L.A. City Council Votes Against Controversial Development

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The Los Angeles City Council has dealt a setback to a massive proposed housing development at the intersections of the Five and 14 Freeways. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that Wednesday's vote will stop city planners from working on the Las Lomas project.

Molly Peterson: Las Lomas would locate 5,500 homes in north L.A. county in the spaghetti of freeways near Santa Clarita. A Santa Monica-based developer has long pushed for the city of L.A. to annex that land. L.A.'s city attorney said that because Los Angeles helped with some planning for the project over a half-dozen years, the city might be on the hook legally if it stopped now. But longtime project opponent councilman Greig Smith said he didn't think Las Lomas could win a lawsuit.

Greig Smith: There is no taking! There is no taking, ladies and gentlemen, if they go to court and sue us, 'cause we have taken nothing but the right to build 247 homes.

Peterson: Annexing Las Lomas to L.A. would have given the project access to city services including schools and water supply. But many of the 10 council members who voted to stop the planning process expressed concern about the project's potential toll on city roads and budgets. Greig Smith read into the record a long list of opponents, from congressional representatives to environmental groups.

Smith: There are no paid lobbyists in that group. That is the people of L.A. speaking, loud and clear. (applause)

Peterson: Developers may still build Las Lomas, though L.A. county isn't likely to approve as many homes as the city might have. After the city council vote, Developer Dan Palmer said he's weighing his next move.