The exercise was deemed a huge success despite one major glitch. Canyon residents’ response to the evacuation drill exceeded Fire Department expectations but behind the scenes the morning had its share of drama.
After getting the scheduled drill alert, on Saturday morning May 14 at 9 am canyon friends and neighbors hopped in their cars and took off for parking lot B at the Glendale Community College. They were greeted by Glendale Fire and CERT teams with a gift bag as reward for their participation in the Chevy Chase evacuation training exercise. 150 people and 13 pets made their way to the rendezvous parking lot. An estimated 150 additional people participated without making the drive. Glendale Fire considered the turnout a huge success. Photos below.
The dramatic glitch…
At the temporary command center set up at the Chevy Chase Library Glendale Fire, Glendale Police, and Glendale communication specialists monitored the morning drill’s roll out. Two types of emergency alerts were tested, the trusty time-tested Glendale Emergency Alert System run by the City of Glendale (sign up here!), and a new experiment modifying the Amber Alert cell phone system to target a specific limited number of cell towers. Unlike the city run Glendale Emergency Alert System, accessing, and testing the Amber Alert cell tower system required cooperation and clearances from multiple government agencies all the way up to the FCC.
At precisely 9:00 am Saturday the Glendale Emergency system kicked in notifying canyon residents via home phone, cell phone, text, and email, the exact details of the drill. The message was repeated 2 minutes later as planned. Glendale’s system performed perfectly. But by 9:07 the cell-based Amber type drill notification still hadn’t been sent out. That was a problem. At 9:08 the Amber cell notification finally went out. Within 20 seconds the command center knew there was a big problem. Not only had the wrong message been blasted out omitting that the evacuation was a drill, an exercise and not the real deal, but also instead of limiting it only cell towers servicing the Chevy Chase Canyon, the alert went out to the entire southland!!! Command communications were off the chart as widespread reports came in. Even our little Chevy Chase Estates Association website crashed after 4,700 people in two minutes clicked to find out about the “disaster” in Chevy Chase Canyon. The news media of course had a field day with the false alarm. At least now everybody knows about Chevy Chase Canyon.
But the bottom line is that drills and exercises are done so that problems can be ironed out before an actual emergency. Study the space program and how many misfires there were before man walked on the moon. We in Glendale are extremely lucky to have both Glendale Fire and Police that take safety so seriously as to go that extra mile to plan and hold evacuation exercises. Command center photos below.
The CCEA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to all those who volunteered to help prepare for this drill. CCEA Board members, Canyon Residents, Boy & Girl Scout Troops, GFD Cadets, CERT Volunteers – because of you the Canyon and residents are better prepared for emergencies than ever before. Thank you to all residents who participated as well – whether you evacuated to GCC or simply spent some time educating yourself and taking steps to be ready for a real emergency. Every step you take to prepare means future safety for all!
All canyon residents are urged to join the Glendale Fire Department’s evacuation drill Saturday May 14th at 9 am. In case of a fast-moving wildfire or other disaster, nobody wants their family, friends, or pets trapped in the canyon. A trial run now for both Glendale First Responders and canyon neighbors will spell future safety!
What will happen during the drill?
You will be notified via text, voice message or email at 9:00 AM on Saturday, May 14 that the drill is on, where to go and what to do. (Hint: We will be evacuating to a nearby undisclosed location where there may be a small thank-you gift waiting.)
What Do I do NOW, what’s the 1st step?
Step 1. – Sign up here, right now, to the Glendale Emergency Notification System. It takes just a minute and this is truly a lifesaver. If and when an emergency strikes, Glendale will notify and guide you to safety. See how great it works the morning of our May 14 drill.
Who is invited to participate?
All Chevy Chase Canyon residents. Residents will be notified via text, voice, or email to exercise their household emergency plans and evacuate.
Why practice evacuating?
To give canyon residents an opportunity to prepare for an emergency that may require an evacuation. Your participation will help first responders and public safety personnel improve their response.
How can you prepare for the exercise?
Visit www.GlendaleFire.org, click on the Emergency Preparedness button and follow the steps below.
Follow these 4 steps to prepare for an emergency:
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
When emergencies strike, public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you. You can sign up for Glendale Citizen Alerts here.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Use the resources here to build your kit. Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for petsor seniors.
Be a good neighbor and get involved. Join the Glendale Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and learn how to help your community before, during and after an emergency!
Useful Documents & Checklists from the Glendale Fire Department
Watch a Zoom recording of the CCEA 85th Annual Meeting held on March 9th, 2022.
Jonathan Payne, Fire Captain & Emergency Manager of the Glendale Fire Department discussed the planned Chevy Chase Canyon Evacuation Drill. And Patty Mundo, Vegetation Management Specialist spoke about fire safety brush clearance in our canyon. Also on the evening’s agenda were CCEA updates, and a call for all canyon members to cast votes on two CCEA resolutions.
Here are some useful links and contact information from the meeting as well:
- Sign up here for Glendale alerts and warnings
- Disaster Preparedness information and other links
- Fire Prevention Bureau 780 Flower Street Glendale, CA 91201 (818) 548-4810
- Home Ignition Zone Evaluator Training
- Patty Mundo, Vegetation Management Specialist, Glendale Fire Department: (818) 548-4810, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jon Payne, Emergency Manager, Glendale Fire Department: (818) 550-5621 jpayne@glendaleCA.gov
Watch the 2022 CCEA Annual Meeting. 56 minutes.
Chevy Chase Evacuation Map
Do you know the 5 escape routes out of our canyon?
Golden Oldie – Glendale Fire Message to Chevy Chase Canyon
Do you have your copy of the CCEA 85th ANNUAL MEETING NEWSLETTER?
The CCEA CANYON CRIER NEWSLETTER has been mailed to every canyon household with a special invite to our 85th annual CCEA meeting.
The Glendale Fire Department will be revealing plans for a canyon-wide disaster evacuation drill, so this will be one event not to miss.
Stay tuned for more information and easy links to join the meeting.
What: Linda Vista/Buckingham Secret Stairs Cleanup
Where: Meet at the bottom of the Buckingham stairs on Linda Vista, across from Dunsmere Road.
When: Saturday January 22, 2022 at 2PM
Did you know there is a Secret Stairway in Chevy Chase Canyon? It’s part of a city-owned path that connects Buckingham with Linda Vista.
The stairs had all but disappeared under years of washed down dirt and leaves – the city hadn’t cleaned them for over 25 years, secret stairs are not high on their priority list. In 2018 (and 2019) a group of neighbors spent two hours trimming, shoveling, scraping and raking, and we unearthed the vanishing trail and stairs.
After a year or two of pandemic-induced neglect, our stairs could use a little tidying. Join us for a fun get together to meet your neighbors and beautify a source of pride in our canyon! Bring your garden gloves, rake, broom or any other garden tools you think might be helpful. We also welcome contributions of wildflower seeds or other plants that could beautify the stairs. If you can’t attend the cleanup but would like to contribute something, please get in touch!
The stairs cleanup is organized by the CCEA in association with the Pride of Buckingham group. The “Pride of Buckingham” group was established with the intent of bringing the folks who reside on Buckingham Road and Buckingham Place together in sharing this beautiful Canyon and taking pride in keeping the environment clean. The Canyon Cleanup event has been happening for over a decade. They meet on select Saturdays once a quarter at the parking lot of the Chevy Chase Library and pick up litter along Chevy Chase to Emerald Isle and Linda Vista.
New Homes Added This Year!
Is your home here? Can you find your neighbor’s?
Click upper right to see full-sized photos.
Homes were photographed at random and some we miss. We also try to find new displays. If your house has been overlooked, perhaps it can be found in the lights of years past below. Enjoy these beautiful canyon treasures, Merry Christmases (Glendale is so cool, we celebrate two, the 25th and the 6th.), Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Year from your neighbors at the CCEA.
See the wonderful neighborhood years past below.
2018 Christmas Lights
2017 Christmas lights
Click on the photos below to see past Canyon Christmas Light Displays. When the page comes up click on the first photo to see them HUGE on your screen.
YOUR CANYON HISTORY – BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND
The UPDATED History of the Chevy Chase Estates Association and the Community it Serves – SECOND EDITION is once again available for purchase as we’ve printed up a few more. Get yours today for only a $5 donation to cover the cost of printing. A great gift for cherished neighbors, and a great welcome-to-the-neighborhood for new families.
Read about the floods, fires, and secret bridle trails, how from the very beginning the state’s oldest association of homeowners has fought back schemes to make the canyon into a garbage dump, turn the country club into a low-income housing project, or route a freeway straight through the valley. This is a fantastic book lovingly written by a Chevy Chase local. This is the official updated 85-page edition including gorgeous new black and white photos. A must read. A great present that will be cherished for generations. AND IT’S ONLY FIVE BUCKS!
3132 Charing Cross Road – Too big a house on too small a lot.
On Wednesday, December 8th at 9:30 am the Glendale Planning Hearing Officer will hear a variance case regarding 3132 Charing Cross Road. Information on how to attend the hearing can be found here. Concerned canyon residents can express their views by calling Milca Toledo at 818-937-8181 or emailing her at MiToledo@glendaleca.gov.
The Glendale Planning Commission staff has recommended a denial of this variance. Below are specifics as outlined by the city.
Construct a 2,764 SF single-family residence on at 6,069 SF vacant hillside lot.
- Reduction of the required minimum 10-foot interior setback (for the building and retaining walls), and to allow a reduced interior setback of zero for the building along the north-easterly (left side) property line and propose the construction of two, five-foot high retaining walls within five feet of the interior property line.
- Reduction of the required minimum 40% ungraded open space on a lot with an average current slope greater than 30%; the project proposes 31.8% ungraded open space.
- Increase the maximum allowed floor area ratio (FAR) to 0.42 on a lot with an average current slope greater than 40%, where 0.3 is the maximum.
- The minimum lot size for purposes of constructing a new dwelling unit on lots divided prior to June 26, 1986 is seven thousand five hundred (7,500) square feet (GMC 30.11.030 and GMC 30.11.060).
- Building and structures permitted after May 2, 1991, shall be setback a minimum of 10 feet from the interior property line (GMC 30.11.030 Table 30.11-B), and retaining walls within five feet of the interior property line must be under three feet high.
- A minimum of forty (40) percent of the site area in the R1R zones shall be ungraded open space for any lot exceeding an average current slope of thirty (30) percent (GMC 30.11.040 F).
- The maximum floor area ratio shall be 0.30 for the first 10,000 sq. ft. of lot area on a lot with an average current
Staff believes the required findings of fact for Variances to construct a new 2,764 SF, three-story house has not been demonstrated, and therefore, recommends the Planning Hearing Officer deny the following variances requesting to:
- Reduce the required interior setback to zero along the north side of the property where a minimum 10-foot interior setback is required (for the building and retaining walls greater than three feet high); and
- Reduce ungraded open space to 31.8 percent where a minimum 40 percent ungraded open space is required on a lot with an average current slope greater than 30 percent; and
- Increase the total floor area ratio (FAR) to 0.42 where the maximum allowed is 0.30 on a lot with an average current slope greater than 40 percent.