Q4 of 6:
California recently passed a law requiring all local governments to allow the creation of second units (or "mother-in-law apartments") in all single-family residential neighborhoods without design review or opportunity for public comment. Do you think this poses a threat to the quality of Glendale's older, established neighborhoods? If so, what would you propose doing about it?

(Candidate name with asterisk indicates TGHS member.)

Vrej Agajanian

Reasonable limits should include that the addition of second units keeps the square footage of all structures on the lot below 50% of the whole lot, and does not impose upon the privacy of neighboring properties. Quality building standards should also be adhered to as to not pose a future safety hazard to nearby residents. (Please see #6).


Dead on arrival. This is my attitude to that law. It is unfortunate that it was passed, but I will be a strong advocate against it, whether that means petitioning our state representatives or supporting community and organizational efforts, like yours, in pushing back. We can explore ordinances here in Glendale that take steps to mitigate the effects of this state law as much as possible. This is Glendale, and policy for the state should not be one-size-fits-all.


Yes, for all practical purposes, with this legislation, the State has done away with the R-1 zone in California.   As an immediate response, the City should extend the term of its interim ordinance.  It should then go further and enact the strictest enabling regulation with respect to ADU construction permitted by the State statute.  This would include declaring that the parking waiver provided in the SB 1069 (no requirement for any additional parking for an ADU that is located within a half mile of public transit) is not applicable in most parts of Glendale, because of the absence of “public transit” facilities in most of our neighborhoods.  The City should then join with the League of California Cities in an action plan to amend the State Statute or contest it in court.

No Response.

Grant Michals

If carried to the extent of allowed by the state, the single-family neighborhoods could become duplex neighborhoods forever changing the character of our historic neighborhoods and every neighborhood. This is an urgent matter that has significant potential to adversely impact Glendale’s historic resources and neighborhoods. I represented the GHCC speaking on the issue before Council advocating for the adoption of the interim ordinance and further outreach to develop a permanent ordinance. City Staff is to be complimented on the interim ordinance as is TGHS for first recognizing the significance of this issue. I support the specific terms of the interim ordinance to achieve the goal of mitigating the worst impacts of the State Law. I support regulations in the final ordinance that would meet the goal of establishing ADUs as a modest expansion of a single-family home not the creation of a rental or investment property.


Yes, this will certainly create a threat to the quality of Glendale's older, established neighborhoods. We need to accept the least amount of sq. footage , especially in single family dwellings, (most stringent rules as per the original staff report) and allow maximum of 500 sq. ft. Also, ensure that the owner must live on the premises which would create less quality of life issues. Make certain setback does not intrude on neighbors' property. And, lastly, I am a Glendale Historical Society member.

The ADU law is the single greatest threat to the quality of life for Glendale's neighborhoods, ever! The law is flawed, and wrests local control of communities from the city council. I proposed fighting this law and challenging it in court, but the city attorney warned me that the unintended consequences could be even worse than a modest local ADU ordinance. I am requiring parking for ADUs, including them in the FAR calculations, excluding them entirely from historic districts, and preventing any front yard units.

If we do not regulate the ADUs, they carry the risk of turning our single family home neighborhoods into duplex complexes. This, I believe, is contrary to the wishes of the residents who bought homes in these with the clear intent of living in single-family neighborhoods. I would not want this to happen to my neighborhood, and therefore to anyone else’s. Therefore, while complying with State mandates, we must regulate ADUs to ensure that our neighborhoods are not drastically altered as a result of their proliferation. Also, I will work with our legislators to make sure that the existing legislation is modified to ensure that local authorities have the ability to have sufficient jurisdiction over its own planning/architectural issues.

The city was allowed a ‘ministerial’ amount of oversight into the approval of these units, and limiting them to 500 square feet was certainly the right option. We can’t stop people from building them, but we can limit their impact via the FAR and square foot limitations. I think the state believed that it was spurring the construction of affordable housing with this new law. People should be allowed to build these units – tastefully, I especially don’t like that there’s no design review – and I think that if someone were to build one it would likely be for the benefit of their immediate family (their mother, or their adult son, etc.) in an increasingly difficult housing market. Some might consider it a way to increase the return on their land investment, and the best way to mitigate that is to provide enough affordable housing elsewhere to lower demand.

I think that the requirement to allow development of “accessory dwelling units” (ADUs) poses several threats to the quality of our older, established neighborhoods, and that it will do little or nothing to solve our affordable housing shortage. First, I would support retaining the restrictions in the emergency ordinance in Glendale’s permanent ordinance governing these units. Second, I would add a requirement to the permanent ordinance that all structures in historic districts be held to the standards in the emergency ordinance for contributing structures in historic districts. Finally I would call for more outreach to Glendale property owners to educate them about the reasons why this requirement is unlikely to fulfill the state’s objectives.