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Official says more transit needed

June 18, 2005

Fred Ortega

A proposed transportation corridor through Glendale linking the

Pasadena Gold Line and North Hollywood Red Line is a key component of

the long-term urban planning goals of the Arroyo-Verdugo region, a

Glendale transportation official said Tuesday.

The comments came during a meeting of more than 50 representatives

from Glendale, Burbank and La Canada Flintridge, who gathered at


Glendale's Municipal Services Building to discuss mixed-use

development, housing, transportation and open space planning over the

next 30 years.

Those in attendance included council members and city staffers, as

well as consultants with major urban planning firms throughout the


The input received during the meeting will be forwarded to the

Southern California Assn. of Governments, which will assist the

cities in their long-term planning efforts by lobbying county, state

and federal agencies.

One of the main recommendations reached during the meeting was for

cities to encourage higher-density, residential development in

existing downtown zones and major thoroughfares, grouped around

public transportation hubs.

"Our city staffs and consultants have led us to the conclusion

that growth is here, we can't stick our heads in the sand, and we

better plan for it," said La Canada Flintridge Councilwoman Laura

Olhasso, who headed the steering committee that organized Tuesday's


She pointed to the fact that the Arroyo-Verdugo region, which

includes the three foothill cities, is expected to gain 50,000 new

residents, 63,000 new jobs and 23,300 new homes by 2030.

Glendale is well on its way to meeting the long-term goals of

diversifying and increasing residential development in its downtown,

said Elaine Wilkerson, the city's director of planning.

"We are in the middle of our general-plan and zoning reviews,"

Wilkerson said, pointing to the downtown-specific plan, which would

encourage residential development in the city's central business

district, and the planned Americana at Brand mixed-use development as

examples of the city's efforts.

"This will be very good for downtown and for the people who live

in the city," she said. "People need choices, such as affordable

housing, and residential development downtown can provide those


But creating centralized urban residential zones without a link to

regionwide transportation systems does not make sense, Glendale's

traffic and transportation administrator Jano Baghdanian said.

"If you have residential development close to the main rail

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