Verdugo Hills Golf Course Development

Long-term residents of the valley will remember when bright yellow signs reading Save the Golf Course appeared all over the area. It has been a few years since the community submitted comments to the Draft Environmental Impact Report on the original project to construct 229 homes on the Verdugo Hills Golf Course property. Sections of that draft document are scheduled to be recirculated within the next few weeks and there will be a 45-day period for the public to weigh in on the new material. The sections expected to be recirculated are greenhouse gases, which was not required during the initial draft circulation; cultural, because the historic monument status for the former Tuna Camp WWII relocation center was granted after the initial DEIR; and traffic, necessary due to updated traffic counts and study.

Janek Dombrowa, the architect who has designed what he said is the preferred alternative, spoke at the Aug. 17 Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Land Use Committee meeting. He presented a 221-home small lot development alternative of mostly townhome-style dwellings plus a few single-family-style homes on the northeastern end of the property. An equestrian-oriented alternative within existing zoning is also expected to be part of the updated DEIR.

Mr. Dombrowa mentioned working with the community to determine what amenities would persuade local residents to support the development. He noted the native oaks on the small area designated historic will be preserved and a bike path with a bike rest area could be developed, with some difficulty, along the arroyo on the eastern edge of the property. He also mentioned a mural wall, wildlife areas, an outdoor amphitheatre for the public (the development might be gated) and the possibility of  senior housing. His pledge to the group was to negotiate with the owner for these amenities and asked what number of dwellings would be acceptable.

While some in the room were obviously interested in the suggested community improvements others were skeptical. One brought up that the owner was currently suing the city of L.A. to remove the historic designation.

If you think this development would affect greenhouse gas emission, the historic monument site, and/or traffic please consider commenting when the DEIR is issued. For the latest updates see the Save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course Facebook page.

Rockhaven, the former women’s mental health sanitarium at 2713 Honolulu Ave., is another ongoing land use issue. As many will remember the facility was purchased by the City of Glendale in 2008 for expansion of the Montrose Library and restoration for a historic park. Circumstances have changed and Glendale no longer plans the library expansion and has an agreement with the Crescenta Valley Water District to connect the well drilled by Glendale Water & Power to their system so that nitrates can be filtered out. This is the work currently visible on the western portion of the property.

A non-profit group, Friends of Rockhaven, has been formed to work toward achieving the original goal of restoring the property for a public historic park. If you agree that our area needs more park space rather than housing, please see the Friends of Rockhaven Facebook page.

The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will be Sept.  24 starting at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. The focus will be on water usage and conservation strategies with CV Water District board member Judy Tejeda, Glendale W&P Assistant General Manager Michael DeGhetto, and Glendale City Councilmember and Metropolitan Water District board member Laura Friedman. Although we have been hearing predictions of an El Niño event this winter, that may not have much effect on long-term drought. Join us to learn how you can maximize use of storm water regardless of the amount we receive. Our meetings are free and open to the public.