The Planning Commission has recommended stricter controls on development in a rustic stretch of Bellflower alongside the San Gabriel River.
The commission has proposed that new parcels be a minimum of 10,000 square feet in size, which is the minimum required to keep horses. All new subdivisions would have to meet this requirement. The current minimum is 7,260 square feet.
The commission also has recommended that a minimum of 9,500 square feet of land area be required for each single-family unit built. The present minimum is also 7,260 square feet. Condominiums would not be allowed.
City planners said the commission has attempted to strike a balance between preserving a rural atmosphere and encouraging horse-keeping, and permitting low-density residential development. The recommendations received strong support at a recent public hearing before the City Council.
However, some owners who had planned to build on their properties under the old regulations objected, prompting the council to call for a grandfather clause to protect property owners who have development plans under current regulations. Options include permitting construction of all projects with completed applications on file with the city when the moratorium took effect last July 29, or delaying the effective date of the new ordinance to permit owners to obtain permits under existing rules. The matter will go back to the council on Monday.
Proposed changes in the city's agricultural estate district stem from a controversy that developed last year over new subdivisions in an 11-block area of large lots--known as Horse Country--where a small number of residents still keep horses and other animals. It pitted those favoring retention of the rural atmosphere against others who want to build additional houses on their properties.