DRB Shoots Down 910 Laird Project

The Glendale Design Review Board has voted on the 910 Laird project!

Thanks to all who have supported our efforts to challenge this project.  Once again we prevailed.  

Canyon Development Alert!  One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.

Once again the project at 910 Laird will be up for review by the Design Review Board this Thursday the 10th of January 2019, 5 PM, at the MUNICIPAL SERVICES BUILDING – 633 E. Broadway, Room 105  And all are welcome!

If you can’t make this hearing please send your thoughts on this project to:   kduarte@glendaleca.gov 

FIVE YEARS!  Concerned neighbors and the CCEA have been raising objections to a developer’s proposals to build at 910 Laird for the last FIVE years.  You can read the brief history here.

The developer is back.  It’s claimed to be a redesign again but this time ignoring previous conditions set by the DRB. See the CCEA objection below.

One step forward, two steps back.  It appears that in the latest plans under consideration for 910 Laird Drive the applicant has tossed aside the conditions set at the DRB hearing of December 14, 2017.  Those conditions were in part:

1. Relocate the garage to a lower elevation on the slope (finish floor level of approximately 770-775′) and with the garage door openings on axis with the driveway extending uphill from Laird Drive.

On the DRB hearing of April 12, 2018, the garage was indeed moved to a lower elevation with the finish floor level of 773′ with the garage door opening on axis with the driveway extending uphill from Laird Drive.

But now it is as if the DRB hearing of December 12, 2017, never happened as once again the driveway has been extended back up behind the neighbors’ upstairs bedroom and the height has increased to 778.  It no longer faces Laird.  In addition, breaching the neighbors’ privacy and tranquility, upon leaving the garage the driveway will be difficult to navigate requiring one to back down a steep hill and make a sharp turn in reverse.

2. Relocate the house to be lower on the slope in order to reduce its prominence and sense of mass on the hillside. Redesign the project accordingly to address the topography and specific conditions of the new location.

Again at the April 2018 DRB the house had been lowered a little.  The family room, kitchen and dining area were lowered 5 feet (790’6″ to 784.00′); the front entry was lowered about 4 feet (785’6″ to 781. 00′); the living room was lowered about 3 feet (785.00′ to 782.00′). The highest elevation point was lowered 8 feet (813.00′ to 805.00′)

The plans submitted now once again void the conditions set forth on December 2017 as the house has been raised 4 ft and pushed up the hill and sited northeast about 10 ft. The house still is about 50% larger than the average home in the neighborhood.

The Planning Commission and the Design Review Board’s repeated admonishments and directions to the Applicant to remedy questionable siting and other mass and scale issues have been met with a spacious, minimally compliant response.  This Applicant has never demonstrated a sincere desire to maintain neighborhood compatibility by conforming to the codes that govern hillside projects and should, therefore, be prevented, once again, the opportunity to build a house in the wrong place and in a way that endangers neighbors, violates their privacy and degrades the forested environment of Chevy Chase Canyon.

The Chevy Chase Estates Association has continuously supported the Applicant’s right to develop the property at 910 Laird Drive, but the Applicant has repeatedly demonstrated his disdain for and rejection of the rules and regulations governing the development process. His irresponsible actions have led to a project that again does not conform to the spirit and intent of the Hillside Design Guidelines, leading the CCEA to continue its opposition and to call upon the Design Review Board to again reject the plans as submitted.

Bad Faith, a Picture Tells a Thousand Words.

For many years the DRB has admonished the developer to clean up the sandbags he placed on his lot to mitigate his illegal grading.  Several months back the developer met with the concerned neighbors impacted by his plans.  He looked them square in their eyes and promised to finally clean up they decaying sandbags within one week.  Photos snapped yesterday evidence bad faith.

At 5:00 pm this Thursday, January the 10th, 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 5  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. :  PDR1709694-C (staff report here)
Case Planner: Kathy Duarte
Hearing: Thursday, April the 12th, 5:00 pm – 633 East Broadway, Room 105

Send emails objecting to this project to:  kduarte@glendaleca.gov

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

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