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Bernson Proposes Limits on Chatsworth Businesses

Councilman Hal Bernson on Tuesday asked the Los Angeles City Council to temporarily ban certain businesses--including motels, thrift shops and auto-related firms--from Chatsworth’s main commercial strip.

His proposal would impose tighter controls on building heights, design, landscaping, parking and signs on Devonshire Street between De Soto Avenue and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, and on a short stretch of Topanga Canyon south of Devonshire.

It would temporarily prohibit development of businesses that would better fit into industrial areas, said Ralph Crouch, planning deputy to Bernson.

Due for Vote Tuesday

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Bernson’s proposal, which will come before the council for a vote Tuesday, would set the wheels in motion for city planners to recommend specific restrictions. Their recommendations would be the subject of public hearings.

The restrictions would remain in effect for a year or until the council approves a new development plan for the area. The plan, which seeks to transform the area in a fashionable shopping district, is expected to be finished in a year.

“We want to upgrade it into a desirable commercial area rather than a catch-all for everything,” Bernson said. He introduced his proposal at the request of a citizens advisory committee that he appointed to prepare a development plan for the area.

The council recently enacted similar controls for the Reseda business district at the behest of Councilwoman Joy Picus.

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