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Los Angeles acts to preserve neighborhoods

May 7, 2008 at 10:49 AM

LOS ANGELES, May 7 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles City Council has adopted new rules making it harder for developers to gentrify low-income neighborhoods and tear down residential hotels.

The measures approved by the council also impose strict limits on the size of remodeled homes in an effort to prevent the spread of "McMansions," oversized new homes built on standard lots, The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Officials say the new rules were needed to protect the character of existing neighborhoods and see that the poor aren't driven from their homes.

"When certain neighborhoods have homes on steroids and others no longer have a place for the poor to sleep, the social fabric is torn," said City Council President Eric Garcetti.

The action by the council comes after years of criticism that Los Angeles has failed to preserve the look and character of its neighborhoods.

Activists also complained that replacing residential hotels with luxury lofts leaves many of the city's poorest residents with nowhere to live.

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