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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Pomona : Building Moratorium Fails

June 09, 1988

A sharply divided City Council declined on Monday to extend a moratorium on the construction of apartments and condominiums in most areas of the city.

The 45-day moratorium, which took effect May 2, was passed unanimously by the council to give the city's planning staff time to revise the General Plan. Last month, staff members said the revision should be complete by January, and on Monday night City Administrator A.J. Wilson recommended that the council extend the ban another 10 1/2 months.

But council members C.L. (Clay) Bryant and Nell Soto opposed the measure, saying that extending the moratorium until May 1 would have a chilling effect on sorely needed development in the city.

"Someone wants to come in with a quality development and we want to make them wait a year?" Bryant asked rhetorically.

In a strange turn of events, Councilman E.J. (Jay) Gaulding moved for approval of the extension. Mayor Donna Smith and Councilman Mark Nymeyer supported the motion, but Gaulding abstained, causing the measure to fail.

Gaulding said Wednesday that he mistakenly pressed the wrong button on his electronic voting device. "That was a stupid mistake on my part," Gaulding said, "because there's no way in the world I would vote to kill it." He said, though, that his vote was not pivotal because the moratorium extension was on the agenda as an emergency ordinance and thus required four votes to pass.

Smith, who was visibly upset with the vote, said: "This means that the moratorium is over, and we can now be overburdened with requests to build multifamily housing in every corner of the city."

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