A four-story Public Storage facility has been approved for a corner considered a city gateway, despite opposition from some City Council members who said the development wasn’t the right fit for the entryway to Glendale’s Creative Corridor.
In addition, the owner of a nearby business who said the proposed building would block the sun, and negatively impact his fireproofing business, reversed his stance and publicly supported the project.
Councilwoman Laura Friedman, who voted for the 174,266-square-foot facility, said although she’d prefer a more artistic use, the site at 5500 San Fernando Road has sat vacant for too long due to unattractive conditions, including a nearby railroad.
“Everybody’s passed on this site,” Friedman said, noting that she would like to see a company such as Disney or Google buy the 1.39-acre area, but waiting for those opportunities may be fruitless.
The Creative Corridor is a section of San Fernando Road where city officials have been trying to attract digital and media businesses.
Councilman Frank Quintero laid blame on city nitpicking as to why other more exciting uses have shied away from the location in the past.
“We’re creating a dead zone,” Quintero said. “We could have done a lot more for that corner and a lot more for the Creative Corridor, including a use that could lead to more employment.”
While the city can’t block a storage facility outright because the use is permitted in the city’s zoning code, the City Council could have rejected the Public Storage proposal because the company asked for a parking variance. The company wants to install 35 parking spaces, below the 174 required by city code. A study paid for by Public Storage found that much parking was unnecessary.
The Public Storage building, which would be about a mile from the Fortune 500 company headquarters in Glendale, was approved by a 3-2 vote.
Councilman Ara Najarian said he approved the 50-foot building because the company agreed to reduce the use of orange coloring in its design and erect a monument sign welcoming drivers to Glendale.
Mayor Dave Weaver said he reluctantly approved the project because he couldn’t find a logical reason not to. He said he was upset about the storage facility because it won’t generate as much taxes as other land uses. Retail projects are one of the major tax-generating land uses.
Officials expect the city to net $15,500 annually in property taxes from the facility.
The council reviewed the project last month, but put it on hold because a neighboring flameproofing company at 835 W. Milford St. complained the tall building would block the sun, which it needed to properly treat fabric.
In response, Public Storage conducted a solar study that showed the building’s proposed height would indeed block the sun during daytime hours. While blocking the sun could be an environmental impact that would need to be mitigated according to state rules, that would only be relevant if school playgrounds, parks or residences were impacted, said Senior Planner Vilia Zemaitaitis.
However, Fabric Flameproofing Co. could treat their materials with alternative methods than the sun, according to materials provided by Public Storage. Jonathan Curtsinger, owner of Fabric Flameproofing Co., said he took the storage company’s advice and publicly supported the project at the council meeting.
After the meeting, he said he did not receive money from Public Storage.