By Mary O’KEEFE
At Tuesday night’s special Glendale City Council meeting the discussion concerned expanding the RFP (Request for Proposal) description for the property Rockhaven Sanitarium at 2713 Honolulu Ave.
The most recent RFP, prior to the motion made on Tuesday, limited the development to a medical/mental-health related facility and/or boutique lifestyle commercial center.
Councilmember Vartan Gharpetian had asked the Council to look at an amendment to the RFP to include a park. On Tuesday City Manager Scott Ochoa introduced the choice to revise the RFP criteria for a park and also for two options for residential properties. One choice was an 18-unit single-family home facility and the other was a 38-unit townhouse. The residential proposed criteria would be on the western third portion of the property.
The suggestion of a residential component was not received well by community members who were at the meeting in support of Rockhaven’s historical protection.
“I don’t want to create this vision that now the city is trying to build or bring a developer to build 40 units on the vacant side. All I was asking was to add the option of a park,” Gharpetian said.
Community members, including several Girl Scouts, asked the Council to respect the preservation of the facility.
La Crescenta resident Sharon Weisman came up with another idea that is closer to what the property had originally been purchased for eight years ago.
“The best alternative is the entire property as a historic park is still not considered. The property should be considered as an investment by the City not just a drain, not just an expense,” she said. “It continues to make no sense to me for the City to be getting rid of open park space at the same time you are actively looking to acquire different park space.”
Weisman suggested the City take time to gradually develop the property.
“I urge the Council to either open the RFP to all options or cancel it entirely. With the number of new housing units already in the pipeline in the City, the City can afford to slow the pace of development until after all this new housing fills up,” she added. “I want to caution Councilmembers that consultants are often brought into affirm what management has already decided. You don’t get independent opinions; you get the opinion that has been paid for.”
She concluded by telling the Council they did not have to develop all of the property “on their watch” and leave some for later.
The motion was approved to revise and expand any proposal that includes a park.
A request to the city attorney for the exact motion was made but not received by press time. When CVW receives the exact motion for the revised RFP it will be published.