Builder Has Revised Plan for Hillside : Development: The proposal for 18 lots on a 30-acre parcel protects the ridge line but does not fully conform to new standards, the city attorney says.


A Glendale developer who filed suit after the city rejected his plans to slice off a prominent ridge and subdivide a hillside area in Glenoaks Canyon has temporarily suspended the action to try another approach.

Ken Doty said he expects within two weeks to submit new plans for 18 lots on a 30-acre parcel near Sleepy Hollow Place.

Doty had first submitted plans seven years ago, but all were rejected despite several revisions.


The City Council in March, 1992, rejected Doty’s latest revision for the subdivision in which he had sought to carve out 22 view parcels. In a 4 to 1 vote last year, the council said it was sending a clear message to developers that it would not tolerate destruction of ridges, even though Doty’s proposals met all city rules in force at the time.

After years of debate, the council this year adopted strict new laws on hillside development that protect, among other things, ridges such as the one on Doty’s property, and designated streams and woodlands.

Doty filed suit last July seeking to force the city to either approve his plans or pay him the value of the property, which city officials said they have been told could be as high as $10 million.

Doty declined to comment on the amount of damages he was seeking, which was not specified in the suit. His attorney, Robert McMurry, could not be reached for comment.

But under court-ordered negotiations, Doty said he has formulated new plans to develop the hillside without destroying the ridge. Scores of homeowners in the past have fought all of his proposals because they said the plans were environmentally insensitive.

City Atty. Scott H. Howard said the proposal this time would “substantially protect the ridge line,” although it does not fully conform to the strict standards just adopted by the city. A court stipulation granted earlier this month requires the city to consider Doty’s plan but does not mandate city approval, Howard said.


“The City Council made it no secret that they wanted that ridge line preserved,” Howard said this week.

The plans must still follow the regular course through the city’s review process, including public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council, which retains the right to ultimately accept or reject the proposal, Howard said.

The new plans call for 18 custom home lots in a bowl-shaped area below the ridge near Sleepy Hollow Place. Howard said the plan is in “substantial conformance” with the city’s goals, although the number of lots that would be permitted under new hillside development rules probably would be limited to 15 or fewer.

Under the stipulation, the latest plan will be submitted and reviewed against the city’s old rules, “but the city has not agreed to waive new hillside development standards,” Howard said.

Doty’s project was one of four that were exempted from a two-year moratorium on hillside development imposed in 1990. If approved, the latest plans for Sleepy Hollow Place could still be exempted from complying with the new rules, Howard said.

Negotiation through the court “provides an opportunity to avoid what would be very protracted and expensive litigation,” Howard said.