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New homes sought in Acton

Thirty-eight houses there in foreclosure

Posted: October 28, 2008 8:41 p.m.
Updated: December 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
One plucky developer is trying to push through red tape to build 16 homes in Acton near 38 homes that are in foreclosure.

Representatives for developer Harwood Homes are scheduled to make their latest construction pitch before the county’s Regional Planning Commission in Los Angeles today.

The developer wants to build 16 single-family homes along the northeast corner of Crown Valley Road and Banson Street in Acton. The 20-acre area is zoned for light agricultural use.

Herb Hirsh, president of the family-owned company, down plays his company’s bid to build homes in a stumbling housing market.

“It’s just the normal course of business,” he said Tuesday. “It doesn’t voice any optimism or pessimism, it’s just the normal course of business.”

Los Angeles County Regional planner Ramon Cordova, who is processing the application, says Harwood Homes reflects a trend.

Smaller developers continue to stake their claims and make their plans to build while larger corporate land developers seem to be waiting for the economy to rebound, Cordova said.

“Right now, we’ve seen a small decline in submittals,” Cordova said referring to the number of requests from developers. “A lot of the smaller developers come in with proposals while the big guys seem to be still holding back to see how the market improves.”

Hirsh, a past president of the Southern California Building Association’s Antelope Valley Chapter, said Wednesday’s application to the planning commission seeking approval for a tentative tract map is nothing more than that.

“It’s still going to be a couple of years away,” he said about completing construction of the homes.
Engineers modified The Harwood Homes plan after one of its 16 lots did not meet the minimum lot size guidelines adopted by the Acton Town Council, Cordova said. County planners asked the developer to resubmit a tentative tract map and to present it to the town council.

If the redrawn map is approved, the 16 new Harwood Homes will have a 93510 zip code and, with it, at least 38 neighboring homes left vacant due to foreclosure, according to figures posted by the Web site www.foreclosure.com.

In addition, the owners of at least 21 other homes near the proposed site are on the verge of foreclosure.

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