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Dense Thinking on Area's Growth

August 05, 1990

In "A Maturing L.A. Grows Up and In" (July 29), Greg Krikorian quotes Dan Garcia, former Los Angeles city planning commissioner: "Whether we like it or not . . . infill development provides opportunities to build the city without continuing our urban sprawl."

That's the kind of density-increasing, pro-development tripe that's contributing to destruction of the quality of life throughout Southern California.

Density, not urban sprawl, is the major threat to many fine neighborhoods where crime, traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, parks and public facilities, and urban blight are driving people out of their homes.

There's nothing inevitable about loading up our neighborhoods with massive condos and apartment buildings where California bungalows and duplexes once stood. All it takes to stop all the "make a quick buck development" is some politicians and neighborhood leaders with the backbone to say no to increased density.

In my North Long Beach council district, we've been down zoning for eight years. We flatly reject the view that we have some vague responsibility to house the multitudes at the expense of existing neighborhoods. We don't have to, and we're not going to, no matter what the urban planners say.

My position is that it's preferable to let the next few million new Southern Californians reside in Antelope Valley, Riverside or San Bernardino counties than it is to impact existing neighborhoods with a lot of overbuilding.


Long Beach

Harwood is a Long Beach city councilman.

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