Glendale will continue with its current process of notification to neighbors of proposed developments like the recently rejected cellphone tower in Dunsmore Park. That means residents need to keep a look out for posted properties, check the city’s website for details of the planned projects and submit comments where appropriate. The situation may improve in the future via efforts of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council. GHCC President Grant Michals is pursuing reactivation of the task force that worked with the city on the planning department streamlining three years ago to see if it has been effective. The streamlining included more use of Administrative Design Review rather than public Design Review Board hearings and other practices to speed up approval of non-controversial projects. The original plan was to evaluate the new practices after a year of use but that review hasn’t occurred. Some community members feel the streamlining has favored development and needs more balance toward protection of existing neighborhoods.
CVCA supports evaluation of the planning department streamlining. Our concerns include how the determination of what is considered controversial is made and how to achieve better community awareness of proposed development. If you have feedback on this issue please contact the GHCC, http://glendalehome.org/.
The 28-condo development proposed for 2612 Honolulu Ave., the former Mix property, was approved July 20 by the Glendale Planning Commission. Final approval by Glendale City Council is scheduled for its Aug. 9 meeting.
The deadline to submit proposals for the Rockhaven property has been extended again, to 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. The message from the city to Friends of Rockhaven stated that the extension was due to numerous inquiries. I wonder if it’s a coincidence the message came the day after the city considered the choice for developing affordable senior housing on city-owned property at 5th Street and Sonora Avenue. The city got 18 proposals. The five most responsive proposals were presented at the Housing Authority meeting of July 26 where they narrowed it down to two. The video of the meeting can be viewed on the city’s website, http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/management-services/gtv6/watch-city-meetings.
Watching this meeting and the joint City Council/Housing Authority meeting also July 26 report on rent control will give you insight into the pressure the city is under to provide affordable housing.
The final choice for 5th and Sonora will have been made by the time this is published. Perhaps some of those not selected may be planning on submitting modified proposals for Rockhaven.
Regardless of what proposals come in for the Rockhaven property, the city is still looking for sites for more affordable housing. While I continue to think a public historic park is the best thing for Rockhaven, I share the city’s concern for alleviating homelessness. Thanks to the city, Ascencia, and the numerous other nonprofits that help the homeless and those in danger of becoming homeless, we don’t have many living on the streets of Glendale. However, a short drive into neighboring Los Angeles reveals blocks of tent-filled sidewalks in the downtown area. Local papers have reported on the periodic removal of encampments in the Tujunga Wash, most recently in fear of El Niño rains and possible loss of life. Of course compassionate people want to help those without a place to live but many balk at having to absorb more people in their own crowded areas. Homeowners do enjoy a tax advantage, particularly long-term owners who benefit from Prop. 13’s lack of reassessment until sale of the property. What responsibility to contribute to the housing needs of others does that create?
Another concern with some affordable housing developments is those that serve mentally ill and substance abusers and the possible harm to the community that might result. What is our responsibility to make room for those dealing with mental illness? It is a challenge to come up with the best outcome for all stakeholders.
The CVTC reported at its July 21 meeting that it will be revising the Foothill Boulevard Community Standards District because some of its elements are not enforceable. With the La Crescenta (former Maylane) Motel and the property on the southeast corner of Foothill and Sunset for sale, I think this is a timely move.
The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will be Aug. 25 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.