Redondo Beach Halts Mixed-Use Development For A Year

REDONDO BEACH (CBSLA) – The Redondo Beach City Council has placed a nearly one-year moratorium on mixed-use development, a move that comes amid a statewide housing shortage driving up rents and home prices, it was reported Thursday.

The nearly eleven month ban, which passed unanimously earlier this week, puts a brake on projects that combine retail and office with housing — and which are going up in many communities to the dismay of residents concerned over traffic, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The City Council’s action extended a 45-day moratorium passed in August for an additional 10 ½ months. In doing so, the council found that more mixed- use projects would have an adverse effect on traffic and thus “public health or safety,” according to The Times.

The timeout is meant to give the city breathing room to hammer out new rules for its mixed-use zones that would lessen the impact on schools, infrastructure and city services. Next year, the council will have the opportunity to extend the moratorium for an additional year.

Spiking rents due to a housing shortage have become a lightning rod issue in the Southland.

According to a recent study from real estate firm Zillow, the median rent in the Los Angeles metro area in June was $2,682, a 4.2 percent increase from June of 2016. Another 5 percent rent hike in the L.A. metro area would push nearly 2,000 more residents into homelessness, Zillow found.

To spark affordable housing development, the L.A. City Council has been debating instituting a linkage fee. Under the proposal, developers would be charged $5 for every square foot of new commercial construction and $12 per square foot for new residential projects. The fee would raise an estimated to $75 million to $92 million per year for affordable housing development.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of 2017, a new statewide law took effect that makes it easier and cheaper for homeowners to build second dwellings on their properties. The California law is meant to ease the housing crisis by encourage property owners to construct so-called ‘granny flats,’ also known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Redondo Beach, which has roughly 68,900 residents and about 30,700 homes, according to state Department of Finance data cited by The Times. And an additional 3,296 housing units could be built in Redondo Beach’s “mixed-use commercial/residential zones,” according to the city’s road map for housing development in its general plan.

However, it’s unclear how many of those would be affected by the moratorium, which does not cover construction in residential zones, nor previously approved projects, The Times reported. The planned redevelopment of the South Bay Galleria into a mixed-use center with retail and housing also would not be affected because it is located in a specialty zone.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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