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Referendum for Repeal of Construction Limits Is Under Review in Rolling Hills

Community Correspondent

A referendum petition seeking the repeal of an ordinance that allows Rolling Hills to reject construction in conflict with the city’s General Plan is being reviewed by the city attorney.

Enforcement of the ordinance, which was unanimously approved by the City Council in November, has been suspended pending verification of the petition’s validity, said City Manager Terrence Belanger.

Under that process, the city attorney first must determine if the petition’s wording complies with state law. If it does, the Los Angeles County registrar of voters will be asked to verify that the petition contains 148 valid signatures--10% of the city’s 1,478 registered voters.

If the petition--which contains 185 signatures--are validated, the City Council can rescind the ordinance or put it to a vote, said Belanger. The council would make that decision this month, he said.

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If the council does not rescind the ordinance, an election must be held within 75 to 89 days of the date the council makes that decision.

The ordinance was to have become effective Dec. 28, but opponents filed petitions against it on Dec. 27 and 28.

The ordinance, which applies to all new construction including remodeling, was approved unanimously by the council in November despite significant community opposition. Council members said the ordinance would support the goals of the General Plan, which include the preservation of a rural atmosphere, open space, natural vegetation and hilly topography.

Proponents of the ordinance decried a trend over the past few years to build large homes to the limits of city codes.

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Opponents said they feared the measure would limit the size of homes that could be built on large lots and reduce property values.

Should the ordinance be repealed, it cannot be considered again by the council for a year. If it is not repealed, the ordinance takes effect on the date the referendum results are certified to the council.


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