City planning officials have backed away from proposed zoning changes that would have allowed housing to nearly triple in some neighborhoods of southwest Whittier.
The zoning changes would have permitted an increase in new houses and duplexes on several streets in an area whose general boundaries are Nogal Avenue, Shreve Road, Greenleaf Avenue and Lambert Road.
After more than 20 residents protested, the city Planning Commission rejected plans to rezone parts of Dunton, Villa and McGee drives east of Santa Fe Springs Road. The commission delayed a decision for at least a year on plans to allow more homes on Santa Fe Springs Road and on McGee Drive and Nogal Avenue to the west.
The two proposals would have allowed houses and duplex units on the southwest Whittier streets to increase from 152 to 438. They would have lowered the minimum lot size to build a home from 7,000 square feet to 3,000 square feet.
The residents complained that the proposal would make neighborhoods more crowded and increase crime.
Mike Burnham, assistant planning director, said the number of housing units in Whittier has increased slowly. Although the proposed zoning changes would have allowed for a large increase in home construction, he estimated that only about 30 homes or duplex units would be built on the southwest Whittier streets in the next decade.