By Brandon HENSLEY
The North Glendale community has a new model for its community planning, as City Council adopted the North Glendale Community Plan this month.
Effective Jan. 5, the area will see new regulations and guidelines for incoming projects. Council adopted a draft of the plan on Nov. 29 and also introduced new zone changes. On Dec. 6, it adopted the changes and plan amendments.
“This is the first step on what we see as being a series of community plans that will eventually cover all of the city,” said Laura Stotler, Glendale principal planner.
The plan has been over three years in the making. Stotler said the city began meeting with the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. in October 2008. Since then, various advisory committees were set up and consistently gave feedback to the planners. Meetings were held at the Montrose Library and the Sparr Heights Community Center.
“We had residents, we had businesses, we had property owners,” Stotler said of the committee members.
Starting Jan. 5, the maximum allowable height on Foothill Boulevard will be reduced from 50 feet to 35 feet. The maximum allowable height on the west side of Ocean View Boulevard will be reduced from 50 feet to 35 feet. There will be no change in the maximum allowable height on the north side of Verdugo Boulevard. There was a proposal to have it changed from 35 feet to 45 feet.
The Community Retail Zone, which permits a variety of land uses, was also extended to include Trader Joe’s on the south side of Honolulu Avenue.
Jean Maluccio, who represented the CV Chamber of Commerce in an advisory committee of about 30 people, said she was fine with the changes except for the maximum allowable height.
“As a chamber of commerce, we were hoping for them to stay at 42 feet, not to go from 50 to 35 [feet]. We thought it was pretty drastic,” she said.
“This affects more of the established businesses for them trying to improve or enlarge the building,” Maluccio explained. “It’s going to be hard for businesses that are already here [rather] than a new one coming in.”
Height requirement seemed to be a main issue in the process.
“We had a lot of disagreement at first. That’s why we had an advisory committee,” Stotler said, who added she was relieved the multi-year process is now over so that new projects can be implemented into the plan.
Stotler said several other cities have taken notice of the plan and will try try to make something more specific to their area.
“A lot of cities have a land use element that’s so general that it doesn’t give individual neighborhoods definition and direction,” said Stotler. “That’s what this document does.”