the City Council's Planning and Environment Committee has approved an amendment to a moratorium on apartment construction in Wilmington and Harbor City.

The amendment calls for a prohibition on hotel and motel construction on property next to or across the street from areas zoned for single-family homes. The moratorium, which began in April, 1986, prohibits high-density apartment construction in the two communities, but specifically exempts hotels and motels.

The amendment, expected to be approved Tuesday by the City Council, would take effect at the end of next week, city officials said.

City Planner Larry Friedman said the amendment was prompted by a controversial hotel project proposed for a residential area of Harbor City. Neighbors of the proposed project on West 262nd Street have challenged its building permit before the city's Board of Zoning Appeals. A hearing is set for Sept. 1.

The developer of the proposed hotel originally wanted to build an apartment building but was unable to do so because of the moratorium. The developer, Bill Freeman, said he decided to build a hotel because of the hotel exemption in the moratorium.

"It was clearly not the intent of the ordinance to allow that kind of development," said Friedman. He said the exemption was intended to allow hotel construction in commercial areas, not residential neighborhoods.

Nonetheless, the amendment would not affect the Harbor City project unless the proposed hotel is turned down by the zoning panel and Freeman is required to apply for a new building permit, Friedman said.

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