Photo by Ian Rutherford from Flickr.

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an environmental initiative designed to reduce health risks from living near industrial and traffic pollution in Boyle Heights and two other inner-city neighborhoods.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Council approved an ordinance, known as Clean Up Green Up, that also sets special land-use restrictions for Pacoima and Wilmington. It’s meant to address areas that have a heavy concentration of junk yards, auto body shops, oil refineries, factories and freeway pollution.

The ordinance designates these three neighborhoods as “green zones” and places additional development requirements on new and expanding businesses. The new restrictions call for things such as setbacks, landscaping requirements, and buffers between their business and nearby homes, the Times reports.

Councilman Jose Huízar, who in 2011 introduced a motion that led to the Clean Up Green Up, says these new regulations will ease the conflict between industrial and residential neighbors.

But some businesses are not happy with the new regulations. According to The LA Times,  some see it as an extra layer of requirements that discourages growth. Rubén Gonzales, Senior Advisor of Strategic Affairs with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce told KPCC that the Clean Up Green Up does not provide funding sources for businesses to pay for the new requirements and that the current ordinance does not have a way to measure the environmental impact that the green zones will have.

Los Angeles is also pursuing a way to change the building code citywide to require enhanced air filters in all new homes within 1,000 feet of freeways.

Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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