YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Another Lawsuit Challenges Hillside Development Rule


GLENDALE — Another lawsuit has been filed in opposition to Glendale's new hillside development ordinance, adopted in March to protect ridge lines and preserve open space.

In their complaint filed last week, prominent hillside developer Salvatori Gangi and his partners charge that the city improperly adopted the ordinance without considering the protests of landowners.

The Glendale Superior Court suit also charges that former Mayor Ginger Bremberg, who lives next to undeveloped land in the hills, should have abstained from voting.

City Atty. Scott H. Howard advised the City Council before the vote that both the petitions signed by landowners and their protests over Bremberg's involvement were invalid. Bremberg had called the challenges "scurrilous attacks."

The suit is the fourth in a series filed within a year challenging hillside development rules and seeking to overturn the ordinance.

In a separate setback, city officials have learned that the state Supreme Court will hear an appeal by another landowner seeking $10 million in damages from the city for prohibiting development of a prominent ridge in the San Rafael Hills.

Robert R. Hensler of Glendale sued the city shortly after he won approval in 1986 to build the largest hillside development in Glendale. He complained that the city unfairly took his property by prohibiting all development on 213 acres of the 316-acre site where the 544-home San Rafael Estates development is near completion.

Hensler was a co-owner of the property before he sold his share to Homes by Polygon of Irvine. Hensler won his initial suit against the city, but the action was overturned on a technicality by an appellate court.

However, the Supreme Court has now said it will consider arguments, which are expected to be heard in about six months.

Los Angeles Times Articles