By Ted AYALA
Sweeping changes to the Crescenta Valley are inching their way further to reality. The Glendale Planning Commission on Oct. 18 approved sweeping building and zoning changes that will affect the way much of the community looks in the next few years. Some of the biggest changes will be seen along the Foothill corridor in La Crescenta, and in Sparr Heights.
Citing concerns to ensure that local business and property owners are allowed to prosper, but not at the expense of sacrificing the areas’ unique appearance, the commission considered the input of the plan’s advisory committee, as well as input from local residents and property owners.
Though the North Glendale Plan has generally met widespread approval, a sticking point has been changes mooted to height restrictions along Foothill Boulevard. Deep divisions have flared between proponents of keeping the height restrictions at their status quo, or those in favor of bringing them down to as much as 35 feet from their current 50.
Also considered were extensions to the zoning designation of the Montrose Shopping Park, stretching it over to Las Palmas Avenue. Height restrictions were also mulled over for Ocean View through Sparr Heights, as well as North Verdugo Road. Citing residents’ complaints over the medical building at Broadview and Verdugo, the planning commission stated the importance of approving the restrictions.
“I’m not going to make [this] decision tonight,” said Hank Scheetz of the planning commission. “This decision, at least about the height, is going to have an enormous impact on people of all walks of life. There is so much passion over what the community wants there.”
Scheetz also suggested submitting the guidelines to the city council to ultimately review with their constituents.
Fellow Planning Commission member Greg Astorian dissented on the need for height changes saying that they would be “extraordinarily cumbersome” to the local business community.
Ultimately, the commission voted to approve the North Glendale Plan, with small modifications suggested by the advisory committee. A final decision will go to the city council, which will tackle the issue in the next few months.