Verdugo Wash Vision Project Still A Concern

One of the main concerns of residents who live next to the Verdugo Wash is a lack of privacy if the Verdugo Wash Vision project moves forward.
File photo


The Verdugo Wash Vision is a project proposed by the City of Glendale to promote “an urban design experience that will create memorability and recognition as a ‘must visit’ urban experience,” according to the definition of the project on the City’s website.

The project would create a 9.4-mile long linear park and nature trail for walking/cycling with access to business and entertainment venues … it interweaves several important city centers, services and a multitude of neighborhoods, according to the City.

It is that later definition that worries many of the residents in the neighborhoods that butt up against this new “Vision.” Those residents have voiced their concerns at outreach meetings and at a recent Nov. 15 City Council meeting. The issue is not that residents oppose a walking/biking trail or a city park but that the proposed path is so close to many of these residential homes, in some cases about three feet from their backyard. Those who have spoken out against the project have many concerns including lack of privacy, environmental issues and risk of fire.

“Many conversations took place with staff and [City] Council members and we were provided assurances on many occasions that [the path] would not come north of the basin,” said Patrick Murphy, a member of the Verdugo Wash Neighborhoods Coalition (VWNC) and Save the Wash.

Save the Wash and VWNC are grassroots efforts to bring awareness of the project to residents in the far north area of Glendale including Whiting Woods and the Sycamore area. Many of these are residents whose backyards are close to the wash.

Murphy said an executive summary apparently left out the risk of fire, which is a major concern for residents along the wash.

“The hills and mountains above Whiting Woods have not burned in over 60 years and the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. has designated this entire area as an ‘extreme fire hazard zone,’” he said.

Residents throughout extreme fire risk areas are either finding their fire insurance rates rising substantially while some are finding their insurance companies canceling their policies completely.

Murphy said this is a real concern for residents along the Verdugo Wash path that he feels has not been addressed.

Recently Assemblymember Laura Friedman secured $6 million for the project. What some of these funds will be used for is still to be determined, according to Bradley Calvert, director of Community Development for the City of Glendale.

“Primarily the funding will be used to advance and refine the current vision that has been developed. This would include design refinement, preliminary engineering and environmental review. We will also be looking for opportunities for early implementation strategies,” Calvert said. “The City Council voted to include all segments of the wash in the next phase. That doesn’t mean that it would be built in all segments. Rather it would focus on continued study and engagement to see what solutions are technically viable and viable for the neighborhoods. There is also consideration to look at connecting other assets, those north of the wash, but that is also just to study viability.”

An issue for VWNC members is they do not feel they are being listened to regarding the concerns they have voiced. Many of those concerns were raised at the City Council November meeting and at the outreach meetings that have been held.

During the Nov. 15 meeting one of the speakers against the Verdugo Wash Vision was former Glendale City Councilmember Vrej Agajanian and who was acting mayor from April 2020 to April 2021.

“He lives in Verdugo Woodlands and is very opposed to the project. He has told us that [he feels] the large majority of the Woodlands community is unaware of this project and it is now just coming to light,” Murphy said.

Murphy is disappointed with the City’s outreach efforts and feels many residents who would be directly affected by the Verdugo Wash Vision do not know what the project is about.

“The Feb. 19 outreach was attended by approximately 120 people by City staff’s estimate,” he said, adding that is not even close to the number of residents that will be affected by the project. “We have been told in the past that direct mail is ‘too expensive’ then we were told ‘it is too early for direct mail.’”

Another concern is that the City is favoring those who do not live in the area of the Verdugo Wash and will not be directly affected by the project, specifically those members of a bike coalition. This opinion was made stronger after a photo of Friedman presenting the $6 million check included members known for their bicycle advocacy. Those members of Save Verdugo Wash said they are not against bike paths but want their concerns taken into consideration.

Calvert wants to clarify this issue.

“Those representatives were invited to attend based on their association with the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation. This is important to note because there seems to be a persistent narrative regarding just the bicycle path part of the work when that is just one facet. This will include open space, pedestrian paths and sustainability initiatives,” Calvert said.
As far as how much this will cost the City of Glendale that is yet to be determined.

“We need to refine the designs based on segments. Per the Council presentation there are a multitude of different configurations that the wash could take, depending on the neighborhood and the desires for access points, privacy and other elements that would inform the costs. As we develop this next phase, we will be able to be more precise on the locations, which will give us a refined and accurate cost estimate,” Calvert said.
Murphy, speaking for the Save the Wash and VWNC, would like the City to put more effort into outreach to residents directly affected by the project before moving forward with the study.

For more information on Save the Wash visit
For more information on the City project visit