A proposal to force construction of high-rise residential towers near the downtown Glendale redevelopment project appeared doomed this week when the City Council deadlocked on the issue.
Council members voted 2 to 2 on a recommendation by the city planning staff to require any new development in the nine-block area under discussion to be at least five stories. The area lies between the Ventura Freeway and Broadway and Central and Columbus avenues
The issue will be considered again on June 18. Approval of a zone change requires four favorable council votes, City Manager James Rez said.
Most of the area is now made up of single-family homes and low-rise apartments. Current zoning allows high-density development but sets no minimum building size. The proposed zone change would require developers to purchase at least three adjoining lots and build high-rise towers.
Developers are opposed to the change, saying there is no demand for high-rise residential units.
City planners argue that there will be such demand in the future and that an area should be set aside for it. They argue that if lower-density development is permitted now, high-rise development will not be economically feasible when it is needed.
City Planning Director Gerald Jamriska said staff members are negotiating with builders to reach a compromise on the proposed zone change, part of a comprehensive citywide rezoning plan.
Mayor Jerold F. Milner and Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg opposed the zone change. Councilmen Larry Zarian and Carl W. Raggio voted for it. Councilman John F. Day, who has said he opposes the plan, was not present.