A moratorium on high-rise construction on Ventura Boulevard was extended for another two years by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday to allow for completion of a traffic-improvement plan for the congested thoroughfare.
The measure, approved unanimously and without discussion, was rushed to Mayor Tom Bradley for his expected approval so that it would take effect before the existing moratorium expires Nov. 4.
City planners say the extension is needed to stop any large projects that would worsen traffic congestion before a city consultant can complete work on development controls for the boulevard.
The plan, which would need approval by City Council and the mayor, is expected to tie the scale of future projects to their effect on traffic and will include recommendations for rollbacks in zoning and recommendations for transportation improvements.
It is expected to be completed in January, but City Council members who represent sections of the boulevard will hold public hearings on it once it is finished.
The moratorium, first adopted in October, 1985, and extended for one year last November, applies to new commercial development along the length of the boulevard, from Barham Boulevard just south of Universal City to Valley Circle Boulevard in Woodland Hills.
It limits building to no more than three stories and cuts in half the maximum square footage allowed, from three times the size of an occupied lot to 1 1/2 times.
Although Proposition U, approved by city voters last November, restricted most commercial development in the city to 1 1/2 times the size of a lot, the initiative did not apply to a few sections of Ventura Boulevard. Along those sections, buildings of up to six times a lot size would be permitted without the moratorium, according to a city Planning Department report.
The moratorium also increases the parking requirements for commercial developments and requires that all projects be reviewed to see what impact they would have on traffic. The city Department of Transportation can require developers to reduce the impact of their projects on traffic. For instance, it can require them to establish car pools for employees as a condition for receiving a building permit.
Developers can seek exemptions to the moratorium from the City Council.