The city Planning Commission approved a proposal Thursday for temporary controls on construction in the southeast San Fernando Valley.
If approved by the City Council and Mayor Tom Bradley, the controls would bar construction that does not conform to the community plan for an area from the San Diego Freeway east to Burbank and south from the Ventura Freeway to Mulholland Drive.
The controls would remain in effect until the city completes a review of the community plan in late February. The area is known as the Sherman Oaks-Studio City-Toluca Lake Planning District.
A 1985 state law requires new construction to conform with community plans, but the city has granted exemptions to the law. Many of those exemptions allowed construction of apartment buildings near single-family homes.
The controls, which are to go before the City Council today, would halt construction that has not reached an advanced stage. City planners could not say how many projects would be affected, but they did say only two nonconforming projects appear advanced enough to proceed.
Response to Objections
The Planning Department proposed the controls in response to a neighborhood fight over apartment construction in the 4100 and 4200 blocks of Tujunga Avenue.
Homeowners and City Councilman John Ferraro had objected because the city had granted an exemption to the community plan, which called only for single-family homes. Homeowners feared an increase in noise and traffic and a loss of privacy.
The city has already ordered work stopped on those buildings and developer Ami Dabach said Thursday he will consider legal action if all other appeals are blocked.
"We're big boys," Dabach said. "We will defend ourselves."
Tim Taylor, Van Nuys manager for the Department of Building and Safety, said the stop-work order stemmed merely from the city's finding that the building permits might have been issued by mistake.
Dabach said he is willing to compromise by limiting the height of the projects, providing more underground parking and not building windows and balconies from which tenants could stare into homeowners' backyards.