SAN GABRIEL ( — Seeking to preserve the historic character of its neighborhoods, the San Gabriel city council on Tuesday issued a moratorium on demolishing existing houses — many of them single-story structures — to make way for newer mansions.

The adopted ordinance is effective immediately and prohibits the city from issuing permits to homeowners looking to demolish existing houses or build second story additions on existing homes until the city updates its development standards, The Pasadena Star-News reported.

The two dozen applications already submitted to the city for new construction or demolition will be allowed to move forward.

The moratorium is a response to outcry from residents that “mansionization” is altering San Gabriel’s historic feel as quaint streets become overrun by garish “McMansions.”

“This is an issue that trancends the city of San Gabriel,” San Gabriel City Planner Mark Gallatin said. “It’s an issue that cities throughout the Los Angeles region are dealing with.”

There is also a ballot measure being put forward by Arcadia residents to limit house footprint and height.


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