Local Rescuers Honored, Foothill Developments Discussed


The Crescenta Valley Town Council held its monthly meeting on Thursday at the La Crescenta Library. The meeting began with the invocation by Father Guy Leemhuis of St. Luke’s of the Mountains.

“Be stewards of this community where all are served,” Leemhuis said.

CVTC members then honored Montrose Search and Rescue members who recently traveled to Turkey to help in the recovery and rescue after the country’s devastating earthquake. Members Mike Leum, Robert Sheedy and Cindy England were present at the CVTC meeting. Other members who traveled to Turkey with the group included MSAR member Colin Lievense, Santa Clarita Search and Rescue member Brad Lyon, Altadena Search and Rescue member Marcos Rubio and Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept. (LASD) retired Sgt. Joe Larios.

Council President Chris Kilpatrick said as he was watching the news he saw that members of “our own” Montrose Search and Rescue team responded. The Council wanted to thank MSAR for its service.

Leum took the podium to thank CVTC for its recognition. He said they were able to travel to Turkey to help because of the generosity of Turkish Airlines and some donations from friends.

“The devastation was enormous,” he said. “It would be like every building from here to Orange County [destroyed].”

Turkish Airlines donated the flight, which made a huge impact. The only expenses were for the hotel and three rental cars. The entire trip cost around $3,000 for the group to fly to Turkey; no public money was used.

One of the first missions they were on was the rescue of a woman. Once they got her out of the rubble they heard another voice calling out. That was her 18-year-old son who rescuers were able to pull out of the devastation.

“What touched all of us were the local people who had lost everything but yet their concern was for us,” Sheedy added.

He said the residents made certain they were fed by giving them soup.

“Whether we were in the middle of rubble … one bucket, one brick at a time clearing away a pathway to find a victim or standing on the corner, they felt our presence. They would say ‘America’s here’ then they looked at our patches and said ‘Los Angeles,’” Sheedy said.

He said it was an experience that none of them will ever forget.

Then safety personnel, including Capt. Robert Hahnlein from LASD-CV Station, Maria Grycan from LA County Fire Dept. and Officer Bryan Bay from California Highway Patrol, shared statistics and information concerning their departments.

Officer Bay reminded drivers of the hazards on the roadways due to the rain. He said CHP officers and tow truck drivers are responding to motorists along the freeways, which could cause distractions. Bay reminded those who drive the freeways to move a lane away from the shoulder when it is safe when encountering those responding to an emergency.

The Council was introduced to the newly appointed Glendale Community College superintendent/president Dr. Ryan Cornner who shared the many opportunities offered at the college. He added there were numerous new courses added to the curriculum. CVW is scheduling a walk-through of the campus with Dr. Cornner to highlight all the new additions, the vision for the future and the traditions that are honored.

Some refer to community college as the alternative path, but it “is the path,” Cornner said of choosing GCC.

Both the Land Use Committee and the Crescenta Valley Community Association (CVCA) had members speaking at the meeting.

Ines Chessum of the Land Use Committee spoke about a recent meeting she and CVTC member Donna Libra attended regarding a county ordinance that would reduce parking requirements for multi-family housing throughout LA County’s unincorporated areas, a portion of which includes La Crescenta/Montrose.

“Donna and [I] went to the public hearing to speak out against [the ordinance]. There was a lot of community opposition to it,” Chessum said. “It was voted ‘no,’ which was a great accomplishment.”

Kilpatrick said he was at the hearing and there were about 12 people in attendance from the public, about six of those were representing CVTC and Land Use. He praised the Land Use Committee for being so involved and for writing a professional brief sharing the CV view of the parking proposal.

CVCA member Susan Bolan shared a lot of information on developments proposed for Foothill Boulevard.

“The Crescenta Valley Community Association is a cross-jurisdictional, volunteer organization that represents the different communities of the valley in matters of preserving our historical structures, monitoring and encouraging thoughtful growth design, and promoting open space to maintain and enhance the suburban quality of life in the Crescenta Valley,” according to the CVCA website.

The organization concentrates a lot of its attention in the far north Glendale area. Bolan spoke about several proposed buildings along Foothill Boulevard including a 34-unit apartment building in the 3900 block of Foothill on the southeast corner near Lowell Avenue and Foothill that could reach upwards of 51 feet and in the 3400 block of Foothill Boulevard, the former site of Trader Joe’s that is now a Dollar King store.

“It had been zoned, because of the size of the lot, for 58 units,” Bolan said.

But the developer has been in negotiations with the City of Glendale for about two years to build a 76-unit housing complex, Bolan said.

The development backs up to New York Park and underground parking is proposed.

CVCA members also spoke about a project that has been sitting on the back burner for over 20 years but now looks like it is moving forward on La Tuna Canyon Road in Tujunga. The project is a gated community that will include 221-single family homes. The project, titled the Canyon Hills Development, has received major opposition from the community. The plans were approved in 2005 and that approval will expire in 2025. The developer, Whitebird Inc., wants to begin construction before that approval expires.

Bolan shared a photo of the proposed project that showed homes along the hillside just north of the Foothill (210) Freeway on- and off-ramps at La Tuna Canyon Road. There is a petition of those against the project, which would cut through a wildlife corridor. As of Wednesday the petition had 159,040 signatures.

For more information on this project or to sign the petition, visit https://tinyurl.com/26yehzp2.

The Land Use Committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. To find information on the meeting go to Committees at www.thecvcouncil.com.

CVCA meets the fourth Thursday of the month and meetings are still virtual. The meeting tonight, Thursday, will include a discussion on Rockhaven Sanitarium, Mountain Oaks and the Verdugo Mountains historic mining site with guest speaker historian Mike Lawler. Also on the agenda will be a discussion about the Chevy Chase Estates Homeowners Association’s recent victory to have an unpermitted and oversized deck removed from a hillside home.

To join tonight’s CVCA meeting, which is held virtually at 7 p.m., visit https://zoom.us/j/91644895134?pwd=dE9Fem5ZVC9mcFdUMFBMRTlhd1IvUT09; meeting ID: 916 4489 5134; password: 826439.