Some residents of unincorporated La Crescenta petition against nearby Glendale sign

Since the city of Glendale announced last year the upcoming installation of two signs that read “Welcome to Glendale” along Foothill Boulevard, two petitions have been circulating, asking that city officials stop or change the signs to reflect the La Crescenta community.

The city chose architect David Gallagher’s design in 2016 for a welcome sign along Foothill that — according to previous comments by Philip Lanzafame, Glendale’s community development director — has been desired by city officials since they put together the North Glendale Community Plan.

One sign is already installed in the middle of the east and west lanes of Foothill, near Pennsylvania Avenue.

Together, the petitions have received about 1,500 signatures from residents who ask that, despite the area being officially a part of Glendale since it was annexed in 1951, the sign should reflect that the community still largely refers to itself as “La Crescenta.” Part of La Crescenta remains unincorporated.

One petition, with more than 1,000 signatures states, “We have been calling this area ‘La Crescenta’ since 1946. We request that the city [place] ‘La Crescenta’ on [the sign].”

Another petition, created last year, refers to the annexed area’s other designation.

“Although this area is part of the city of Glendale, we find it confusing and divisive to designate it anything other [than] ‘Crescenta Highlands,’” the petition states.

Harry Leon, president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council, which serves as an advisory board for the unincorporated area of La Crescenta and Montrose, said feedback from his constituents in the unincorporated area has included visibility and safety concerns about the placement of the new sign.

The sign is on an island in the middle of Foothill.

Recognizing that the Town Council has no real say on the matter, Leon said that, as a resident who lives near Two Strike Park, he would’ve liked to have seen more outreach by Glendale officials to those living in the non-Glendale portion of La Crescenta, as well as near the signs.

“I would like to see a sign that does not ignore the people’s existence. The people here belong to La Crescenta,” he said.

Aram Ordubegian, former president of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, said chamber officials did not think it was a good idea to have one part of the community split by the designation, and it could also be a bad move from a business-branding perspective.

Speaking as a resident, he said he wondered why the area needs a distinction at all.

“I don’t sit there and think whether I am in this or that portion. My kids play with kids from La Cañada, Tujunga and Glendale,” he said. “People living there don’t know there’s a difference, and when they visit, the sign might make them scratch their heads.”

City of Glendale spokesman Tom Lorenz said it was a committee of Glendale residents as well as the City Council that wanted to see Glendale recognized along Foothill.

He pointed out that there is already a sign that welcomes those traveling along Foothill Boulevard to Glendale/Crescenta Highlands.

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

A previous version of this story said north and south lanes along Foothill Boulevard were narrowed to accommodate the sign.
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