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Council Votes to Extend Ban on Apartments


Glendale City Council members gave final approval Tuesday to a 60-day extension of their moratorium on construction of new apartments and condominiums, but said they may not need the extra time.

The extension received preliminary approval last week because council members said they might need two more months to agree on measures to control growth of multiple-family housing.

But during a special four-hour brainstorming session Tuesday morning and their regular afternoon meeting, council members reached a consensus on most of the growth-control issues. City planners were told to put the new measures in writing and return them to the council on Oct. 30.

Mayor Larry Zarian, who scheduled the morning session to help resolve the complex growth-control issues, said he was pleasantly surprised by the progress. "I didn't think we would achieve what we did today," he said.

Council members said the growth-control measures would likely limit Glendale to another 10,000 to 12,000 new dwelling units for about 30,000 to 34,000 more residents, bringing the city close to the council's maximum desired population of about 220,000.

The moratorium was adopted two years ago because council members were worried that a boom in apartment and condominium construction was leading to congested streets and overcrowded schools.

The extension runs through Jan. 8, but the moratorium can be lifted if the growth-control measures are enacted before that date.

One such measure is a citywide downzoning plan reducing the number of units that can be built on each lot. During Tuesday morning's study session, the council endorsed additional zoning changes in 25 sections of Glendale that were singled out for special attention.

Among these was the 3400 block of Montrose Avenue, where many residents had protested a plan to limit the street to single-family houses. The council instead favored a zoning change that would allow most owners to build at least a duplex on each lot.

City officials have been concerned that Glendale apartment owners will not rebuild deteriorating older buildings if they are limited to fewer units under the new zoning laws. The council agreed Tuesday to allow such owners to rebuild the same number of apartments if they abide by current parking and design guidelines.

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce has asked the council to let developers build 50% more apartment units if they can assemble several lots and construct one large complex. Council members agreed Tuesday to grant such density bonuses but limited them to 25%.

During the afternoon meeting, Councilman Jerold Milner introduced a building-cap ordinance, another growth-control measure that council members approved in concept last week.

The building cap is designed to slow the rate of construction by limiting the city to 1,400 building permits annually for new houses, apartments and condominiums. Among these permits, 700 will be reserved for affordable housing, and the other 700 will go to houses that can be sold or rented at prevailing market rates.

The council is expected to take a final vote on the building cap next week.

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