Call to Action – Please Make Your Voice Heard


Tonight, Thursday the 11th, the Glendale Design Review Board REJECTED the proposed house location and told the developer, Sorry Charlie, no house is going on top of that hill.  Forget it.


Thanks to everybody who attended the meeting and who sent emails, the response was overwhelming and a huge message was sent!

Way to go people!!!

And Thank You Design Review Board!!!!

Canyon Development Alert!

Two years ago the Glendale Planning Commission said NO to this proposed development because placement of the structure at this site would have compromised the forested hillside.


Now two years later the developer is back, proposing a home ON THE EXACT SAME SPOT as was previously vetoed.


At 5:00pm this Thursday, August 11, the city’s Design Review Board (DRB) will approve or deny the construction of a new home on Laird Drive.  The CCEA and concerned neighbors have repeatedly opposed this project for 2 ½  years because its location behind and above existing homes would eliminate the privacy those homes have enjoyed for many years and would compromise the forested hillside that is part of the Chevy Chase Canyon charm.  Another reason this project should be denied is because of the precedent it would set for other developers who are not concerned about preserving the woodland character of the Canyon.  They are hoping for an opportunity to build on hillside areas that have historically been off limits.  If this project is allowed to move forward, they will get that opportunity.

You can help the effort to preserve the beauty of Chevy Chase Canyon by registering your objection to this project by letting the DRB know your position.  The best way is to appear at the hearing and say this project is incompatible with the neighborhood and you request denial of the project.  The next best thing is to send an email to the case planner for the project, stating your objection.  The more people who express their position, the better the DRB will understand the wishes of the community.   Information to communicate your position is below.

Address of the proposed construction:  910 Laird Drive
Case No. :  PDR1403541
Case Planner: Kathy Duarte
Hearing: Thursday, August 11, 5:00pm – 633 East Broadway, Room 105

Send email objecting to this project to:

If you have questions, send an email to Questions and Comments.  You will receive a rapid response.


August 9, 2016


Kathy Duarte

Planning Division
Community Development Department

Re: Objection to 910 Laird Drive development plans PDR1403541

Ms. Duarte,

Allowing the construction of this home on a hillside above and behind existing homes and easily visible from across the canyon would set a precedent that would allow further encroachment on the beautiful hillsides of Chevy Chase Canyon and would compromise the privacy of existing homes.

Project previously denied

In a previous hearing before the Planning Commission, this project was deemed incompatible with the neighborhood and denied.

“The location up the hill, away from the streets, also is incompatible with the neighborhood where most of the houses are close to the street frontage.  The visual mass of the house is incompatible with the neighborhood in that the house is up the slope in a more prominent and visible location on the hillside than if it were situated lower on the property.” Planning Commission, August, 2014

Illegally Graded Lot Makes Topography Assessment Questionable

The illegally graded hillside has never been restored to its original condition as ordered by the Public Works Department, so it is unclear how much earth has already been displaced.  This makes an evaluation of allowable grading for any project difficult.  In addition, if not already done, a certified survey by a third party should be performed in order to determine the present slopes of the modified hillside.

Project Visibility Would Be Objectionable

This item relates directly to one of the tests included in hillside development review, “ d. Site Plans for development of property on steep slopes shall take into account the visual impact on surrounding properties.”

“The location of the house up the slope, away from the street frontages, makes the house more visible to more properties than if it were located closer to the street.  The size of the house also increases its visibility and makes the house less compatible with the neighboring houses which are located in less prominent locations.” Planning Commission, August, 2014

Drainage Assessment Questionable

Since this and adjoining properties form a natural rain runoff collection point with a history of heavy flooding and debris movement, a re-evaluation of the effects of rainwater drainage should be provided since the conformation of the hillside has been modified without the benefit of approved plans.

“Pay particular attention to drainage on hillside sites. Care should be taken not to impact adjacent properties.” Hillside Design Guidelines

Neighbors Do Not Contest Development of the Lot

The neighbors and the owner’s architect have had several meetings in order to determine the best plans for building a house that will satisfy the needs of the owner and the wishes of the neighbors. A plan located off of the hill and near the Laird Drive cul-de-sac was approved by the neighbors and the property owner, but apparently rejected by the city arborist.

Submitted plan drawings are questionable

Profile drawings are missing and don’t match, as noted in the Staff Report City Department Comments.

The Spirit of the Hillside Design Guidelines is not Observed

The proposed construction is not at the same level of surrounding houses and would be excessively prominent on the proposed site up on the hill above the other homes.

“New projects should fit well with surrounding building fabric”

The plans submitted do not indicate adherence to proper terracing in order to minimize alteration to the existing landform.

“Cut and fill type grading is discouraged if its purpose is to revise the topography to create a flat pad.”

The proposed size and mass of the project, along with the location are not compatible with the surrounding homes.

“Relate new buildings (particularly if larger than existing context) to existing adjacent buildings through use of proportion, transition, or other design features.”

The CCEA again objects to this development on the basis of incompatibility (mass and scale, location) and compromised neighbor privacy, and calls for enforcement of the order to restore the property to its natural state.

Brian Duran
Chevy Chase Estates Association

CCEA Rocket Scientists Dazzle – Event Photos


The Wonders of the Cosmos presentation was a trippy, far-out exploration of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s achievements and triumphs on earth as well as into deep space and beyond.   Hosted by the Chevy Chase Estates Association’s very own Leigh Torgerson, an engineer with JPL, the afternoon began with a discussion and photo archive of the post WWII US rocket program and ended with a peek into planned future explorations to asteroids, planets, and distant solar systems.  Also contributing to the discussion was another CCEA director and JPL cohort, Douglas Hughes.  This program was made possible by JPL, and your neighbor’s membership support of our canyon CCEA.  Click for event photos.

Wonders of the Cosmos

Join us Saturday May 21st from 2-4 pm at the Chevy Chase Library for a special presentation of JPL: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Learn about the many discoveries, vistas and wonders of our universe made possible by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL history as well as future projects.   Featured speakers will be our own JPL Canyon residents and will include out of this world slides and video. A treat for the whole family!  Check out the special Bonus below!


Special Bonus!

Enjoy the amazing video Journey to the Planets and Beyond narrated by Harrison Ford.


Photos of the 79th Annual CCEA Meeting


Click here or on the photo above to see a slideshow from the evening.

The 79th Annual Meeting of the Chevy Chase Estates Association was a huge success attended by your friends and canyon neighbors, along with stars of local Glendale government including Council Members Laura Friedman and Vartan Gharpetian, our Mayor Ara Najarian, and Chief of Police Robert Castro.  The evening’s featured event was a detailed and informative report on GPD’s new Community Impact Bureau, a proactive special enforcement and crime analyst unit tasked with fighting the increase of crime due to easing of criminal laws.  Thanks to Lt. Oscar Rodriguez, Officer James Colman, Abby Luczon, all of the Glendale Police Department for the great presentation.  And a special thanks to Tom Lorenz for making so much of this possible.

Click to download an official tip sheet of the GDP terminology definitions used in the presentation, and the difference between burglary and theft as delineated in the CA Penal Code. 

Annual Meeting with New Location

The 79th Annual Meeting of the Chevy Chase Estates Association will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at Chevy Chase Library, 3301 East Chevy Chase Drive. The evening will start with a half-hour social at 7:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., we will conduct the business portion of the meeting, including the President’s report, Treasurer’s report and election of Directors.


Renew CCEA memberships and / or purchase the new Chevy Chase History Book donate here!

Membership and History Book


Police Lieutenant to Address Residents

Crime is up, and even our peaceful canyon isn’t immune to the negative effects. To keep you updated on this important topic, Lieutenant Oscar Rodriguez of Glendale Police’s Community Impact Bureau will be the guest speaker at this year’s Annual Meeting. Lt. Rodriguez will discuss public safety for all Glendale residents, with particular emphasis on issues which affect the Canyon. Don’t miss this important opportunity to hear directly from one of the people most responsible for keeping Glendale—and you—a safe community.