City wrap

Cell phone rules near approval
The Glendale City Council is one vote away from adopting an ordinance to place strong controls on cell phone towers in residential areas and on public access streets.
The ordinance will come before the council for a vote next week, to take effect in 60 days.
New cell phone towers have been under a moratorium since a community dispute over a project to put towers on Cumberland Road without public notice. The city has hired consultants, and three public workshops were held before the planning commission adopted the ordinance.
A citizen group to protest the towers quickly spread across the city, under the leadership of Elise Kalfayan and now-council member Laura Friedman among others.
The new ordinance takes advantage of some softening of cell phone rules to meet local complaints. It will require aesthetic standards be applied, that alternative locations away from neighborhoods be sought and that co-location with other cell towers be encouraged.
Public hearings will be required, with revocable permits issued by the planning department.
The city cannot ban towers for radio frequency danger, but can require strict testing.
Industry representatives on hand were highly unenthusiastic about the proposed new rules. Rich Roche of AT & T, veteran lobbyist, called the new law “the most stringent I have ever seen,” while James Hall from a cell phone association said the new law will hurt the city and residents.

Najarian chosen as mayor
Ara Najarian was elected Tuesday night to his second term as mayor, winning unanimous support from his colleagues.
Najarian served as mayor in 2007-2008, and has been on the council since 2005.
The attorney has been in practice in Glendale since 1988, and began his service with the city as a member of the transportation and parking commission.
His election Tuesday was considerably different from his first term, which followed a divided and tumultuous vote.
Najarian is currently serving as chair of the Metropolitan Transit Agency, and is a past chair of the Housing Authority and the Redevelopment Agency.

He is a graduate of Occidental College and the University of Southern California. He and his wife have two sons.

By Charles COOPER