Monday, September 17, 2007

Not in Their Backyard Either

This is about an older neighborhood in LA. The forces are the same, the names are different.

Suzan Filipek | Larchmont Chronicle, 542½ Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004

RESIDENTS are saying no to huge developments, says Charlie Dougherty, community association president.

Tear downs on hold in historic Windsor Village

• City passes measure to protect area

A wave of new developments in Windsor Village prompted city officials to approve an interim community ordinance last month.

The ICO, which limits tear downs for one year, was approved unanimously by the City Council Aug. 15.

“It’s to stop development, which we’ve just been assaulted by,” said Charlie Dougherty, president of the Windsor Village Community Association.

A petition with about 900 signatures was gathered in recent months in a first step towards halting large-scale developments on single-family lots. Area residents hope to get a historic preservation overlay zone for the area, which consists of homes built largely in the 1920s and 1930s west of Crenshaw, east of Fremont Pl., north of Olympic and south of Wilshire.

Save Wilshire Village signs have also cropped up on lawns in recent weeks.

In addition, the city Planning Dept. is conducting a study to determine downzoning of area streets from multi-family to residential.

The momentum to halt development quickened after about 12 lots with single-family homes have been bought recently by developers who seek to build multi-story apartments and condos, said Dougherty.

The residential area is scaled for single-family homes; huge developments on these lots will add traffic and clog the streets, he added.

Besides its stately homes, Harold Henry Park, The Ebell Club of Los Angeles and the Wilshire United Methodist Church are among the area’s notable features.

Since trends arrive in Raleigh after they start on the coasts, we will want to be thinking ahead about how the current comprehensive plan will be used to allow or nix re-development in our older neighborhoods. Today large houses, next year will we be facing recombinations and large units in our neighborhoods? Hopefully the downtown condo market will be met, and not overbuilt, with all the city core projects. (see for some good discussions on this). As property values skyrocket, they are not making more land it seems, who will be able to afford to live in-town? And how?

Is it my imagination, or is a lot of this upward value energy being created by speculative investment? It seems like our biggest economic engine in Raleigh right now is redevelopment of core neighborhoods. This involves shopping a built community for opportunity and land, not for homes. IMHO, it is not nice to paint bulls-eyes on other peoples homes, but that may be the lay of the land these days.

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