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Glendale to Consider Limits on Behemoth Homes

August 03, 1989|SANTIAGO O'DONNELL | Times Staff Writer

Responding to complaints about what some residents are calling the "mansionization" of Glendale, Mayor Jerold Milner said Tuesday that he will recommend imposing size caps on single family homes at an upcoming City Council study session.

Milner's comment came in the wake of a controversy over a 7,150-square-foot home under construction at 1621 Vista Drive, which residents claim will ruin the neighborhood's character.

The study session, at which the council will consider zoning restrictions in single family neighborhoods, is scheduled Aug. 15.

In recent years, the trend toward tearing down existing homes and building massive houses that nearly fill the lot has grown in several Los Angeles County communities, particularly affluent Westside neighborhoods.

The Beverly Hills City Council last year adopted an ordinance limiting the size of houses to 55% of the lot's size. Pacific Palisades adopted a similar ordinance in April, and the Los Angeles Planning Commission is studying a proposal to reduce height limits on single family homes.

Raggio Reluctant

Councilman Carl Raggio said he "hated passing ordinances" and would vote for one only if it is determined that the Vista Drive project is not an isolated incident but part of a citywide trend.

"That house is clearly out of line for the type of neighborhood it is in, and I would hope that other developers have more sense than that," he said.

Some 20 members of the newly formed Northwestern Glendale Homeowners Assn. attended last week's council meeting to complain about the Vista Drive project.

Randy Carter, the association's president, said the new house will be out of character in a neighborhood of medium and small houses, and that he was concerned about a trend toward "mansionization."

On Tuesday, Public Works Director George Miller told council members that the Vista Drive project did not violate zoning rules, since there are no size limitations in single family neighborhoods.

The project, Miller said, met the setback requirements, which stipulate the minimum distance between the building's exterior and the adjacent street and property lines.

Following Miller's report, Milner said he would like to see floor area restrictions, a method for controlling building size used in apartment zones, extended to single-family neighborhoods.

The floor area ratio measures the relation of floor space in a building to the area of its lot.

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