Highland Park : Council OKs Development Restrictions

Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted this week to approve an ordinance that would severely limit development in parts of Highland Park.

The measure was approved without discussion, in stark contrast to the bitter opposition that it met from small business and property owners when it was first proposed in December.

If signed by Mayor Tom Bradley, the ordinance would prohibit the demolition of buildings in most cases and limit new construction to projects deemed by city planners to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood. It is a temporary measure designed to stave off development while planners revise the area’s general plan over the next few years.

Boundaries of Area


The ordinance covers sections of Highland Park that are part of the 1st and 14th City Council districts. The long, irregular swath is bounded by the Pasadena Freeway and Griffin Avenue on the east, Avenue 35 on the south, Avenue 50 and Marmion Way on the west, and York Boulevard on the north.

Under the ordinance, city planners will review new construction projects in the area to determine if they are consistent with the “density, scale and character” of 75% of the existing buildings within a 300-foot radius of the project. Under existing law, building projects in most areas of Los Angeles are only individually reviewed if a zone change is requested.

The ordinance combines two measures introduced separately this fall by Councilwoman Gloria Molina and Councilman Richard Alatorre.

Another interim control ordinance proposed by Alatorre this month would use means similar to those in the Highland Park ordinance to limit development over a much larger area--all of northeast Los Angeles. A City Council committee directed city planners Tuesday to draw up that ordinance and hold hearings on it.