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Building Limits Urged for Sunland-Tujunga

Times Staff Writer

Stronger limits on the building of large apartment and condominium projects in Sunland-Tujunga were proposed by City Councilman Joel Wachs on Tuesday in an effort to head off further urban intrusion into the semi-rural area.

Wachs proposed the limits on the eve of the Los Angeles City Council’s first meeting in Sunland-Tujunga. Wachs said he arranged the session, scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Municipal Building in Tujunga, to bring government to the people. But it also will provide an opportunity to familiarize his colleagues with his district’s problems, he said.

His proposal, if approved by the council and Mayor Tom Bradley, would temporarily prohibit new apartment and condominium construction along major commercial thoroughfares, such as Foothill and Sunland boulevards.

The ban would remain in effect until city planners prepare permanent development controls to protect the surrounding residential neighborhoods and provide for a “high class of commercial development” instead of more fast-food restaurants and auto repair shops, Wachs said.

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In residential areas, Wachs’ proposal would hold new apartment and condominium projects to two stories. Up to six stories are now permitted. The measure would drastically reduce the density of new apartment and condominium projects--from a maximum of 54 units to 14 units on a half-acre parcel, for example, Wachs said.

Permanent Controls

Wachs said a new development plan for Sunland-Tujunga, expected to be finished in a year, would include permanent controls on building heights, design and landscaping.

He said he introduced the proposal in response to complaints from single-family homeowners about blocked views, and parking and traffic problems from construction of apartment and condominium complexes up to six stories tall.

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The proposal was sent to the council’s Planning Committee for study.

Similar restrictions are in effect in many other San Fernando Valley neighborhoods.

In a related matter, the council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday ordered city planners to draft tougher guidelines for hillside development in Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga and Sun Valley.


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