What started off as a discussion about ways to make it easier for some residents to increase the size of their homes turned into a political back-and-forth at the Glendale City Council meeting Tuesday regarding the consistency of regulations.
The issue: many homes in Glendale don’t have the correct number of parking spaces as required by current city code. Glendale requires property owners who make home additions greater than 100 square feet to bring their houses up to code, although smaller additions could be exempt.
That means a family of four with one bathroom and a one-car parking garage can’t add a second bathroom without another parking space.
When the issue was broached at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Community Development Director Hassan Haghani said many properties in South Glendale, with its dense neighborhoods and many multigenerational households, are affected by the rule.
“The houses that seem to be the most impacted are sometimes the houses that need it the most,” Haghani said.
Mayor Laura Friedman had brought up the issue for review, but any change to city code requires four votes. That didn’t happen.
Councilman Rafi Manoukian compared the situation to his request for more restrictions on hillside building and view protections that got pushed back earlier in the night.
“We had no problem just telling a minute ago that anyone who has a view issue can just apply or appeal,” he said, adding that those who want to add to their homes without another parking space could apply for a variance. “I think, you know, maybe we should be consistent on some of these issues.”
Friedman said changing the code would save homeowners thousands of dollars. She also said protecting the view for a million-dollar house was different than helping someone with a 1,000-square-foot house in need of a 200-square-foot bathroom.
And Councilman Dave Weaver said view restrictions are more complicated than the garage issue.
“Don’t add the two together, Mr. Manoukian, and say ‘You did it on one and you didn’t do it on another,’” Weaver said.
But Najarian noted that because the council voted a few weeks ago to require businesses to take down large pole signs that are outside current size restrictions if they update the sign, current standards should apply equally to homeowner-initiated changes.
“If I made commercial property owners do that with the signs, I’m going to make homeowners do that with their garages,” Najarian said. “So I’m consistent.”