Ferraro Backs Growth Curbs for Valley Village

Times Staff Writer

A measure to restrict construction in the Valley Village area of North Hollywood has won the support of Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro, who gained the neighborhood in a recent council reapportionment.

“There’s no question this area is getting overbuilt,” Ferraro said at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday night. “I’ve always supported the need for such plans.”

The measure would not ban construction in Valley Village, but would restrict it to the lowest density allowed under existing zoning and limit all new buildings to two stories. It also would limit the square footage of commercial development to 1 1/2 times the size of the lot.

Ferraro asked the council two weeks ago to delay a final vote on the growth controls, saying he wanted time to study the issue. His announcement Wednesday pleased homeowner activists, but was sure to disappoint developers.


About 225 people attended the meeting at Colfax Avenue Elementary School, several of them speaking out in support of the plan. “I hope you’ll go back to the council and tell them how mad we are,” one resident told Ferraro.

The council has scheduled a final vote on the plan Tuesday.

Councilman Joel Wachs introduced the measure in March in response to homeowner complaints of parking problems, traffic congestion and blocked views resulting from construction of apartments and condominiums in single-family neighborhoods.

At the time, the entire area fell within Wachs’ district. But redistricting gave parts of the area to Ferraro and Zev Yaroslavsky.


Valley Village is a three-square-mile area bounded by Burbank Boulevard on the north, the Hollywood Freeway on the east, the Ventura Freeway on the south and the flood control channel next to Coldwater Canyon Boulevard on the west.

The Valley Village Homeowners Assn. called the meeting Wednesday night to lobby for support from Ferraro, who was absent from the first vote on the plan Sept. 17, when the council gave it tentative approval on a 10-2 vote.

“We had to have a big turnout to demonstrate that it’s not just a few people concerned about their particular property,” said Tom Paterson, a Valley Village resident who is president of the North Hollywood Residents Assn. “We had to lobby Ferraro, since he’s the new kid on the political block.”

But Marvin Eisenman, who owns a six-unit apartment building on Whitsett Avenue, said he opposed the proposal because it would upset the plans of landowners who purchased property with the intention of developing it.