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Let's Earn, Spend in the Same City

July 14, 1988

The article "Long Beach Shifts Into High Gear to Fill Vacant Offices" (Times, July 3) needs some clarification. The author wrote that "Bolstered by city government's pro-growth attitude, more developments are in the planning stages." This pro-growth attitude exists only in the commercial sector of Long Beach.

The City Council is studying a proposal to downzone my California Heights neighborhood from R-2 to R-1. I was told by my councilman several weeks ago that they are downzoning most parts of Long Beach. This slow- or no-growth attitude serves only to work against developers and the city itself in trying to fill the vacant office space.

Why would a company want to relocate from "San Francisco or back East" if their employees will have a more difficult time finding desirable and affordable housing? The downzoning measure could potentially remove hundreds of future duplexes from the residential housing market. This will force workers to commute farther and longer to get to their jobs in new offices in Long Beach. Thousands of new jobs in Long Beach will add thousands of new commuters to the only freeway that leads into Long Beach if the city makes it more difficult for them to find local housing.

Cities in Southern California should look at their commercial and residential planning policies together. Approving massive commercial projects while removing already approved residential building space does not serve the city well. Let's start having people earn and spend their dollars within the same city limit. Having workers earn and spend their salaries in the same city can only work to bolster the city treasury. In addition, this will help developers fill their vacant office space by allowing them to sell Long Beach as a city where you don't have to commute hours to get to work each day.

ANDREW KO

Long Beach

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