The Glendale City Council on Tuesday authorized planning for a $4-million project to improve sidewalks and install landscaped medians along Brand Boulevard at the northern end of the downtown redevelopment area.
Improvements proposed are similar to those completed in 1979 on Brand between Colorado Boulevard and Lexington Drive. The proposed project, referred to as Phase II, provides for installation of brick and tile sidewalks and landscaping along Brand from Lexington to Arden Avenue, north of the Ventura Freeway.
The project also would extend landscaped median dividers, which limit the roadway to two lanes in each direction, from Lexington to Doran Street. Also, parking spaces would be replaced with wider sidewalks and bus turnouts in the same block between Milford Street and Doran.
Angled parking in the one-block area immediately south, between Lexington and Milford, would be retained temporarily because there are many small retail shops there and no new buildings are planned.
Under the proposal, 17 owners of land fronting on Brand in the project area will be asked to contribute a total of $758,500--about 19% of the project cost. The levy would amount to about $337 per front foot. Payments would be permitted over a 10-year period at an annual interest rate of 8%, officials said.
A public hearing on the proposal is planned before the City Council, probably within four to six weeks.
Construction could begin in January and require almost a year to complete, city officials said. Traffic engineers have warned that construction could cause considerable congestion.
Comments by council members Tuesday indicated that some aspects of the proposal may become controversial. For instance, the city plans to eliminate street parking between Milford and Doran where two new high-rise office buildings are under construction. Merchants in the past have fought to retain street parking.
In the 1979 project, property owners along the southern portion of Brand were assessed $182 per front foot as their share of the cost of improvements. Only a few protests were voiced at that time, officials said.
Landowners contributed about 30% of the $4-million cost of Phase I. However, city officials said construction costs have almost doubled since then, justifying proportionately higher levies for the smaller Phase II project.
The city proposes to allocate more than $3.2 million in capital improvement funds to the Phase II project. In addition to the city's contribution and assessments against owners, developers of the new high-rises on Brand--the Reliance development and the 550 N. Brand office complex--will install sidewalk improvements at their own expense, city officials said.
City officials said the Brand improvement will do nothing to relieve congestion on Brand near the Ventura Freeway. Any change in access to the freeway requires approval from the state Department of Transportation, city engineers said.