To give city officials more time to revise design standards for apartments, condominiums and townhouses, the Monterey Park City Council last week unanimously extended for one year its building moratorium on multiple-family units.
The ban applies only to construction in the community’s most congested area, the northeast section. Although it was authorized for another year, council members and city officials say the ban will probably last no longer than 60 to 90 days.
The moratorium was enacted last May so that city planners could consider downzoning more than 400 acres of residential property zoned for multiple-family housing.
But last month the City Council rejected all of the downzoning proposals suggested by the planners. In doing so, council members Judy Chu and Christopher F. Houseman said revising the zoning was not the best way to solve the problems of overcrowding in Monterey Park. Angry residents told the council that downzoning could hurt their property values.
During that meeting, on April 27, Chu and Houseman said they wanted to find out what design restrictions might be placed on new construction to limit the number of units allowed in apartment and condominium complexes.
Although the ban was extended unanimously, some council members raised the issue of how long it would actually remain in effect.
Houseman questioned the need to extend the moratorium for another year, arguing that the extension should be for only a few months. And Mayor Barry L. Hatch said: “I think we need to allay any fears that there is going to be an extended moratorium.”
Even though Hatch voted to continue the ban for another year, he said it should take no more than 60 to 90 days for the city staff to propose revised building guidelines and for the City Council to adopt any changes.