Area moves closer to historic status

CITY HALL — An 87-home section of northwest Glendale moved closer to achieving designation as a historic neighborhood Monday after a city commission authorized residents to collect signatures for a petition of support.

More than 50% of the homeowners within the proposed Ard Eevin Highlands historic overlay zone will have to sign the support petition within six months in order for the area to move forward in the review process.

The proposed district — encompassed along Ard Eevin and Highland avenues, Cumberland Road and Mountain Drive near Brand Park — is the second application behind a 30-home section of Royal Boulevard to move through the historic-districting process.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission on Monday voiced strong support for the Ard Eevin Highlands application after a consulting firm hired by the city in March found that 67 of the 87 homes contributed to the historical significance of the area, well above the 60% threshold mandated under city regulations.

So far, no formal opposition to the proposed district has been filed, city planners said.

“The neighborhood is definitely excited, and we hope that it turns out positive,” said Tammi Relyea, one of the neighborhood applicants who is coordinating the effort.

The area is the largest of the proposed areas currently under review.

A report determining the historical significance of that proposed block-long district is due to come before the Historic Preservation Commission later this month, while an ordinance finalizing the Royal Boulevard proposal is scheduled for introduction by the City Council on Sept. 16, historic preservation planner Jay Platt said.

The Royal Boulevard proposal will require unanimous approval from the City Council when it comes up for a vote on Sept. 23 since a handful of homeowners within the proposed district have filed an opposition petition, claiming it would add yet another layer of bureaucracy to their land and hurt home values.

Proponents argue the preservation rules will protect land values and streamline oversight of work to the facades of affected homes within the district.

Assuming the Ard Eevin Highlands proposal continues to move past the Historic Preservation and Planning commissions unimpeded by any formal opposition, the proposal would need only a supermajority vote of final approval from the City Council.

The forward movement among the three neighborhoods could mean the City Council will have the opportunity to officially designate three historic overly zones this year in a city that currently has none, city planners said.

“Hopefully people will start realizing that this not something new,” Relyea said. “The city of Glendale is finally catching up with other cities.”

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