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Speakers Back Northeast L.A. Building Controls

October 05, 1989|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

Homeowner groups, realtors and builders in northeast Los Angeles have expressed strong support for a proposed ordinance that would limit development in the area while city-mandated community growth controls are developed.

Support came from about 50 people who spoke at a Tuesday hearing called to elicit community reaction to the proposed law. Testimony from the hearing, held at Luther Burbank Junior High School, will be used by Los Angeles city planners to refine the ordinance.

The proposed interim control ordinance covers the entire Northeast Los Angeles Community Plan area--a diverse area of spacious hillside homes, modest neighborhoods, busy commercial streets, manufacturing plants and apartments. If adopted, the interim control ordinance would be the first in the city to affect commercial and industrial areas.

The ordinance would allow development only when a proposed project conforms with the predominant density, scale and character of the neighborhood where it would be built. City planners say they are considering proposing such ordinances throughout the city to limit development while community plans in the city are reviewed over the next 10 years.

The area covered by the proposed ordinance includes Mt. Washington, Highland Park, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Monterey Hills, Lincoln Heights, Glassell Park and Atwater.

Regulates Development

The ordinance regulates development by requiring city Planning Commission approval to build certain types of projects, including:

* New single-family housing construction in Mt. Washington and Glassell Park exceeding 35 feet in height.

* New multifamily residential projects.

* Mixed residential and commercial buildings and drive-through fast-food restaurants.

* Projects with parking at the front of the property.

* Projects designated for heavy industry.

The proposed ordinance covers a 15,619-acre area that includes parts of three City Council districts and 70,000 parcels of land. About 66% of the area is residential, with 10% designated for industrial use and 6% commercial. The remainder is covered by open space, freeways and rivers.

The proposed ordinance is tied to the review of the Northeast Community Plan, a process that is expected to take more than three years. The revisions are the first to be slated as part of a review of all 35 development plans in Los Angeles. The review process is expected to decrease the zoning on thousands of properties.

More than 150 people attended the hearing, and area homeowner groups were out in force, sending one member after another to the front of the auditorium to speak.

Supports Restrictions

Holding a placard depicting "Northeast LA--Past and Future," Kathleen Aberman, president of The Eagle Rock Assn., said she supports any ordinance that restricts growth in Eagle Rock.

Representatives of neighborhood associations in Highland Park, Glassell Park and Mt. Washington expressed support for the ordinance, using words such as visionary to describe it.

Several builders who spoke at the hearing expressed support for the ordinance. But Sam Slavik, who has built eight houses in the area over the past several years, said he opposed the height restriction. He said the 35-foot limit on new residential buildings would promote construction of unsightly, flat roofs.

City officials said they proposed the ordinance to reduce confusion that has resulted as temporary development ordinances proliferated in the area over the last few years and to control increasing development pressure as builders realize that the land they wish to develop is slated to be downzoned.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the ordinance Dec. 7. The ordinance requires the eventual approval of the City Council.

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