Putting the Brakes on Growth : Alhambra OKs Moratorium to Slow Condo Conversions
The City Council has imposed a moratorium on construction in the city’s R-3 (multiple-residential) zone while it considers rezoning some neighborhoods to stop the replacement of single-family homes by condominiums and apartments.
City Manager Kevin Murphy said this is the first time the Alhambra City Council has ever enacted a moratorium on growth. It is a response, he said, to traffic congestion, noise and other problems caused by “too much growth in the R-3 areas.”
About one-fourth of the residential zoning in the city is R-3, which permits up to 30 housing units per acre. Murphy said the council in 1986 adopted a General Plan that reduced housing density, cutting the city’s potential population at full development from 120,000 to 82,300.
Further reductions in density in the R-3 zone will be considered, Murphy said, and the council will also look at rezoning R-3 areas where fewer than 30% of the houses have been replaced by apartments and condominiums. The city has identified 41 R-3 areas that could be rezoned to R-1 (single-family homes) and R-2 (two units per lot).
The building moratorium will be in effect for 45 days but could be extended after a public hearing. Murphy said it will take the Planning Commission and City Council at least six months to review and act on the zoning changes and other issues.