HUNTINGTON BEACH -- Property owners and residents in three
neighborhoods can rest easy knowing that businesses should stay out of
The city's Planning Commission unanimously denied a series of zoning
changes last week that would designate several residential areas for
commercial land use.
The decision affects 90 properties between Aldrich and Alhambra
avenues, east of Beach Boulevard; 20 residential structures between
Warner Avenue and Blaylock Drive, and A and B streets; and 10 dwellings
along Moonshadow Circle.
"This is our affordable housing stock," Planning Commissioner Connie
Mandic said, adding that the city's low-priced housing is in short
supply. "And here we're considering eliminating it."
Ricky Ramos, associate planner for the city, said the zoning changes
were suggested because of amendments to the Huntington Beach general plan
four years ago, which changed land use designations for 97 areas around
town. As a result, many properties had zoning designations that were
inconsistent with those in the general plan, he added.
The zone amendments would iron out those inconsistencies, but they
would also label any residential property in the commercial areas as
nonconforming land uses.
"No one wants to take on the hazards of a nonconforming property,"
said Jeff Lang, who owns an apartment complex on Moonshadow Circle. "We
wouldn't be able to attract future buyers, and I think it would impact
Huntington Beach negatively."
Commissioners added during the Sept. 26 meeting that nonconforming
land use could also block home improvement loan approvals for some
"This area may all be commercial in 100 years, but now it's affordable
housing, and if the general plan says it should be changed, then the
general plan is wrong," said Tom Livengood, a planning commissioner who
received whispers of approval from the meeting's audience.
Livengood and other commissioners agreed to recommend that the City
Council amend the general plan and set the three neighborhoods in
question under a residential land use title.
The commissioners, however, did approve zoning changes for 13.8 acres
occupied by the Huntington Beach Hospital and Medical Center, as well as
for an automotive business in the 700 block of Yorktown Avenue. Zone
discussions for a third lot, on the northeast corner of Elm Street and
Cypress Avenue, were continued to the commission's Oct. 10 meeting
because of parking issues.