The measure would create a designated wildlife corridor from Griffith Park to Interstate 405. As CityWatch reported, the goal of the corridor is to ensure that pockets of wildlife are not isolated from one another by development. When wild animals can't move between different areas of their habitat, they can face challenges with food, mating and migration.
Alison Simard, a member of Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife, said developers would still be able to build in the area but would have to take elements of a "Biological Constraints Checklist" into account. She said developers will also need to pass a "Wildlife Permeability Review" to ensure proposed structures are not blocking wildlife corridors.
"What happens traditionally is that [developers] build their buildings," Simard said, "and the neighbors come along and they say, 'No, no, no! Don't you understand you're blocking wildlife corridor?' We have lawsuits and it costs a lot more money to redesign plans. This would get ahead of that."
SEE ALSO: City Launches New Economic Data Tool
Barbara Carter, an area resident for more than 20 years, said she loves walking around her house and observing rich wildlife including birds, coyotes, chipmunks, snakes, turtles, deer and raccoons. She acknowledges that new development is necessary, but she supports the ordinance because she wants to keep the "treasure" of wildlife in her area.
"I saw a lot of the other surrounding foothill communities developed, and it was rather shocking to see whole areas of abundant wildlife being razed and slammed in with housing, with very little regard to how that planning went," Carter said.
The ordinance was originally proposed in April 2014 by Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz. After stalling in the Planning and Land Use Management Committee for two years, it was unanimously approved to go to the full council just days before it was set to expire.
If the ordinance passes Friday's vote, the city will begin to develop standards for development.
This post was updated at 1:50 p.m. Pacific Time with additional commentary from Alison Simard.