Neighborhood Wins Round at City Hall

A small entourage of Harbor Gateway residents bucked the odds this week by persuading the Los Angeles City Council to hold off for two weeks on an $800,000 street-lighting project that would cost property owners an average of $785 each.

“It doesn’t happen very often,” Stan Horwitz of the city’s Bureau of Street Lighting said after the council’s decision. “In 15 years, I have seen it maybe four or five times.”

About a dozen residents went to downtown Los Angeles to protest the creation of an assessment district to pay for the new lights. There are scores of such districts throughout the city, set up to pay for everything from alley paving to tree trimming.


“We have other priorities that we have asked for many, many times,” Marie Bunch, a resident of Harbor Gateway for 48 years, told the council Wednesday. “A library. More police protection. . . . And street improvements, and things like that. But we just haven’t gotten them. And then you come along with this.”

Property owners would be required to pay the assessment up front or extend the payments over several years at a 10% interest rate.