A 90-day moratorium on residential development in portions of the city's northwest section was tentatively approved this week by the Board of City Directors.
An ordinance formalizing the ban is scheduled for a vote at Monday's regular board meeting. It would affect six areas in the troubled northwest district, where crime and unemployment rates are the highest in the city.
The moratorium was proposed by Director Loretta Thompson-Glickman, who said the action is needed to curb condominium and apartment developments in neighborhoods predominantly composed of single-family homes.
The areas that would be affected by the moratorium are already under study by the Planning Department for possible zone changes that would permanently prohibit multiple-family developments such as condominiums. The study is expected to be completed by May 14.
Several homeowners spoke in support of the moratorium at Monday's hearing and board members passed the measure on a 4-0 vote. Director Jo Heckman, a real estate agent, abstained, citing possible conflicts of interest. Jess Hughston was absent.
Director Rick Cole took Glickman's proposal a step further, asking that such a moratorium be considered for the entire city. "These are issues that are not relative only to the northwest. They are issues that are citywide," he said. The board delayed discussion on such an action until April 21.
The areas subject to the moratorium are roughly bordered by the 210 Freeway to the west, Orange Grove Boulevard to the south, Lake Avenue on the east and Howard Street on the north.
The zoning study already under way for the area is part of the city's Northwest Community Plan, a comprehensive overview of the area that focused on land use, zoning, economic development, employment and public safety. The plan has become the city's handbook for revitalizing the area and reversing its pattern of decline.