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Opinion

Readers React: Do you want your neighborhood destroyed by a new high-rise?

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A high-rise luxury apartment tower on Wilshire Boulevard rises behind single-family homes in the Carthay Circle neighborhood of Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: At last, a column in the L.A. Times that reasonably describes SB 50, a bill quickly being pushed through the legislative process in California that would allow for more construction of high-density housing.

The sponsors’ promise of increased affordable housing is an empty one. Much of the additional housing near transit that this bill will produce will be high-end and without adequate infrastructure upgrades.

SB 50 is based on a dogma that single-family housing is immoral. Its author argues that there is a serious housing shortage that can only be addressed by this radical proposal to upend local zoning and planning.

However, we learned recently that the era of rapid population growth in California appears to be over. In fact, population shrinkage may be in our future.

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Steve Friedland, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Readers should not think that only wealthier people of one color have the pull to get their historic neighborhood protected under the HPOZ (historical preservation overlay zone) ordinance in Los Angeles.

It took our middle- and lower-income, multi-ethnic neighbors here in South Carthay three long years in the 1980s to get all the residents’ signatures, gather funds needed to pay for surveys and researchers, and meet all the other strict requirements in order to receive protection from developers. It wasn’t easy for us, and SB 50 should not threaten our hard work now.

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Our protected area contains a great number of duplexes, fourplexes and larger buildings. We provide rent-controlled, high-density housing for singles, couples and families of all ethnicities. South Carthay is a historic, beautiful place and a welcoming community.

Let’s not be shortsighted and destroy it for the sake of profits for big developers.

Walter Dominguez, Los Angeles

The writer chairs the urban affairs committee for the South Carthay Neighborhood Assn.

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