CVCA Meeting Updates Community Members

Photo by Nicole MOORE Grant Michals, right, addressses attendees of the CVCA meeting held on Thursday night at the La Crescenta Library.
Photo by Nicole MOORE
Grant Michals, right, addressses attendees of the CVCA meeting held on Thursday night at the La Crescenta Library.

By Nicole MOORE

The Crescenta Valley Community Association had its monthly general meeting on Aug. 25, updating community members on various topics regarding the Crescenta Valley area.

First on the agenda was CV Town Councilmember Desiree Rabinov, representing Metro, who spoke about how the foothill community could gain easier access to the 501. The 501 is an express bus service that travels between Pasadena and North Hollywood and operates from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. While using the 501 as transit is appealing to many commuters in the La Crescenta area, currently there is not a north-south connection to the 501 nor is there a direct bus line to a bus station. In order to improve the connection, Rabinov urged community members to take a survey at to express what is preventing La Crescenta residents from using the 501, including lack of connection or inaccessible parking. Based on the information provided from the survey, Metro will attempt to improve the type of service necessary for the foothill community to connect to the 510.

“If you don’t complete the survey we may not have the service here. Unless a good number of people fill out the survey, [Metro will] typically say that we don’t want it,” Rabinov warned. “Interest needs to be expressed.”

Next, CVCA member Paul Rabinov talked about the endeavors of his wife and him to gather support from the City of Glendale to fund efforts authorizing a feasibility study to construct a pedestrian bike path along the Verdugo Wash. The proposed bike path would go from Crescenta Valley Park to the L.A. River. Glendale City Council is waiting for Measure M, a half-cent sales tax increase to improve highways and transit in L.A. County, to pass as the funding for the study is written in the Measure. In the interim before the expected passage of  Measure M, the Rabinovs have provided a petition for members of the community to voice their support for the study. So far approximately 350 community members have signed the petition. The Rabinovs’ goal is 1,500 signatures. Paul noted the myriad benefits of having a
mixed-use bike path including lowering greenhouse gas emissions and an increased quality of life.

He added, “It is important to be sensitive to those [in the vicinity of the Verdugo Wash] who are concerned about their safety and security. [The study] will help [the plans] be designed in a way which will eliminate or mitigate the possible issues.”

Grant Michals, a representative of the Sparr Heights Neighbor-hood Association, updated the CVCA on the Montrose 20/20 plan. This plan started as a five-year study to find ways to enhance and renovate the Montrose Shopping Park. A questionnaire was completed by residents and business owners on what ways the Montrose Shopping Center could improve. Parts of the plan included bettering the landscape, taking out decomposed granite and making the area more dog friendly.

Community member Sue Kilpatrick voiced her concern that the parking section in the Montrose 20/20 plan did not mention the severe lack of handicap spaces in the shopping park. Michals admitted she was the third person to bring up the issue regarding handicap parking and appreciated Kilpatrick adding her perspective to the discussion.

“In expressing your perspective you will find support. This is the time to try to find solutions,” Michals said.

Additionally, Michals noted the reason the plan does not address concerns regarding sufficient handicap parking is because the members of the general public who filled out the questionnaire may not be aware of the inaccessibly for those who need handicap parking.

The final topic of discussion brought up by Michals was the demolition plans for 3540 Buena Vista Ave. The plan to demolish and rebuild 3540 Buena Vista Ave. has gone to city council four separate times. The main concern for the Neighborhood Association was that the design for the house has every metric on the maximum. However, this is allowed because Glendale’s current zoning codes state building on 40% of a lot is acceptable. Initially, a neighbor filed an appeal and, while it was eventually withdrawn, the appeal was upheld. Due to this, the design for the house was sent to the Design Review Board where it was approved by a two-to-one vote. The concern is that members of Sparr Heights may build larger homes on predominantly small lots, citing 3540 as precedent.

“This becomes an issue of density and building up to what the zoning codes allow community-wide, not just in Sparr heights,” Michals stated.

The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will take place on Sept. 22 at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta.