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Hillside Homes Proposal Undergoes New Revision


GLENDALE — Developers of a controversial subdivision of luxury hillside homes in Glenmore Canyon tried to win support Monday for a new, scaled-down version of the project, which was buried under community opposition three years ago.

"Compared to what we proposed in the past, we've taken a real hard look at the project and made numerous concessions," said Rick Hauser, vice president of Irvine-based Polygon Communities, who met with members of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council. "The project we have now is viable and will be good for the area."

Hauser unveiled his company's newest version of the project, which calls for 35 homes to be built on the 29-acre site situated just west of the Glendale Freeway at Mountain Street.

Polygon proposed 61 homes in 1989, but city planners forced the firm to scale back plans to 41 homes in 1993. The City Council rejected that proposal, and then passed a hillside protection ordinance that would have limited Polygon to 17 homes.

The developer sued the city for $6 million, but dropped the claim last summer after the council agreed not to apply the restrictions to any revised proposals.

At Monday's meeting, most homeowners withheld judgment on the complex proposal. But some said their initial reaction was that the number of homes is still unreasonable.

"I think the City Council did a wonderful thing three years ago when it passed the hillside ordinance," said Gene Mestel, president of the homeowners group. "My feeling is that the ordinance should be upheld, and that Polygon should be allowed to build only 17 homes up there."

The developer's new proposal will undergo environmental review by city planning officials and will not come before the City Council for a decision until sometime next year, city officials said.

Hauser said the meeting was the first step in improving relations with area residents who have for years bitterly fought the project for fear of hillside devastation, traffic problems and its effects on the adjacent College View School, a campus for handicapped children.

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