Tiny rustic farms battle for survival in Los Angeles area
In one of the city’s few residential-agricultural zones, developers want to raze five homes to build a 37,500-square-foot elder-care facility. Neighbors are divided.
By Ann M. Simmons,
Los Angeles Times
January 23, 2012
A chicken, a raven and a peacock greeted Lisa and Ron Cerda when they moved into their southeastern Tarzana neighborhood almost two decades ago. It was just the sort of bucolic reception the couple hoped for when they fled crowded West Los Angeles for one of the city’s rare residential-agricultural zones, a district that permits farming and the keeping of livestock.
Today, the Cerdas say their rustic neighborhood is threatened with extinction. Schools, synagogues and commercial businesses have crept into the district, despite dogged opposition from dozens of residents.
The latest battle involves a proposal to demolish five single-family dwellings and construct a 37,500-square-foot elder-care facility.
“I feel like we’re under attack,” said Lisa Cerda, who heads Tarzana Residents against Poor Property Development. The group has appealed more than two dozen proposals for development projects in recent years, arguing that they were unsuitable for their neighborhood. “Once a precedent has been set and you allow an elder-care in an RA zone, you cannot prevent it from happening again.”