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Foothills Housing Plan Stirs Fear Among Neighbors

August 13, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

More than 50 protesters, as well as a few supporters, turned up at the Glendale City Council meeting this week to voice their opinions on a proposed 50-unit housing development in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Protesters charged that development of the 38-acre site, north of Markridge Road and east of Cooks Canyon at the northern boundary of Glendale, will cause excessive traffic, increase flood hazards and mud slides, and pose fire dangers to neighbors.

Two supporters spoke at the meeting, saying that construction of the 50 single-family homes will provide much-needed housing in Glendale.

Developers Dick Maxwell and Bob Feinberg propose to build luxury homes priced at about $400,000 each on the site, while preserving about 14 acres of open space as a buffer to the neighborhood south of the development. Marlene T. Roth, a consultant to the developers, said no homes would be built on two earthquake faults that traverse the property.

The property originally was the site of the Hillcrest Sanitarium from the 1930s through the 1950s.

The developers propose moving 246,000 cubic yards of earth by cutting into the hillsides and filling canyons below. The only access to the site would be from Markridge Road, leading to Lowell Avenue. Council members asked the developer to consider building another access road.

Dorothy Serulnic, who has lived near the site 43 years, said the proposed development "is the most radical" of the subdivisions undertaken in the area. "That is why it has aroused such fear," she told the council on Tuesday during a public hearing on the project's draft environmental impact study.

Dozens of residents have written letters of protest. A petition signed by 150 people opposed to the project was presented to the council Tuesday.

The council referred the issue to the city's private consultants, the Planning Center of Newport Beach, for further study.

A final environmental report is to be returned to the city Planning Commission on Oct. 12 for a recommendation to the City Council on Oct. 27.

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