Building Limits Proposed for Parts of Highland Park

Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles city planners are drawing up a proposed ordinance to temporarily limit development in historic sections of Highland Park at the request of a City Council committee.

The proposal for the ordinance was introduced at a council meeting last week by Councilwoman Gloria Molina.

It is intended to preserve turn-of-the-century houses and aging storefronts during a review of building limits in the city’s general plan for development of the northeast area.

The measure would ban the demolition of buildings in most cases and limit new construction to projects compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. The Planning Department would determine the compatibility of the projects.


The ordinance would cover the sections of Highland Park that are part of the 1st Council District.

The area, which includes both residential and commercial sections, is bounded by York Boulevard on the north, Avenue 50 on the west and the Pasadena Freeway on the south and east.

With the proposal, community groups waging a campaign to reduce building limits in the area declared a victory.

At a meeting Tuesday of the council’s Planning and Environment Committee, 16 Highland Park residents who had planned to speak in favor of the plan decided not to because there was no opposition.


“This will protect for the moment a part of Highland Park,” Diana Barnwell, chairwoman of the Highland Park Neighborhood Assn., said after the meeting. “This area is being stripped by developers who see nothing in a property but its land value and do not care about the integrity of a particular house.”

If adopted, the ordinance would be in effect for three years or until the council adopts a revised version of the northeast Los Angeles general plan that would update zoning restrictions on 1,500 properties in the area.

The proposed ordinance is expected to go before the City Council for a vote before the end of the year.

Similar controls have been adopted in other parts of Los Angeles, including a restriction on mini-mall construction on portions of Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock.