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Ordinance Would Lift Apartment Moratorium : Action on Building Freeze Delayed

June 22, 1989|SANTIAGO O'DONNELL | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale City Council on Tuesday postponed for the ninth time acting on an ordinance that would end the city's apartment building moratorium.

Council members said they want to adopt a set of temporary zoning restrictions before they lift the building freeze, but they do not agree on what those restrictions should be.

"We'll take as much time as we have to," Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg said Monday. "We can always extend the moratorium again if we need to."

The moratorium, which has been extended twice already, expires Aug. 27. It was adopted unanimously in September to prevent a rush for building applications while the city tightened its zoning code to keep its population from exceeding 200,000, as recommended by the General Plan.

After a lengthy series of public hearings, city planners presented the council with a zoning ordinance in January, but council members said they were disappointed that the ordinance did not impose strict limits on the number of new buildings allowed.

Since then, the proposed ordinance, which would limit the size and design of all new apartment buildings, has been a fixture on the City Council agenda. But council members have balked at adopting it because it would end the moratorium.

A group of developers whose projects have been held up by the moratorium has filed two lawsuits against the city. In the first one, which challenges the legality of the building freeze, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the developers. But the city appealed her decision, and an appellate court decision is pending.

The second suit, which challenges procedures by which the city extended the moratorium, is still in its preliminary stages. A ruling is expected next month.

The temporary zoning restrictions that council members now seek to put in place, replacing the moratorium, would limit apartment building construction in the city while officials embark once again on the lengthy process of preparing another zoning ordinance to control population growth.

City planners said it would take the city at least another 10 months to come up with a growth-control ordinance. Before that process can begin, however, the council has to agree on temporary restrictions.

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