A modified 43-home development planned at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains won approval this week on its second submission to the Glendale City Council, despite continued opposition from nearby residents.
After a three-hour hearing Tuesday evening, council members voted 4 to 1 in favor of the proposal, reversing the Glendale Planning Commission's rejection of it earlier this month. Mayor Carl W. Raggio cast the dissenting vote.
Raggio said he could not vote for the plan because of what he called "reservations" about permitting homes to be built near the Sierra Madre fault line that cuts across the property.
"It bothers me that we would be building there, knowing full well it's a hazard," Raggio said.
But the other council members said the proposed development, on 38 acres north of Markridge Road in the Glendale Annex, met or exceeded all city standards, leaving them no reason for denial.
"I'm not going to make most of you happy," Councilman Jerold F. Milner told the crowd that packed the council chambers. "I'm going to vote for the project because I can't find a legal reason why not to."
After the meeting, Mary Ann Brunton presented the council with 500 signatures of residents opposed to the plan.
"I just feel this is an injustice because the power of the people is not there," Brunton said. "People should have their say, and we don't."
Brunton was one of nine residents who told the council Tuesday that they opposed the project. Most mentioned an increase in traffic on already congested Lowell Avenue, the same reason two of three planning commissioners rejected the project earlier this month.
Connects to Freeway
Lowell Avenue connects to the Foothill Freeway and is used as a thoroughfare mainly by Los Angeles residents who get to Lowell from Day Street, according to city traffic studies.
City Council members said during the hearing they will consider closing off Day Street to reduce traffic.
Last December, City Council members cited the danger of potential fires, floods and earthquakes and limited access to the property when they unanimously defeated a slightly different version of the proposed development. That proposal had seven more home sites, 33,000 cubic yards more grading, longer streets and only one two-lane road into the development.
But a staff report recommended approval of the modified project, proposed by developers Robert Feinberg and Dick Maxwell. The report said extra measures, such as the improvement of flood-control facilities at the site and the requirement that the homes be built with sprinkler systems, fireproof roofs and siding, would actually decrease flood and fire.
Marlene C. Roth, consultant for the project, said the new homes, expected to cost about $500,000 each, will be safer than those in next-door neighborhoods, many of which were built directly on top of the fault.