Developer Accepts Limits on Carson Housing Project

Times Staff Writer

Having lost its battle to construct 132 homes on substandard-sized lots in North Carson, an Upland-based development company said Wednesday it will build no more than 114 homes on the 17.4-acre property.

Council members voted 4 to 0 Tuesday, with Mayor Kay Calas absent, to overturn an earlier Planning Commission decision that would have allowed Lewis Homes to construct 132 homes on lots smaller than the city's minimum requirement of 5,000 square feet. The plan also included streets narrower than the city's standard 36 feet.

The council decided that the company must abide by all existing building codes.

"I think it is a victory for some quality housing in the city. That is all we had asked for," said Councilwoman Sylvia Muise on Wednesday. Muise lives near the site of the proposed homes: southwest of Cal State Dominguez Hills. Their construction was vehemently opposed by residents in the area, who asserted that the project would attract crime and traffic congestion.

Firefighters Dubious

Fire officials, anticipating difficulties maneuvering emergency vehicles on the relatively narrow private streets that the Planning Commission had approved, also opposed the project.

Although Lewis Homes earlier had asserted that it would not be profitable enough to build fewer than 132 homes on the tract at Avalon Boulevard and University Drive, it has decided to build 113 or 114 homes, according to Gerry Bryan, a vice president of the firm. The company does not need special approval for its new plan, which meets city zoning requirements, he said.

"I guess you get to a point where you say, 'Well, I'll give it a try,' " he said.

Bryan estimated that the new homes could sell for $275,000 or more, well above the value of homes already in the area. The homes, each about 2,500 square feet, would all be on 5,000-square-foot lots.

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