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