There have been several developments with local issues this past month. The April 7 public hearing before a panel from the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations brought out a capacity crowd to voice their views. I hope the commissioners will be able to find a compromise based on the wide spectrum of opinions expressed that respects free speech, encourages historic accuracy and full exploration of events, and minimizes offense to all members of the Crescenta Valley community.
Friends of Rockhaven and their many supporters are delighted that on April 18 the California Historic Resources Commission voted unanimously to list Rockhaven and its grounds on the Register of State Historic Resources. I think a good question to ask the candidates vying to replace Carol Liu in the State Senate and Mike Gatto in the Assembly would be if they would support using state resources to contribute toward turning Rockhaven into a public historic park.
Crescenta Valley Community Association is concerned that Glendale will fail to complete the renovation of the historic stone Le Mesnager barn in Deukmejian Wilderness Park in a timely manner. On page 23 of the city’s 2014-15 approved budget it clearly states, “Ongoing updates for the Le Mesnager Barn will transform the building into a multi-purpose facility, serving as a visitor center to Deukmejian Park with displays and exhibits relating to the human and natural history of the Park and surrounding community. These exhibits will be mobile to allow the facility to also be used for community meetings, weddings and art exhibitions, among other possibilities.”
We’re patient people; Glendale has owned Deukmejian since 1988. Allocating $2.5 million last year and waiting for this year’s DIF funding for the remainder seemed reasonable. At the March 29 council meeting, however, the final $500,000 needed for the project was removed from Development Impact Fee (DIF) funding. I was so dismayed to see in the staff report there was even a footnote on the chart of DIF projects stating that the $2.5 million for Deukmejian could be reallocated if the project is canceled. How could they do that after seeing what a great time Cub Scouts were having with the temporary natural history displays when they happened by during the work boot council meeting of Feb. 16? I’m thankful Burbank hosts GUSD students at their Stough Canyon Nature Center in the Verdugos. I would be proud to have a similar facility in Deukmejian Wilderness Park in the San Gabriels we could share with our neighbors in return.
In an effort to help the Councilmembers understand how important it is to keep promises, CVCA is circulating a petition urging them to find the funding to finish the project. If you want to collect signatures you can download a blank petition form from the CVCA website, http://www.cvcommunity.net/. You can also contact councilmembers via the city’s website: http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/city-council.
A major threat to our local quality of life is the potential loss of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course to development. It was heartening to hear Fifth District Supervisor candidate Ara Najarian volunteer that if elected he would work to turn the property into a county park when he spoke at the CV Town Council meeting on April 21. It would be good to hear what the other candidates think about that.
Crescenta Valley Town Council requested and got approval for sound walls for the stretch of the 210 Freeway in unincorporated La Crescenta some time ago and the project is slowly working its way through the process of design and development. Glendale residents have also expressed their desire for sound walls. The Gangi Company, which is building the 28-unit townhome project at 4201 Pennsylvania Ave. adjacent to the 210 Freeway, has investigated mulch sound walls as a potential solution for the Glendale portion. Mulch sound walls would absorb sound, not merely deflect it. At the April 28 CVCA meeting Matt Gangi let us know that CalTrans has not done any mulch sound walls and are reluctant to experiment with them. Another question to ask the candidates for state offices is if they would work to have CalTrans expedite their research on mulch sound walls and other more sustainable solutions.
The June 7 ballot for Glendale residents will include Measure N to repeal the Utility Users Tax. If it passes Glendale will lose revenue of $17.5 million each year and have to cut even more staff, programs and services. The city has already reduced staff, reorganized operations for efficiency, curtailed pension excess for new employees, and made a number of other cost saving changes. Please vote No on N.
The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will be May 26 starting at 7 p.m. in the community room at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. Park in the upper lot accessed from La Crescenta Avenue. We will have updates on these and other local issues. Our meetings are free and open to the public.