Ledge becomes a zoning issue for Doran Gardens project

GLENDALE — Developers of a 60-unit affordable home ownership project tried to make their case at Wednesday’s Zoning Administrator meeting for an application to allow the three-story project to increase to four stories.

The project remains at three stories, but the construction of a subterranean parking structure left about a 6-inch ledge that is slightly higher than the city’s measurement for the location at 331 to 343 W. Doran St., said Charles Loveman, Heritage Housing Partner’s executive director.

The housing company and the city’s Housing Authority own the project.

Since the 6-inch ledge is more than the allotted three stories, the city has considered the ledge a fourth story, he said.

The project’s developers had to apply for a standards variance to allow the additional story.

Architect Jingbo Lou displayed charts at the meeting that showed a cross-sectional view of the project’s three stories and the small fourth-story addition.

“This design is to blend this project into the neighborhood, not to impose the design on the neighborhood,” he said.

The housing project, also called the Doran Gardens, is slated for an approximately two-acre lot and will house California bungalow and Craftsman-style one- to three-bedroom units. The project was created for low- and moderate-income first-time home buyers.

Zoning Administrator Edith Fuentes informed the developers during the meeting of concerns from other city departments about the project. The city’s Glendale Water and Power wants to work with the project’s developers on street lighting, individual home water meters and back flow prevention, she said.

The city’s Fire Prevention Bureau asked that it get permits for fire sprinkler and fire alarm installation, Fuentes said.

Developers hope to construct most of the project out of sustainable materials, including solar-powered roof shingles, said Catherine Boland, the housing company’s finance and operations director.

“The project was designed to be in keeping with the design of the neighborhood,” she said.

Once completed, the project will not obstruct the views of existing residents, Boland said.

Gail Marco, who resides in the 300 block of West Doran Street, expressed concerns to Fuentes about whether the project will impact street parking in the neighborhood.

The street is overwhelmed with vehicles, and vehicle owners who don’t live in the neighborhood leave their cars parked throughout the day on the street, she said.

Marco was delighted to hear that the developers would be providing their own parking structure of 117 spaces for the 60-units project.

“But I am still wondering how it’s going to impact us here on Doran Street,” she said.

Fuentes told Marco that the city is trying to avoid approving projects that would have a negative impact on a community, adding that environmental studies indicated the project had few negative impacts on the neighborhood.

“We are going to make sure they comply with all of the requirements,” she said.

Fuentes will mail out her decision of the developers’ standards variance application in the coming weeks.

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