City wrap

High speed rail line aired for council
The Glendale City Council was briefed recently on the current status of plans to build a high-speed rail system through the local community.
Steve Ortman, consultant for the state high speed rail line, spoke enthusiastically about the progress being made in developing plans for the 800 mile line, which will connect major urban areas across the state.
“Travel time from downtown Los Angeles to San Francisco will be about 2 ½ hours,” he said.
Glendale will be a major part of the LA portion of the line, with a station stop serving local residents along with neighboring Burbank. The city will be part of two pieces of the line, from Union Station to the 134 Freeway and from the 134 to Sylmar. Top speed for the line will be an estimated 220 miles per hour, though local speeds will be a more sedate 135 to 160 miles per hour.
Issues facing local concerns could include aerial train routing north of the 134 and west of San Fernando Road, and possible changes to the historic Glendale Amtrak station.
Cost of the overall line across the state is estimated at $40 billion. The state recently was awarded $2.25 billion in federal stimulus money for the project.
Council members were generally supportive of the project at its current preliminary stage. Mayor Frank Quintero was the most enthusiastic, saying he had supported high-speed rail since he rode on a line in Japan in 1965.
Frances project wins
partial approval
Developer Hales Anderson Company has been give permission by a county hearing officer to build a home at 2748 Frances Ave. in La Crescenta.
Two other issues with the property, a proposed subdivision and a tree removal permit, will be subject to further study and action at a later day.
The developer wants to build two single family homes on the .38 acre property. Neighbors protested the project due to congestion concerns and complaints about the loss of mature trees.
The tree permit was split off from the project and will be processed as a separate item, as will the subdivision. The developer has permission to build one home only with no trees removed.
Community plan nears release
La Crescenta residents will get a chance to look at the North Glendale community plan as early as next month, according to a city planning official.
Principal planner Laura Stotler, who has supervised the lengthy process of putting the plan together, said the tentative dates for two open houses on the draft plan are March 22 and 24, at Clark Magnet High School.
“We’re in the process now of reformatting the report to meet concerns from the plan advisory committee,” she said. “If we don’t complete that, the meetings could be pushed back.”
Once the plan is completed to the satisfaction of the committee, it will be brought to the City Council and than referred back for public hearings. The plan could be adopted by the end of the year.
Stotler said the committee is essentially agreed on the elements of the plan, which will involve commercial and residential issues such as making Foothill a more pedestrian friendly street, adopting standards for commercial development, directing the future for Montrose, Sparr Heights and other local communities and preserving the spirit of the Crescenta Valley.

By Charles COOPER