Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Oct. 22 Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting, especially Jo Ann Stupakis and Mike Morgan from Friends of Rockhaven for presenting the history of the facility. They also briefly explained a proposal to create an “anti-mall” via adaptive reuse of the historic buildings plus housing on the undeveloped 1.2-acre western portion. It’s my understanding this proposal involves Glendale’s purchasing developer-owned or optioned land in Mountain Oaks in exchange for long-term lease on the Rockhaven property.
The Mountain Oaks property in question has been proposed for development before, most notably for a private high school and condominiums nearly 10 years ago. Questions over a historic illegal subdivision, the need for zoning changes, widespread community opposition, and a downturn in the economy killed that deal. While the recession is apparently over, the other difficulties making that property unsuitable for development remain. I believe that area should be acquired by the city for public use but that should not involve sacrificing Rockhaven to development. I don’t think it’s a good use of public funds to reward land speculators either.
We were also very pleased to have three representatives from a group with a competing proposal for Rockhaven attend our October meeting. They wish to purchase the property for a residential facility for people with mild mental disorders who need a supportive environment. Outpatient treatment would also be provided and a partially subterranean parking structure built on currently vacant land. The historic buildings would be restored but there would be no public access. The community and our organization would have probably gladly embraced this proposal if it had occurred prior to the city’s purchase since it honors the original usage, albeit not only for women. Now it seems like a bait and switch tactic with the city playing speculator.
Several people expressed support for the mental health facility proposal noting the great need in the community for such services. Others reiterated their desire for adherence to the original plan when the city purchased the property, a public historic park. Jo Ann and Mike provided postcards to city officials for people to sign indicating their desire to have the facility become a historic park. Friends of Rockhaven will mail the postcards for you. Please see Friends of Rockhaven’s Facebook page for more information.
Glendale’s greatest need for parks is in the southern part of the city but land there is very scarce. The city already owns Rockhaven so there’s no need to evict people and demolish buildings to make park space. No need to build an elaborate cap over a freeway either. While I support the Space 134 cap park concept and don’t object to demolishing some south Glendale 1970s-’80s apartment buildings to make parks, those are long term, very expensive solutions. I think providing affordable, convenient public transportation from all areas of Glendale to existing parks can be done much sooner. Rockhaven should be on the bus or shuttle route up to Deukmejian Wilderness Park so when it too becomes a public park everyone can easily access it.
Attendees at our action packed October meeting also heard from representatives from Dynamic View LLC regarding development of three homes, two on flag lots, at 3810 4th Ave., near Boston Avenue, in the Highway Highlands neighborhood. We appreciate their coming to the community for feedback prior to submitting plans to the city. They are working to design homes compatible with surrounding homes and the down sloping topography of the area. They listened to comments from the audience and will consider them as the project evolves.
Those of you in unincorporated Montrose and La Crescenta please remember to vote Friday or Saturday for CV Town Council. See http://thecvcouncil.com/ for more information.
The Crescenta Valley Community Association doesn’t hold regular meetings in November and December because of the holidays but you can continue to keep up with the issues we’re following via Facebook and this column. Our Jan. 28, 2016 meeting will be a roundtable sharing of updates on all the big land use issues facing the Crescenta Valley. Please follow our Facebook page until then.