Readers Respond -- Charles Laulette

This commentary is in response to the commentary by Richard R. Robbins

Jr. concerning the Oakmont V project.

At the second public hearing, a real estate agent spoke in support of

the 572-unit project, claiming that the fair-market value for each of Mr.

Gregg's undeveloped lots would be about $350,000. She added, "It was

atrocious that the city of Glendale had only raised $8 million for a

recreational alternative."

Mr. Robbins, by no coincidence, is a real estate agent also, and Mr.

Robbins chose to include his occupation right under his name on his

commentary. Nice try, Mr. Robbins.

What is the value of the Verdugo Mountains to the Verdugo Woodlands?

The Gregg family claims that his land is worth more than $40 million. But

his project proposes blasting, ridgeline cuts and 100-foot-high retaining

walls, while other units will be built on 100 feet of fill. It will bury

a riparian stream, calls for a million-gallon water tower in plain view,

and will fill our air with soot and debris from grading for a decade or

more to come.

Mr. Robbins claimed that his concern was that the city of Glendale

would be responsible for having to pay damages if the 572-unit project

was voted down. He stated that his concerns arose once the judge ruled in

favor of the Greggs after a motion to dismiss was filed by the city. The

significance of this early ruling merely means that the Greggs might have

some merit to their lawsuit.

Mr. Robbins claims that it's a fight for a few at the expense of many.

The Glendale Hillside Ordinance was passed in 1993, and it's significance

limits any hillside development to only 12 units. Well ... this is the

last hillside project of such enormity that upon stipulation qualified

for the pre-1993 hillside ordinance standard.

Mr. Robbins stated in his commentary that there are 200,000 residents

of Glendale and only 200 to 300 people showed up at the public hearing.

(Glendale News-Press approximated that there were 400.) Still, this

statement is misleading. Last year, there was a hearing and around 800

people showed up to rebut the inadequacies of the first environmental

impact report only. The second hearing, which was the result of the first

hearing, was to address the revised environmental impact report only, and

like the first hearing was not to discuss the merits of the project. The

first EIR presented only five significant and unavoidable impacts, where

the revisions revealed more than 30.

Mr. Robbins commented that at the hearing there were parties arguing

for both sides. I was there until the wee hours of the morning, and let

me set the facts straight: Besides the developer and his relatives, there

were but a handful supporting the projects.

Mr. Robbins remarks that the project will generate $4 million in

developer fees, which can be used to help our schools. This project

proposes 572 units! The EIR claims the project will only produce 0.3 kids

per household, yet Mr. Gregg stated at the hearing that each house will

be approximately 4,500 square feet. Who, may I ask, is going to be living

in these houses? Singles or older couples who are downsizing?

The developer states in his project's commercials that the project

will be built in one of Glendale's most prestigious neighborhoods. I

agree. In spite of Mr. Gregg's Oakmont IV development, the Verdugo

Woodlands area is one of Glendale's finest, but take the wood out of

Woodlands and it won't be one of Glendale's finest any longer.

As the city prepares its final EIR and moves closer to the City

Council's vote, the Greggs will continue to think of only their

pocketbook instead of Glendale's residents, and they will continue to

advertise their project on cable news channels while Glendale residents

come home after work every day and attempt to catch up on this nation's

latest ordeals. I, for one, saw my first Gregg commercial on Sept. 12 on

MSNBC. If the Greggs continue to advertise this project even though it

still hasn't received a green light, then Mr. Gregg must remember that

before he claims all of his out-of-pocket expense and ties up our courts

further, the law states, just like the EIR, that one has a duty to

mitigate one's damages (both in court and to our community).

As for Mr. Robbins: Please quit trying to solicit business from the

Greggs at Glendale residents' expense. Most real estate agents rely on

mass mailings to get new business.



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