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Glendale Plans Vote on Retail Project

The City Council approves a Sept. 14 special election to determine the future of a proposed $264-million mixed-use development.

June 18, 2004|Karima A. Haynes | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale City Council has agreed to hold a special election to decide the future of a proposed $264-million retail and residential complex downtown, city officials said Thursday.

The council's 4-1 vote Tuesday clears the way for voters to cast ballots on three zoning ordinances associated with the planned mixed-use development, named Americana at Brand.

"This vote is unique and precedent-setting for Glendale," City Atty. Scott Howard said Thursday, adding that city officials could not recall a previous citywide referendum on a specific project.

The election, which will be held Sept. 14, was prompted by several opponents -- led by Glendale Galleria owners General Growth Properties -- that were upset over the council's decision to approve zoning changes that cleared the way for the 15.5-acre outdoor shopping center across from the Galleria.

The proposal's opponents filed three referendum petitions with the city challenging the council's approval of ordinances that called for adopting the Glendale Town Center specific plan, rezoning the property associated with the plan and approving a development agreement between the city and Caruso Affiliated Holdings, the company developing the Americana project.

General Growth Properties has been in a protracted fight with developer Rick Caruso, who created the Grove shopping center next to the Los Angeles Farmers Market.General Growth says the Galleria stands to lose $4 million annually if Caruso is allowed to build the residential and retail center.

Even if voters approve the ordinances, construction could be delayed because of a lawsuit filed by General Growth challenging Caruso's environmental impact report, Howard said.

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