Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Speculator Moves Closer to Dream

Photo: Diane Edwardson, November 2004. Semi Tropic lots
slated for subdivision. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, the developer trying to subdivide the three 1-acre lots into 16 lots in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract, moved closer to his goal. The City Council's Planning & Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), chaired by City Councilmember Ed Reyes denied the neighbors appeal.

Councilmember and PLUM Chair Ed Reyes (CD1) seemed perturbed by evidence presented by one neighbor: the developer had already listed the property for sale as "16 lots" as of January 14, 2009. Final approval has not yet been granted and goes to a full City Council vote on February 17, 2009.

In response to issues raised by 10 neighbors who testified at the hearing and the many more who sent email in support of the appeal, Reyes called for a meeting of the "City Family" (CD1, CD13 and City Planning) to ensure the mitigations requested by Councilmember Garcetti (CD13) were adequately addressed in the final decision before going to the full City Council.

Reyes also suggested CD13 staff might need need to review the tree replacement and landscaping requirements. This would be the one positive for neighbors to take away from Tuesday's defeat, since City Planning staff was still citing an outdated oak tree ordinance, even after the East Area Planning Commission instructed Planning staff to cite the correct protected tree ordinance in their decision prior to the neighbors taking the appeal to PLUM.

UPDATE 2-17-09: City Council continued the item until February 25, 2009.