Council to weigh conversion of rental units to condos

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Some neighborhoods in the city have older apartment buildings built at more than twice the density currently allowed. For years, the city’s Planning Department had not forced owners converting apartments to comply with more recent zoning codes. But with more owners converting their buildings in recent years, the council voted June 7 to enforce current zoning codes for conversion projects. City Hall has heard from apartment owners concerned about the enforcement of lower-density requirements for conversions. That’s why the council decided to discuss what to do about owners who might seek exemptions, a discussion that will involve balancing competing concerns. “We need more housing, we need more rentals,” Weaver said. “But the bottom line for me is densities. People complain there’s too many (people) here now.” Bill Shaw, president of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, said with housing prices as high as they are, cities should encourage homeownership by allowing apartment-building owners to convert all their units to condos. GLENDALE – As it re-examines how to handle apartment owners’ attempts to convert rental units to condos in overbuilt neighborhoods, the City Council today will wrestle with the competing concerns of promoting homeownership and controlling housing density. In the late 1980s, Glendale city officials moved to control density, but the zoning rules they established only applied to new projects. They didn’t apply to old apartment buildings built under previous rules that allowed more units. With the housing market boom of the past few years, apartment owners have looked to cash in by converting their units to condos. But city officials want to force those projects to comply with the more recent zoning codes by requiring building owners to reduce the number of units by taking out walls and combining smaller apartments into larger condos. “If you’re going to start converting apartments into condos and stuff, (the city will) lose control in terms of ever rehabilitating areas and reducing density,” City Councilman Dave Weaver said. “Let the market dictate what the needs are for people rather than a bunch of bureaucrats,” he said. The council voted to enforce the zoning requirements for conversion projects after the Planning Department received a bunch of conversion applications. It got five applications from December to March, compared with only a couple applications or less per year before that. From June 7, when the council voted to enforce the zoning requirements, to the July 30 deadline it set for projects to come in under the old non-enforcement standard, the city received about 15 condo-conversion applications that would create 202 units. If those were new projects under today’s density standards, only 111 units could be built on those sites. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] IF YOU GO: The Glendale City Council will hold a special meeting today at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the issue of apartment buildings being converted to condos. The meeting will be held at City Hall, 613 E. Broadway. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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