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Citizens' Panel at Work on Controlling Development in Mt. Washington Area

September 01, 1988|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

A diverse citizens' committee has begun meeting to reach a consensus on controlling development in an 8-square-mile area of Mt. Washington and Glassell Park.

The 15-member Mt. Washington/Glassell Park Specific Plan Advisory Committee is co-chaired by a major California contractor and a homeowner activist.

Donald Bloss is executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Southern California, which represents contractors specializing in large-scale business development. The committee's other chair, Lucille Lemmon, is an officer of the Mt. Washington Assn., a homeowner group.

The committee, made up of residents, will meet during the next six months to formulate recommendations to city planners on new height, lot size and design standards to regulate development in the area.

Diverse Group

Chosen from 63 residents by Los Angeles City Council members Richard Alatorre and Gloria Molina, the committee is made up of homeowners whose professions range from architect to writer to urban planner to machinist.

"We all had points of view, some stronger than others, when we came into this committee," Bloss said. "But I think we all need to make some concessions. You better believe none of those extreme points will become part of our final recommendation. The committee's too balanced for that."

An interim control ordinance has been in effect since early last year for much of the mostly residential community of narrow streets, old homes and dramatic vistas. But homeowner groups contend that neither area zoning nor the ordinance is adequate to protect the area from development. Early this year they began petitioning City Council members to develop the specific plan.

Public Hearings

The committee recommendations will be sent to the planning department, which will hold public hearings and use the information to formulate a proposal for submission to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission. The plan, which will delineate zoning for the area, will eventually be voted on by the City Council.

City planners said formulation of the plan is expected to take at least a year.

There are 13 adopted specific plans in the city of Los Angeles. Other communities--among them Eagle Rock, Koreatown and Westwood--are in the process of developing their own.

Unlike other types of development controls enforced by the city, specific plans can address problems unique to a planning area, city planner Daniel O'Donnell said. That makes them popular with groups interested in controlling development, he said.

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