Two areas with historic aspirations move ahead

CITY HALL — Two neighborhoods will move into the next phase of becoming a historic district after the City Council on Tuesday approved more than $20,000 for an analysis of the two areas.

Consultants will soon begin their analysis of the blocklong Cottage Grove Avenue near the base of Adams Hill and an 87-home section of Ard Eevin Highlands in north Glendale to determine the historic significance of the two areas — the most crucial step in the districting process.

In approving $22,362 for the two neighborhood surveys, the City Council sends them down the same pipeline that a proposed 30-home historic district on Royal Boulevard is preparing to exit as city planners review its recently completed analysis.

News of the study authorization was greeted with excitement from historic preservation advocates, who have said they consider 2008 the year mostly likely to host Glendale’s first batch of historic districts.

“I’m delighted about this,” said Ruben Amirian, who serves on the Historical Preservation Commission. “It is very, very important.”

The proposed Ard Eevin Highlands district is part of the 500-home Cumberland Heights application that failed in 2005 after an extensive analysis that spurred calls for a revised process.

“There was still strong interest in the district after Cumberland Heights,” said Tammi Relyea, one of the lead applicants for the Ard Eevin district. “We learned from the process and were able to streamline what we needed to do.”

Because the 87 homes in Relyea’s application were already studied for that attempt three years ago, consultants need only to update the existing information, city planners said.

The 14-home Cottage Grove survey contract is larger because all the homes are newcomers.

At least 60% of the homes included in any survey must be found to be historically significant before the proposed district can move forward. All proposed historic districts would need final approval from the City Council.

Taken together, all three proposed districts total 131 properties — far fewer than the failed 500-home Cumberland Heights application — and if approved they could provide a varied template for other small neighborhoods still unsure about joining the fray, said Stephanie Landregan, a historical preservation commissioner.

“It shows the diversity of districts that we can have here in the city,” she said. “I think it’s going to be able to give us a really good handle on how the community will handle it.”

Other neighborhoods, such as Rossmoyne and Casa Verdugo, are already looking at how the three proposed districts move through the process to evaluate their own prospects, according to the Glendale Historical Society.

It is unclear how long the historical surveys for the Cottage Grove and Ard Eevin districts will take, but some city officials said that with nine months left in the year, they stand a good chance of approval if all goes smoothly, Amirian said.

“In nine months, lots of things can happen,” he said.


 JASON WELLS covers City Hall. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at jason.wells@latimes.com.

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