City Council allows subdivisions to continue

DOWNEY – Council members on Tuesday declined to extend a moratorium that temporarily halted the subdivision of single-family lots. 

The council had adopted a temporary moratorium Oct. 24 in reponse to increased concerns about property subdivisions and their effects on local neighborhoods. 

 Photo by Pam Lane,

Photo by Pam Lane,

The most recent controversy occurred Nov. 15, when council members overruled the Planning Commission and allowed the owner of an Orange Estates home to subdivide the property into three separate lots. (This property was not subject to the moratorium because its application was filed prior to Oct. 24.)

In 2015, the Planning Commission voted to allow the subdivision of the Albert Ball estate in Cherokee Estates. That lot was subdivided to make room for four new homes. 

The temporary moratorium was set to expire Dec. 8 but city planners requested an extension, saying they needed more time to study the effects of subdividing lots on Downey neighborhoods. 

City planners met with the Downey Association of Realtors and received mixed feedback from realtors.

A four-fifths vote was required to extend the moratorium. Mayor Fernando Vasquez and councilman Alex Saab cast the deciding votes against the extension.