In regard to the Burbank Leader article "Council shuts down plan appeal," of Thursday, I have these comments.
The hillside development process of single-family residences is very familiar to me as I have been involved both in government and in private practice as a geotechnical consultant for more that 30 years. I have no problem assessing the suitability, feasibility, safety and the compatibility of hillside residential developments as a professional, hillside property owner and as a homeowner advocate. I evaluate a hillside development situation from a balanced perspective in which equal consideration is given to the economic interests, the environmental aspects and to its social equity. Past and existing legislation, codes, practices and due process is very important as well. Glendale has hundreds of council-approved small and steep ungraded site lots that were created by the subdivision process before the 1993 hillside ordinance. The principal purpose of this ordinance was to discourage "mansionization" in our hillsides, not to discourage reasonably sized and designed,neighborhood- compatible houses. Many of these infill lots are located immediately adjacent to existing residences within older subdivisions that already have paved streets, sewer lines, gas and all other utilities in place (infrastructure). County taxes are collected on these vacant lots from their owners. These owners deserve to be allowed to exercise their legal rights to proceed through the existing city application process that results in the evaluation of their entitlements and options available to ultimately obtain a building permit. This public process is important because it allows opponents and the proponents to fully present their case to a neutral elected body that represents the entire city of Glendale and allows a determination of what is best for all of Glendale.