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Local News in Brief : Zoning Study for School Land

In an effort to avoid controversy, the Torrance City Council told the city staff last week to study how the former Columbia School site and surplus land at the Southern California Regional Occupational Center should be zoned before the properties are sold.

The 5-acre elementary school site on 186th Street, which is zoned for public use, became vacant in June. The 2 acres of surplus property at the vocational school on Crenshaw Boulevard is zoned for manufacturing.

The Columbia site is bounded by a residential neighborhood on the north and west and by businesses on the south and east. The vocational school land is bounded by Charles Wilson Park on the north, Torrance High School on the south and east and Crenshaw on the west.

The council recommended the study to avoid a situation they faced with the former Meadow Park School site on 230th Street west of Hawthorne Boulevard. A developer purchased the land before the zoning was changed from its former “public use” zoning.

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Since the land did not have new zoning restrictions, the developer tried to get the city’s approval for a high-density residential project. Neighbors objected and negotiations dragged on for nearly two years before a lower-density project was approved.

A staff report is expected at Tuesday’s council meeting.


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