Info on Former Mix Property and Voting
The 28-unit condominium project at 2612 Honolulu Ave., the former Mix property, was approved by the Glendale Design Review Board at its May 26 meeting. The developer, Art Simonian, met with the local Montrose/Verdugo City/Sparr Heights Neighborhood Association, CVCA and residents on Sycamore Street over the past year and refined the design based on their input. Some one-story homes would have been a better transition to the commercially-zoned Honolulu Avenue for the single-family homes on the south side of Sycamore. That would have also allowed for views of the San Gabriel Mountains. On the other hand, the owner could have proposed a larger number of apartments, which would have had more negative impacts on the community. This design is in conformance with the North Glendale Community Plan.
The majority of the nearby neighbors are pleased to see housing rather than another nightspot going into the area. The property has been empty for some time and the new homes and landscaping will improve the look of Honolulu. Development brings impact fees sorely needed by our parks and libraries as well as increased property tax. New residents will hopefully shop in Montrose and generate a bit more revenue. They are also likely to walk since it’s only a few blocks away. I can visualize the ads now: “Trader Joe’s In Walking Distance.”
Due to the mixed zoning of the parcel the developer is requesting a Precise Plan Design overlay which will require planning commission and eventual Glendale City Council approval. That means the public will have a couple of more opportunities to voice any concerns or add their support.
June 7 is almost upon us. I hope everyone eligible is registered and votes in the primary. If you haven’t made up your mind yet I urge you to become familiar with the candidates and make a choice. The League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank and Pasadena chapters held candidate forums for State Senate District 25 and L.A. County Supervisor District 5 on May 3. The League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank and Los Angeles chapters held a candidate forum for State Assembly District 43 on May 4. Videos of both events are available from the Burbank website, http://www.burbankca.gov/what-s-new/burbank-on-demand.
For Glendale voters Measure N to repeal the 7% Utility Users Tax on electric, water and gas bills may be the most important issue on the ballot. At stake is revenue of $17.5 million each year into the general fund which supports most of the public services relied on. That includes police and fire departments as well as public works, community services and parks, community planning, and libraries. Many actions have been taken over the past few years by the city council to reduce expenses. Staff has been reduced by 25% since 2008 via retirement incentives, not filling vacant positions, and layoffs. The city already has reformed pensions with newer hires paying a greater share of their income for fewer benefits than longtime employees. Collective bargaining agreements have increased the employee share of retirement contributions. The council recently voted to quit subsidizing retiree medical benefits. Bonds issued when rates were higher have been replaced with lower interest rate bonds saving the city money.
Those who favor the Measure speak of reducing spending on salaries and pensions yet [its passage] has no direct effect on either. Collective bargaining agreements can only be changed with subsequent bargaining.
The city is using what some consider scare tactics about reductions in police and fire departments if Measure N passes but it is more likely that public works, parks and libraries will be hurt the most. Businesses as well as individuals pay the UUT which means all who benefit from Glendale’s utility infrastructure are contributing to the maintenance of the quality of life in the city. It spreads the burden around.
I believe paying taxes is patriotic and is one of the responsibilities of being a citizen in a democracy. If you agree and want to protect our quality of life please vote no on Measure N.
The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will be on June 23 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.