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Housing Density for Atwater Areas Studied

The Los Angeles City Planning Department this week took a step toward lowering housing density in three small areas of Atwater.

All three are small islands in predominantly single-family zones and would be reduced from eight units per lot to two, said Renee Weitzer, planning deputy for Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro, whose jurisdiction includes the neighborhoods in question.

The areas under consideration include portions of the 2700-2800 blocks of Minneapolis Street and Fletcher Drive; the 3100 block of Atwater Avenue, and Los Feliz Boulevard between Perlita and Garcia streets.

Weitzer said Ferraro began working for the downzoning after receiving more than 50 letters and a petition with more than 200 signatures requesting the change.

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“We believe that duplex buildings are more compatible with the area” than apartment complexes, she said.

At a hearing in City Hall on Monday before a city hearing examiner, about 10 residents spoke, three in opposition to the changes, Weitzer said. The opponents said they fear that reducing density would devalue their property and prevent them from developing it, Weitzer said.

Speakers who favored the changes argued that big apartment complexes are overwhelming their houses and creating traffic, parking, noise and general crowding problems in the neighborhoods, Weitzer added.

The next step is a hearing before the city Planning Commission, scheduled for Jan. 4. The proposal would then go to the City Council.

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