Please Help — Once Again

URGENT 

They are back after a delay.  Canyon Development Alert!  3rd Strike?!!! 

The new Design Review hearing for 910 Laird will be held this Thursday the 14th at the MUNICIPAL SERVICES BUILDING – 633 E. Broadway, Room 105  And all are welcome!

If you can’t make this meeting and have not already sent an email. please send your thoughts on this project to:   kduarte@glendaleca.gov 

Three 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.

Two years later the developer came back, proposing a home ON THE EXACT SAME SPOT as was previously vetoed.  The Design Review Board again said NO to this development.  They suggested a small house at the bottom of the hill next to Laird Street would be acceptable, and the neighbors agreed.  Massing a huge house up on the hillside was an eyesore that violated the spirit of the Hillside ordinance.

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And now the same developer is back with this for ROUND 3!  This third proposal drafted by architect number 3 moves the building site about 80 ft. west and lowers the height a few feet but, it’s still a massive structure almost twice size the neighborhood average, and it still towers over surrounding homes and encroaches upon a pristine hillside.   It’s still not the smaller home at the bottom the hill recommended by the DRB at last years hearing, nor the surrounding neighbors had agreed to.

At 5:00 pm this Thursday, December the 14th, 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 3 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. :  PDR1709694
Case Planner: Kathy Duarte
Hearing: Thursday, December the 14th, 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

October 24, 2017

VIA EMAIL

Kathy Duarte

Planning Division

Community Development Department

Re: Objection to 910 Laird Drive development plans PDR1709694

Ms. Duarte,

The current plans submitted by the applicant have made progress toward incorporating changes recommended in previous visits to the Planning Commission and DRB, but these changes have not been significant enough to extinguish objections by the Chevy Chase Estates Association.

Besides expressing our dismay over the applicant’s apparent disregard for the spirit of the Hillside Design Guidelines, the CCEA’s primary objections to this project can be distilled into five issues:

  1. Potentially dangerous topographic alterations – Unpermitted grading by the applicant with heavy earthmoving equipment on a hillside designated as a landslide hazard zone is in itself cause for alarm. That the applicant was cited and ordered to restore the topography and never held accountable for failing to do so, calls into question the city’s fiduciary obligations.  Flow control through this site during previous rainstorms was shown to be deficient and will likely be exacerbated the next time because of unknowledgeable landform alteration and increased impermeability from an excessively large structure.
  2. Inappropriate site – The CCEA strongly advocates for preservation of the natural beauty of the hillsides wherever possible. We object to the proposed site because it runs counter to the city’s Comprehensive Design Guidelines, which state a new development should, “…relate well to its surrounding context…,” and “…enhance the beauty, livability and prosperity of the community.”  Interrupting the wooded hillside with an oversize home that will be clearly visible from many points in the canyon is not consistent with this design goal.  Mistakes have been made in the past when less stringent guidelines were in place, with the beauty of the hillsides suffering as a result.
  3. Incompatible mass and scale – A large home higher on a hill than is necessary does not conform well to the design goal of compatibility with the surrounding context. There is a degree of monumentality associated with this three-story design that is out of step with neighboring homes.
  4. Compromised Neighbor privacy – The proposed height on the hill and the proximity to neighboring homes will naturally compromise neighbor privacy. Precedent discussions regarding the development at 1410 Colina Drive, on a milder slope than the present project, can be instructive when considering privacy concerns as available sightlines increase.
  5. Bad precedent – The city has gone to great lengths and considerable expense to preserve the wooded hillsides in Glendale, with residents and prospective residents alike finding high value in areas such as Chevy Chase Canyon. This particular home, as presently proposed, does not fit within the context of hillside preservation and, if approved, will serve as bad precedent that will inform other developers holding hillside lots that fit the description of the one at 910 Laird Drive.  A home on a hill behind another that affects the privacy of neighbors, is not compatible with the area and inconsistent with the expectations of those who have purchased neighboring homes.

It’s worth mentioning that a plan lower on the hill closer to Laird, proposed by the previous architect, satisfied both applicant and neighbors.  But further efforts on this plan were abandoned because the city arborist declared the new project’s incursion on one tree’s dripline to be unacceptable.  In this case, it seems the greater good would be best served by choosing preservation of the wooded hillside over possible interference with one tree.

Respectfully submitted,

Brian Duran

President

Chevy Chase Estates Association


Comments

Please Help — Once Again — 4 Comments

  1. If the Design Review Board already denied this project 2 times before and provided the parameters for this lot potential development, the same developer proposes a larger home project ignoring the guidelines provided by the City.
    It is difficult for me to understand why this new filling was even accepted by the City for the development of this lot.
    We oppose this project, because as submitted, it downgrades the pristine surroundings by encroaching into the foothills.
    This project will be en eye sore if approved. We strongly request for its construction permit denial.

  2. Kathy….ditto to Brian Duran comments. IN brief should not be built on the hillside as is the Hillside Ordinance states, ie. degree, etc. Am an 80 yr old resident of Glendale and have lived in Chevy Chase for past 47 years enough is enough. Thank you.
    Jack Daly

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