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Preserve Community's Special Qualities

February 07, 1991

Some of the community opposition to the proposed specific plan for Mt. Washington and Glassell Park (Glendale Section Jan. 31) answers itself. While one can conclude that the plan is a good and reasonable compromise since the vocal reaction comes from both sides of the issue, two examples best illustrate:

The Times reported that one resident of an almost completely undeveloped stretch of Mt. Washington Drive said the area does not need a specific plan. Others, especially those previously surrounded by nothing but trees, birds and sky, have thought that, and that any kind of control was stifling of creativity and freedom . . . until a house four times the size of their own was built next door.

The area of Mt. Washington Drive canyon that "doesn't need a specific plan" has been regulated (using the term about as loosely as one can) by a Municipal Code that allows the construction of homes with floor areas three times the area of the lot! On average lots, that means a house with 15,000 square feet or more! In most cases, homes more than 10 times the size of existing homes were permissible until the City Council recently adopted an interim control ordinance modeled after the Citizens Advisory Committee's proposed specific plan.

Another resident, apparently responsible for one or more of the community's newer, larger homes, said at the recent public hearing on the specific plan that the plan would limit the size of another home he was planning to only 5,000 square feet. He asked the assembled residents, "Now, who's going to want a home that's only 5,000 square feet?" Who indeed? That's more than twice the size of nearly every home in the community!

The specific plan is intended to preserve those qualities of the community that provide its special character and to manage growth so that it is compatible with the community, not slap it in the face.

The first example is answered by the second, with a resounding slap in the face, and no apology whatsoever.

DONALD R. BLOSS

Bloss is chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee, Mt. Washington/Glassell Park Specific Plan .

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