LCF Again Voices Concerns Over Proposed Glendale Construction

proposed senior living/medical facility and parking garage
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
A proposed senior living/medical facility and parking garage on Glendale’s border with La Cañada Flintridge has drawn local criticism. A meeting about the project, which is located directly across from USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, is set for next week in Glendale.

A proposed three-story senior residential and medical facility and three-level parking garage near La Cañada Flintridge that has drawn criticism from some neighbors and city staff members will be the topic of an Aug. 8 meeting in Glendale.
The property, located at 1809 Verdugo Blvd. in Glendale, would feature a new 35,000-square-foot congregate living/medical facility and a new 36,780-square-foot parking garage, according to a Glendale environmental review statement about the project.
Susan Koleda, LCF director of community development, said in an email on Monday that the city had sent Glendale officials questions about the project when it was publicly announced in November.
“The city of La Cañada Flintridge is concerned with noise impacts from the project’s construction on La Cañada Flintridge residents,” the letter said. It also stated that “parking impacts could occur on La Cañada Flintridge streets during construction. Potential impacts may be associated with … construction employees and construction trucks (material delivery or dirt export) waiting to enter the site.”
Koleda later said the city had sent Glendale a new letter saying LCF “remains extremely concerned over potential impacts associated with air quality, noise and traffic and how those impacts may negatively impact residents.” That letter also said the city staff “will closely monitor future construction activities” to ensure that mitigation measures “are implemented to the fullest extent.”
The proposed project is across the street from USC Verdugo Hills Hospital; the Aug. 8 meeting will involve the city’s Design Review Board.
The property abuts LCF, and four LCF homes across La Tour Way from the property could be affected.
The listed owners of the land, the Ahn family, did not return phone messages left with an assistant.
The Glendale Community Development Department made a negative declaration for the project, meaning the proposal would not have significant environmental impacts.
“We’re just worried about how this disruption will be for our patients,” said Marie Poore, who owns a unit in the adjacent Plaza Verdugo Medical Center, where she conducts a therapy practice. “We have a lot of elderly clients. We have a lot of children. We have people who are not well. I can’t imagine how that would be with a truck rolling down the street or jackhammering the parking lot … how that can affect the building for surgery.”
Poore has a copy of a 1983 covenants, conditions and restrictions document for Plaza Verdugo that she said prevents the proposed facility from opening.
“We have the CC&R that states any new property needed to be built within 10 years of the existing building,” Poore said. “That would have run out in 1993. The building was built in 1983. That’s long since run out.”
Glendale case planner Dennis Joe said on Tuesday afternoon that his city does not enforce covenants, conditions and restrictions.
Dorothy Beeve, an owner of a vision care facility in Plaza Verdugo, opposes the project and plans to be at the meeting.
The area around the construction will be “so congested with traffic, and they’re talking about approximately 870 truckloads of dirt that has to be removed,” Beeve said. “Nobody’s going to be able to work there. There’s tech equipment that will shake” when the construction starts. “It’s a horrible project.”
Gary Zentmyer, whose firm Zentmyer Properties owns the United Artists movie theater complex nearby, said he first heard of the proposed project through Poore.
“It sounds like a major headache for the existing tenants, and we have not agreed to lease any of our parking lot during construction, if that is their plan,” Zentmyer said in an email. “And while I generally favor new development, the issue with the CC&Rs may well doom the project.”
According to the project’s environmental review on the Glendale website, the project is dubbed La Cañada Assisted Living and will be constructed in three phases over 8 ½ months.
Approximately 8,000 cubic yards of soil would be exported from the site during the second phase, in which portions of the parking lot behind the existing 35,980-square-foot medical office building would be demolished to make way for the parking structure. During the third phase, the remaining portions of the parking lot at the western portion of the project site would be demolished and the proposed medical facility with a 32-space garage would be built.
Based on the cubic yardage estimate, there would be a total of 882 truck trips for the second and third phases of the project. The maximum number of haul trips per eight-hour work day is anticipated to be 33, according to the website.
Poore said she had helped start a petition at the medical office building that now has more than 780 names of project opponents.
Joe said eight letters — including LCF’s — about the environmental document had been received, as was the separate petition with 66 pages of names to stop the project.
“I am not really focusing on the quantity … but it is a lot of sheets,” Joe said, adding the petition and letters will be given to the board.
He said the first application for the project was filed in October 2017 after “going back and forth” with the applicant, listed as Stuart Ahn. The first scheduled meeting was on Dec. 13, 2018, but the project was taken off the calendar and recirculated because of comments that included LCF’s letter.
If, as scheduled, the proposed project comes before the city’s Design Review Board and the panel make a decision to approve or deny, there is a 15-day appeal period, Joe said.
The meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8, at 5 p.m. in Room 105 of the Municipal Services Building, 633 E. Broadway, Glendale.
For more information, contact Joe at djoe@glendaleca.gov or (818) 937-8157.

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