ASK THE CANDIDATES
Q2 of 6:
What do you see as the most pressing historic preservation issue in Glendale today?
(Candidate name with asterisk indicates TGHS member.)
The most pressing issue is finding a balance between modern and historical buildings in Glendale. Mismatched designs have left Glendale without a cohesive look in many areas. You often find charming craftsman homes situated between bulky plain apartment buildings, which throw off the look and feel of the street. We must encourage new developments and renovation projects to tie into the underlying themes of the historical structures on their street.
A couple come to mind. Our City’s Design Review Board is an important tool for our community in preserving the integrity of our neighborhoods, and any ordinance or state law that reduces the ability of the DRB to do its job is of great concern. The nature of how we grow and develop Glendale is a companion concern, because the desire to build more where there is scarcity of land puts pressure on property owners to tear down structures and cram more building into a lot, which naturally threatens our gorgeous historic structures.
The failure by the City to impose rigorous design and compatibility regulations, designed to minimize the impact of new construction and, as well, remodels to existing buildings – especially in residential neighborhoods. These regulations would, if enacted, take into account not only scale and bulk issues (mansionization) associated with any proposed new construction or remodeling work, but also consider whether the proposed design is compatible/consistent with the designs of existing homes, some in existence for over a hundred years, that have graced our neighborhoods and helped to define the character of these neighborhoods.
The lack of a comprehensive City-wide historic resource study is the most pressing historic preservation issue. Without a full understanding of the existing historic resources, we are unable to preserve our historic character. The completion of the South Glendale Community Plan with its Historic component is the first effort since the 2007 Craftsman Survey to record our historic architectural heritage. TGHS and our neighborhoods are addressing projects on an individual basis far too often. I want to include a Historic Survey in every Community Plan, develop procedures that clearly identify potential historic resources and an established review process to determine the historic character and integrity. As an example, I support the City of Monrovia’s process where all dwellings constructed prior to 1945 are required to go before the Historic Preservation Commission before a developer can proceed with purchase and plans for demolition.
Rockhaven Sanitarium is the most pressing historical preservation issue in Glendale today since the city wants to sell this site to a developer along with selling our civic auditorium to the college.
The most pressing historic preservation issue today is the inconsistency in expert opinions on any one property relating to its historic significance. More and more on Council, I am faced with divergent and opposing opinions from historic preservation experts as to the status of a home, or in some cases a commercial building. This makes the job of making the final decision of approving or denying a project extremely difficult. I believe the city should create a short list of historic preservation experts whose opinions will be highly credible, if not outright determinative of the historic status of a structure.
The most pressing historic preservation issue in Glendale today is reconciling the need for historic preservation with the demands of modern lifestyle, rights of the property owners and passage of time.
The need for housing. I am a renter and my campaign is one primarily focused on establishing rent stabilization ordinances so that I and working class people like me can stay living in Glendale. The answer to the need for more housing decided upon by the recent city councils is the giant swath of luxury developments, which drive up local rent while providing no benefit to the residents whatsoever. We need to be very careful to guide the decisions of homeowners and property owners to respect the value of historical preservation and the character of our neighborhoods while we emphasize the construction of affordable- and market-rate multifamily housing on lots without this historic quality.
The most pressing historic preservation issue in Glendale at the moment is development pressure, and the related drive to demolish existing structures in order to build larger, new structures in their place. As challenging as this is, it is good to remember that it was precisely this scenario which led some local heroes to rescue the Doctors House and was the genesis for The Glendale Historical Society as we know it today. The Society’s advocacy and education efforts, along with good City leadership can still have a tremendous impact in saving our historic structures.