During a four-hour hearing Monday night before the Glendale Planning Commission, Glenoaks Canyon residents charged that a developer's plans to build 25 hillside houses off Sleepy Hollow Place will destroy scenic terrain, create traffic hazards and add to crowding at local schools.
Several commission members also said they were concerned about the quality of the project's environmental impact report.
The panel postponed a vote on the project until Oct. 8, saying that it was late and that commissioners needed more time to review the report.
"At this hour, we ought not to be rushing a decision," said Commissioner Don M. Pearson. But he added, "I certainly have a significant number of reservations about this project." Commissioner Ted K. Osborn described the housing tract's environmental study as "a flawed document."
Developer Ken Doty is seeking permission to build 25 hillside houses on the 30-acre Sleepy Hollow site. Doty wants to cut a ridgeline and use the earth to fill an adjacent canyon area, creating pads for the new houses.
The city's planning staff has recommended that he be allowed to build all but one of the proposed houses, saying the 25th lot would require excessive grading. The staff has urged that Doty be required to pave a fire road to provide a second access to the tract for emergency vehicles only.
About 90 people attended Monday's hearing.
"We believe that we have produced an environmentally sound proposal," said Doty's attorney, John M. Gantus.
But Dave Weaver, president of the Glenoaks Canyon Homeowners Assn., said, "We are 100% opposed to the tract map that is presented. We do not want this in our canyon."
He charged that the environmental impact report was inadequate because it did not provide other development options that would not require cutting into the ridgeline. Weaver also said that paving the fire road is unnecessary and would likely lead to more hillside housing development along the route.
The planning commission must forward its recommendation to the Glendale City Council, which has scheduled a special meeting Nov. 1 to consider the Sleepy Hollow project.
The proposal has prompted Glenoaks Canyon homeowners to urge that the city sell bonds and raise property taxes to purchase and preserve undeveloped hillside land in Glendale.