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Glendale to Sell Parcel Once Planned for Park

January 10, 1991|LORI GRANGE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Glendale City Council has voted to sell a 1-acre lot off Rimcrest Drive in the Verdugo Hills, dropping a plan to turn the property into a neighborhood park after most residents said they opposed the idea.

The council last week voted unanimously to solicit bids for the $1-million property, known as Rimcrest Park. But several members said they were reluctant to sell the lot because Glendale needs more parks.

The council will review bids for the land Feb. 19.

"More than 51% of the people up there asked that this change not take place," Councilman Carl Raggio said. "If the majority don't want something, then of course we have to go along with it."

As part of a plan to build single-family housing, Auerbach Construction Co. deeded the lot to the city in 1975 on condition that it be turned into a park, with two tennis courts and landscaping, or be returned to the developer.

But in 1989, residents complained that the lot had become a dumping ground for trash and a noisy gathering place for teen-agers. In a poll taken last year by the city, most area residents said they opposed turning the lot into a park because they feared that trash, noise and traffic would increase.

Under the plan approved last week by the council, no bids under $800,000 will be considered. Auerbach will be guaranteed $400,000 from the sale of the property, with the remainder to be used by the city to develop parks elsewhere, said Nello Iacono, director of the city's parks, recreation and community services department.

"We definitely do need additional parkland in our city," Iacono said. "But when the bulk of residents near that particular location don't want the park, you have to take that into consideration."

One resident told the council last week that he supported the park idea and was disappointed that the lot will be sold.

"I feel it's tragic that a park could not be built on that space," said Howard Jacobson, a Wonderview Drive resident. "I can understand the concerns of people in the area about traffic and noise . . . but we shouldn't stop construction of parks because the actions of a few people are disruptable."

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