Thanks to everyone who joined us on June 22 to hear from Glendale City Councilmember Vrej Agajanian. We appreciate his sharing information about his background and vision for Glendale. Residents let him know about their concerns, starting with Glendale changing the recycling policy to no longer accept Styrofoam even if it is clean, single-use plastic bags and many other plastics. The city used to accept these materials but apparently it is no longer cost-effective to do so. I think it is false economy to save expenses in the short term rather than giving priority to long-term sustainability.
Check here for the short list of what now can be put in Glendale’s recyclables container http://tinyurl.com/y7ae98lq.
In contrast, our large neighbor Los Angeles takes many more types of recyclables: https://www.recyclebycity.com/los-angeles/guide.
If you share our dismay that the city is going backwards in its efforts to minimize what goes into Scholl Canyon Landfill, please let Mayor Gharpetian and the council know. Their contact information is available here: http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/city-council.
CVCA has been involved with the Wells Fargo project at Foothill and Pennsylvania since the company initiated contact in 2014 to gauge community feelings about a bank at that key corner. Initial plans were shared at the CVCA Oct. 23, 2014 meeting. At that time residents expressed concern about safety and privacy for the residents on Maryann Street and noted the need to avoid noise and light pollution. Traffic in the area was already quite heavy and the CVCA also let Wells Fargo know at this initial meeting that it would be getting heavier since a 28-unit condominium project had recently been approved for 4201 Pennsylvania Ave. Glendale traffic engineers required that left turns be prohibited both into and out of that property and suggested the bank should do the same. CVCA expected the project to go before the Design Review Board but it was handled via administrative design review as a result of the planning streamlining effort. CVCA sent a letter to Glendale Planning on June 5, 2015 expressing disappointment that there was no public DRB meeting and noting our main concerns of a wall for privacy and safety, and light pollution and traffic. The Administrative Design Review decision letter of July 7, 2015 listed a seven-foot wall as a condition of approval as well as noting the need to direct lighting away from adjacent residents and install right turn only signs.
In October 2016 CVCA sent another letter to the City of Glendale Planning Division expressing concern that the construction was of a fence, not the community-requested, municipal-code required and originally approved block wall. We also noted the lighting encroached on properties on Maryann, and our continued concern with traffic flow.
Wells Fargo submitted a request for a variance on March 2, 2017 to retroactively legalize the fence that was built instead of the wall. Actually, the current fence is the second one installed at this location. The first was even more flimsy and left a big gap between it and the ground. It seems Wells Fargo was initially trying for the cheapest solution and made cosmetic repairs when challenged.
CVCA was surprised to learn in the Glendale Planning Hearing Officer meeting to consider this variance on June 28, 2017 that the city had approved plans for the Wells Fargo project at Foothill and Pennsylvania in September 2015, which showed a fence rather than a concrete block wall. At no time after these plans were approved was the community notified that a fence had been substituted for the wall. We are puzzled that it didn’t come up during conversations between residents and city representatives and that a variance was requested in 2017 to cover a decision apparently made in September 2015. I don’t think Wells Fargo or the community was well served by the streamlining. I hope the city revises the process to ensure public safety and adherence to municipal code is not ignored in an effort to speed development. We await the Planning Hearing Officer decision.
The next Crescenta Valley Community Association meeting will be July 27 starting at 7 p.m. in the community room at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. Park in the upper lot accessed from La Crescenta Avenue. We will have updates on local issues. Our meetings are free and open to the public.