By Julie BUTCHER
The Feb. 2 meeting of the Land Use Committee of the Crescenta Valley Town Council (CVTC) focused nearly entirely on the continuing issue of installing new streetlights.
The CVTC had previously requested that the Land Use Committee (LUC) fully study, research, investigate and propose options for action regarding the installation of new street lighting districts before the current moratorium, adopted by the LA County Board of Supervisors at the request of the Town Council, expires on April 18.
Committee members Nicole Englund and Inez Chessum reported on their meeting with representatives of the Regional Planning Dept.
“We met with Regional Planning to continue exploring options for our community. We’re not rural, so we can’t just add ourselves to the Rural Outdoor Lighting District (ROLD) ordinance as was described in depth at our January meeting,” said Chessum. “But we can add all or any of the elements from it that we agree on; the County’s planning professionals recommend including these provisions in the CSD (Community Standards District) as it’s revised so that everything is in one place going forward.”
For instance, they continued, limitations could be prescribed on where new streetlights could be installed, limiting them to “only in front of schools and parks.”
“All new streetlights will be ‘dark-sky’ compliant, and that’s important to note, something I don’t believe we knew before this,” said committee member Cheryl Davis.
Following additional discussion about the next steps and the implications of recommending options such as those proposed, as well as hearing concerns about impeding the smooth, consensual process of revising the Community Standards District document, the committee decided to return the lighting issue to the full Town Council for further discussion, input and direction.
“I’m not at all comfortable taking any action that would limit the ability of members of the community to petition their neighbors for new lights, if that’s what a majority wants,” committee member Paul Rabinov emphatically stated. Committee and Town Council member Mike Claessens suggested exploring the possibility of increasing the percentage of the neighborhood petitioning for streetlights to a majority higher than the current 60% threshold or perhaps potentially expanding the breadth of property owners who can vote in the lighting district elections.
“First and foremost, we need to hear from the community in a big way before we do anything like this,” Rabinov added.
During the meeting’s public announcements, committee member Frank Beyt raised concerns about illegal dumping, particularly along Montrose Avenue.
“I confess,” Bayt said, “I’m adding to the problem by using the City of Glendale’s ‘MyGlendale’ app to report the problems. The City responds so quickly I think I’m not helping much!”
The Land Use Committee of the Crescenta Valley Town Council meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library. It meets next on March 2.