Laird Project Again – Let Your Voice Be Heard

Update – Project sent back to the drawing board once again!  

The CCEA and concerned neighbors prevailed.  The Design Review Board voted to send the Laird Street project back for another redesign.  Thanks to all who wrote emails and attended the meeting.

Canyon Development Alert!  

Once again the project at 910 Laird will be held this 5 pm Thursday the 12th, 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 

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

Three months after the Design Review Board gave a thumbs-down sending their latest proposal back for a redesign because the structures placement up on the hill, and its general design were not compatible with Glendale’s Hillside Ordinance, the developer is back.  It’s claimed to be a redesign.

The garages have been moved to the center of the building, and the structure has been sunk into the hill 8 feet and moved west 5 feet.  Other than that it is pretty much the same house.  Needless to say, the CCEA and concerned neighbors are not pleased with these superficial changes.

This new submittal has raised alarms with Neighbors and the CCEA because it leaves intact an illegally graded driveway that traverses the lot, a drive that could potentially provide access to more development.  Had the redesign been a true makeover, and the house sited down the hillside as was suggested, it would have effectively blocked the illegal driveway.  But the house site wasn’t moved and the illegal driveway was saved.

At 5:00 pm this Thursday, April the 12h, 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 4  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  (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.

READ THE CHEVY CHASE ESTATES ASSOCIATION’S FORMAL OBJECTION BELOW

April 10, 2018

VIA EMAIL

Kathy Duarte

Planning Division

Community Development Department

Re: CCEA Opposition to 910 Laird Drive development plans PDR1403541

Ms. Duarte,

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.

The Applicant’s extensive, unpermitted grading has allowed him to effectively expropriate the natural hillside for his own purposes, without the benefit of regulatory controls that preserve the natural terrain and maintain safety in the environment.  This attempt to bypass or subvert regulatory controls by fait accompli should not be tolerated because we now have slopes that previously did not exist, a significant cut for a driveway that shouldn’t be there, and many cubic yards irresponsibly dumped on city and neighbor property.  Public Works should enforce the citation issued to the Applicant and cause the topography to be restored so proper assessment and development of the site can proceed.

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 specious, 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.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian Duran


Comments

Laird Project Again – Let Your Voice Be Heard — 2 Comments

  1. I wrote to Ms. Duarte about the necessity of preserving wildlife areas and keeping these persistent projects out of Glendale for the sake of residents and wild animals.

  2. I sent this to Kathy Duarte, she wrote back saying she would pass it along.

    “This is the thing – Everything is being run over. All we have to do is look around the next corner to see that open spaces are getting rarer, and in the Southern California they are being gobbled up for development. Once open spaces are gone – they’re gone for good! We are the stewards of this earth, and if we don’t all do our part, whatever capacity it is – we are failing. Failing now, and more importantly – for the future. This owner and their designer had every opportunity to change this design to what YOU asked for according to the hillside ordinances in place specifically to prevent projects like this. But as we can see – that is not the case. And the reason for this is – greed. They have gone ahead, regardless of the rules, worked the property without permit, and the illegal drive is in place for the future development potential. I’m sure they feel that if they can just wear down the Design Review Board – then they’re golden!

    We the concerned are interested, and involved, and paying attention. We have seen many a project that was finally approved that should not have been – spotting our hillsides, towering over little craftsman homes, decimating block after block of our once neat and historic downtown – essentially ruined, while other cities are restoring their old town areas and capitalizing on their historic buildings instead. Curse missed opportunities, right? Well these opportunities to uphold standards with a keen eye on the future keep coming.

    If not for people who know when to take a stance in life, often irreversible things happen, and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. I am here today to do what small part I can, in hopes that collectively, we will all be able to convince you of the pivotal type of decision this is. Please help us. Help that only you can provide in order to be truly progressive so Glendale can preserve itself in some manner – a benchmark showing you aren’t going to be sideswiped by those who don’t care about open space, neighbors, city rules and regulations. These opportunities arise and we must see it through. It is vital to our lives and our wellbeing. It’s too bad this was ever even sold as a buildable lot. Please tell them to respect your decision and make the requested changes. We don’t want a bad, self-serving neighbor in the canyon. Period.”

    Thank you.
    Kathy Wallace
    Chevy Chase Canyon resident for 28 years

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