City officials and homeowners had a mixed reaction Thursday to a decision by the Los Angeles City Council to extend the ban on large apartment buildings in parts of Sherman Oaks and Studio City.
The council voted Wednesday to continue the ban, enacted in 1988, for another year. It prohibits construction of buildings greater than 30 feet in height, containing more than 10 units or standing within 50 feet of single-family homes.
The council overruled a vote in April by the Planning Commission.
"The Planning Commission has not been as interested as I am in protecting the single-family home," said Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, sponsor of the Wednesday's measure.
He said the only problem with the most recent extension is that it is not permanent.
"It should be permanent and will be permanent," said Yaroslavsky, who has proposed a citywide ordinance. "Everybody deserves that kind of protection."
The Planning Commission had rejected any extension, saying four years of restrictions is enough.
"If the legislative body in the Planning Department, in five years, hasn't been able to cure the problem, then it obviously isn't that urgent," said Ted Stein, commission president.
Several homeowners along Ventura Boulevard said that although they support the temporary ban, they want the restrictions made permanent.
"We are happy about the extension," said Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. "But we need to have the city complete the job of height restriction in that area--five years we've been waiting."
Tony Lucente, president of the Studio City Residents Assn., also greeted the news with cautious optimism.
"My overall reaction was, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you,' " he said. "But we're still waiting for a permanent update to the General Plan."
Close and Lucente said that until permanent restrictions are in place, there is no guarantee that the ban will not be lifted and larger developments allowed.