The Glendale City Council, ending three weeks of heated debate with developers, voted Tuesday against exemptions to a moratorium on the construction of new apartment buildings and condominiums.
The council voted 3 to 2 against an amendment that would have allowed construction to proceed on 13 projects that were close to receiving final city approval when the moratorium was adopted Sept. 27.
Council members John Day and Larry Zarian supported the exemptions. Mayor Carl Raggio and council members Jerold Milner and Ginger Bremberg opposed them. Four votes were necessary to pass the amendment because the moratorium was originally enacted as an emergency ordinance.
All five council members reiterated their support for the 5-month moratorium, which was enacted to prevent a rush of building permit applications while the council considers imposing restrictions on future development.
“I feel a very, very deep obligation to the 150,000 citizens who live in this city . . . and who are sick and tired of the rape-and-run contractors,” Bremberg said.
Considering Legal Action
About 100 developers and their supporters have condemned the moratorium during council meetings in the past three weeks. They contend that it is unfair to developers who have already invested money in projects that are consistent with existing requirements.
A spokesman for the Glendale Fair Growth Coalition, a group that organized to fight the moratorium, said after the council’s decision Tuesday that it is considering legal action against the city.
“The coalition feels the City Council’s unwillingness to allow pending projects to proceed through the approval process is unjust and unreasonable,” coalition spokesman Berdj Karapetian said after the council meeting.
Deputy City Manager Robert McFall reported last week that 100 builders had submitted projects for city approval when the moratorium was enacted. McFall headed a four-member committee that reviewed 71 projects and determined that 21 were exempt because they had already completed the permit process or were below the moratorium’s density requirements.
The council considered amendments that would have exempted as many as 29 of 50 projects affected by the moratorium, but approved only two minor “clarifications” exempting retirement and rest homes, and giving builders until December to file applications for smaller apartment buildings.
Among the more than 100 people who packed the council chambers were representatives of local homeowners groups who told the council that they supported the moratorium.
“We particularly admire the actions of the council in the face of the pressures that have been brought to bear,” said Mary Ann Prelock of the Royal Canyon Property Owners Assn.