End in sight for long-awaited community development plan

CITY HALL — A long-awaited policy for guiding development in North Glendale could become reality by the end of this year after the City Council this week directed planners to continue with the review process.

The North Glendale Community Plan has been in the works since 2008 when the City Council directed the planning department to respond to concerns from residents who wanted to preserve their area's rural feel and mountain views from encroaching development.

Since then, planners have hosted numerous public meetings and worked with a 34-person advisory committee made up of local residents, business owners and Realtors to help reconcile competing viewpoints.

Now, city planners will present the draft plan, as well as proposed zoning changes and streamlined design guidelines, to the advisory committee and several city commissions before reaching the City Council in November.

On Tuesday, City Council members said they were glad to see the long-awaited document come closer to fruition.

“This is the kind of proactive planning I think the city really needs to be doing…” said Councilwoman Laura Friedman. “It’s really protection for the community.”

The plan's area includes the neighborhoods of Whiting Woods, Montrose, Verdugo City, Sparr Heights, Montecito Park and the Glendale portion of La Crescenta. But much of the recommendations focus on Foothill Boulevard, which emerged as the most pressing issue at the community meetings.

Foothill development has long been controversial, and the plan’s suggestions include beautifying Foothill Boulevard with landscaping, street and sidewalk maintenance and potentially changing building height limits.

Councilman Frank Quintero said the plan can help the Glendale portion of the thoroughfare from falling prey to future unfit development.

“What I saw in the Tujunga area was just beyond comprehension,” he said. “The new development that is taking place is just atrocious.”

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