By Julie BUTCHER
The first Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting of 2017 began with the Pledge of Allegiance led by local Boy Scouts and an inspiring invocation from Pastor Steve Marshall of the CV United Methodist Church. New officers were elected and sworn in:
Harry Leon President
Mike Claessens Vice-President
Mariam Barnes Treasurer
Aram Ordubegian Recording Secretary
Sophal Ear Corresponding Secretary
The Council reviewed the recommendation by the Land Use Committee for approval of the condo development at 3037-3045 Foothill Blvd.
Local realtor Jason Kim summarized the history of the project as it was initially envisioned in 2012 through two community meetings in 2016.
“The owner ‘by right’ could build something much more dense,” he said. “However, he listened to the neighbors and has responded favorably to every issue raised. We want to build an area everyone can enjoy.
“There are fewer units; we are saving all of the oak trees, every single one, following all of the compliance issues consistent with the Foothill District and the CSP. We’ve agreed to do an environmental study and a traffic study, more landscaping; we’ve addressed the privacy issues raised by the neighbors. We’ll be digging deeper to lower the height of the building. We’ve addressed the front of the project and imagine creating an area that is pleasant for shopping, dining, cafés and pedestrians.”
“We’re hoping to establish a new community rather than just building a building,” Kim added. “My office is right next door and has been since 1998. I want to build something that’ll make La Crescenta proud.”
Local realtor Pam Heiberg said that the inventory of condos and townhouses in the area is low and aging.
“This developer listened to the community,” she said adding that the project is better for it – solid and ready to move forward.
Stuart Byles of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley reminded the assemblage that the Community Standards District allows for six architectural styles including the notable “Foothill Eclectic.” Byles urged the architect to consider using stone, which will undoubtedly be excavated from the site once building begins.
“I’m happy to see what you’re doing given what you could do,” Byles commented. “But it’s not an example of architectural greatness, not a project that helps La Crescenta lean forward into the future.”
Community member Sherri Mudd submitted 250 signatures on a petition titled Keep La Crescenta Safe. The petition concludes: “We the undersigned request that a traffic study, environmental study and further investigation be completed before this project moves forward. We also request that the Crescenta Valley Town Council’s Land Use Committee consider no waivers that deviate from the Community Standards District as developed by the Crescenta Valley Town Council.”
Mudd reported that the signatures were collected locally, at the Harvest Market primarily. The petition additionally questions the impact on local schools and on water supplies.
Paul Rabinov recapped the process and reasoning of the Land Use Committee in bringing the recommendation for approval to the Town Council.
“The property is going to be developed. The question is if it can be an asset. At every point, Mr. Mo [the developer] has listened to the community. For instance in responding to the neighbors’ concerns about privacy. With all of that in mind, it will be an enhancement,” he said. “The LUC voted 6-1 to recommend approval of the development to the Town Council, subject to all the studies and county requirements still to come.”
The Crescenta Valley Town Council approved that recommendation 7-2 with a proviso added by Councilmember Leslie Dickson urging a traffic study specifically aimed at transitioning several parking spots to red curbs just east of the project for help with inevitable left turns.
In other news, Librarian Marta Wiggins thanked the community for the La Crescenta Library’s first seven years. She announced that AARP will be at the Library to provide tax help to seniors and community members every Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to
2 p.m. through April 15 except for April 1 (Election Day).
Gerry Collins, commander Post 288, American Legion, announced a veterans’ breakfast on the second Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. to
10 a.m. at the American Legion/VFW Post, 4011 La Crescenta Ave. in La Crescenta.
A deputy from the LA Sheriff Dept. – CV Station reminded the crowd about the new cellphone law: cellphones must be mounted and can be used only for functions that require one tap or swipe. The fines are serious and so is enforcement.
Crescenta Valley Water District (CVWD) General Manager Tom Love provided an update and materials from the water district: members of the community have done an exceptional job in conserving water. Keep it up, he urged.
The next meeting is on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd.