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Glendale / Burbank Focus

GLENDALE : Planners Approve Canyon Subdivision

March 09, 1994|JENNIFER OLDHAM

After two denials by the City Council and a pending court case, planning commissioners have approved in principle a plan for a controversial hillside subdivision in Sleepy Hollow Canyon. The proposal, submitted by the Doty Development Co. of Glendale, would include building 18 homes on a 30-acre site on the hillside inside the canyon, which is located northeast of downtown Glendale.

The commission put off a final decision on the project in order to work out an agreement on a long list of conditions that the city has suggested be imposed before development is allowed. Among the conditions to be considered is whether to build a secondary access road into the site.

The city has also asked that the developer build sidewalks and street lights and plant seven trees on each lot. Doty has opposed both the road and the improvements.

About 50 residents attended the hearing, many of whom said they realize they must work with the developer to see their ideas included in the plan, even though they would prefer that the canyon remain undeveloped.

Homeowners have adamantly opposed the development in the past, saying it would permanently scar environmentally sensitive hillsides and ruin their canyon views, said Dave Weaver, president of the Glenwood Canyon Homeowners Assn.

The current proposal is different from the first two development plans because it shaves down a ridge above Sleepy Hollow Place rather than "cutting the top of it off," senior planner Wolfgang Krause said.

This plan sets homes in the canyon, rather than placing them along the ridgeline as originally proposed, concentrates development in a smaller area and allows for less grading on the site, Krause said.

The third proposal asks for 18 homes, where the first and second plans called for 25 and 22 homes, respectively. Citing permanent damage to the canyon's ridgeline, destruction of a wooded habitat and loss of open space, the council denied the first proposal in December, 1990, and the second plan in February, 1992.

The developer filed suit against the city in early 1993, alleging that the council's original decision to deny the hillside development did not allow Doty "economically viable use of the property," City Atty. Scott Howard said.

The suit's resolution is related to the council's decision on the third proposal, Howard said.

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