CORONA — Local elected officials are urging the city to reduce the allowable building zoning of a section of the neighborhood, saying the area is already straining to keep up with the existing population.
Assemblyman Francisco Moya, Rep. Joseph Crowley and state Sen. Jose Peralta gathered Monday to urge the city to reduce the density of new buildings in South Corona — saying the area's schools already are at more than 150 percent capacity and the 7 train is strained to capacity.
“Smart development requires building in a way that is consistent with the neighborhood that’s being developed," Moya said. "In South Corona, we see the consequences of letting too much happen to soon. The neighborhood can’t absorb the burgeoning population and students end up suffering for it."
Recent development around the neighborhood has been focused on tearing down single-family homes to build multi-family units — and they aren't affordable, Moya said.
Peralta said downzoning — or reducing the allowable density of new buildings in the area — would be one way to solve for the problem.
"Construction of new schools has not kept up with the growing population, and this is why it is important the City considers downgrading the current zoning codes in the area in an effort to keep one and two family homes, which have been replaced with multi-family, multi-dwelling residences, thus increasing the number of students," he said.
The narrow streets throughout South Corona are zoned predominantly as R5, R6 and R6B — which promotes higher density buildings of around four stories in R5 and up to 13 stories in R6, according to city documents.
Officials did not specify which zoning category they would like to change the area to. R4 zoning can be found in nearby North Corona, and is one example of lower density zoning.
The downzoning plan was supported by Community Board 4, who voted against the mayor's new rezoning plans — Zoning for Quality and Affordability, which would increase height allowances to make more room for ground floor retail; and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, in which developers are allowed to build higher than current zoning restrictions allow in exchange for adding permanently affordable housing.
Despite community board opposition, the mayor's rezoning plans were approved last March.