Glendale City Council Trying to Give Free Reign to Developers.
On Sept. 20, at 6 pm. Council will vote on a staff recommendation that would allow developers to select and directly hire the Environmental Impact Review consultant for projects in all commercial, multi-use, and industrial areas in Glendale (currently they only select the consultant in certain redevelopment areas). This move would extend the developers’ power further in areas like Adams Square, Kenneth Village, Montrose Shopping Park, downtown Glendale or north of Glenoaks on Brand Boulevard—basically any place that is not zoned purely residential (where few if any EIRs are ever required).
The purpose of an EIR is to protect the public interest by analyzing the impacts of a project on parking, traffic, noise, and natural and historic resources, etc. There is an inherent conflict of interest when developers are allowed to select their own consultant to review potential impacts that EIRs are designed to analyze with objectivity and transparency.
It should be also noted that this may a be a preemptive move that city council is adopting to further facilitate the development of the ALOFT hotel on the corner of Brand and Dryden and appease its the politically well connected developer. As some may be aware, The Jewel City Citizens Group had filed a lawsuit against the city and the developer requiring a full EIR report for the ALOFT hotel which is north of Glenoaks on Brand Blvd.
Suspicion is high that Council members Vartan Gharpetian, Ara Najarian, Zareh Sinanyan will vote to approve this “staff recommendation”. These type of “staff recommendation” do not develop out of no where and these particular members were the champions for the ALOFT development and the extension of the downtown specific plan north of Glenoaks. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen-house.
The Coalition urges all citizens to attend the September 20th 6:00PM city council meeting and let council members know that you care about the city and are not interested in laying the red carpet to developers to line their pockets at the expense of the quality of life of Glendale citizens.