By Brian CHERNICK
The entire Glendale City Council reconvened Tuesday for a nearly six-hour meeting after a two-week hiatus. The bulk of the time was spent hearing the appeal of the Design Review Board’s (DRB) approval of a 2,515 square-foot hillside single-family residential project at 1410 Colina Drive. The project, which was initially proposed in 2011, faced numerous roadblocks including the council’s vote to deny the project’s construction when it overturned the DRB’s initial approval in 2014 due to concerns about the project’s size, its impact and its incompatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.
The latest design of a split-level contemporary-style house was approved by the DRB in February but continues to face opposition due to what the appellants claim is a lack of necessary changes in the design to ensure privacy and safety.
The vote by council placed conditions on the project to reduce the size of the home to no more than 2,315 square feet and to address concerns of privacy by building a fence or wall that would obstruct the view into neighbors’ houses.
The council also considered submitted appointments of commissioners to various departments by Ara Najarian and Vrej Agajanian, which were met with a couple of objections to their choices.
Najarian’s motion to re-appoint Art Simonian to the Design Review Board beyond his second term of four years was ultimately suspended by Najarian himself until a future meeting in two weeks, but not before receiving push back from Glendale resident Mike Mohill.
Simonian’s “experience as a design review board member, architect, developer, and Glendale homeowner” was touted by Najarian as reasons to make an exception to the rule that limits commissioners to two terms of four years. According to City Attorney Mike Garcia, it is within the power of the council to extend the two-term limit should there be no adequate alternative or if it is in the best interest of the city.
Agajanian’s nomination of Roland Kedikian to Glendale Water & Power commission was met with a stern statement of concern by Najarian about a potential conflict of interest that should bar Agajanian from appointing and voting for Kedikian.
Najarian claimed that Kedikian was “a source of income to [Agajanian] in the last 12 months” when he paid for advertising spots on a television network owned by Armenian American Broadcasting Corp., of which Agajanian is the president.
Mike Garcia stated that it is his opinion there is no conflict, but suggested the only way to get certainty would be to get an opinion from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
Agajanian decided to hold off on the appointment until the next meeting after he has time to look into the situation.
The council also made a proclamation designating July as Parks Makes Life Better month to help celebrate the benefits of green public places in the community and to promote the ongoing events throughout the city.
“Whereas parks and recreational programs are an integral part of communities throughout the country,” Vartan read from the proclamation, “they are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in our communities.”
Glendale boasts 286 acres of developed parkland and over 5,000 acres of open space.