City Staff Peddles Ideas About Bike Lanes

As the city continues to improve alternative transportation methods in West Glendale, other large-scale projects are getting underway.

Glendale aims to collect public input on a pair of proposed protected bike lanes that would be installed along Glenoaks Boulevard, along with connecting paths on Western and Grandview avenues. Ideally, the city would like to complete the Glenoaks modification in conjunction with a dedicated bus rapid transit lane along the boulevard.

At present, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to use the Glenoaks lanes abutting the center grass median as a dedicated BRT route that will ultimately bridge a North Hollywood-Pasadena City College route.

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City’s Dilemma: Who Should Manage Landmark?

The Glendale City Council seems poised to move in a different direction on Tuesday regarding the management of the Alex Theatre, unless it does an about-face on the sole agenda item for a special meeting that afternoon.

For now, the action recommended by the municipal staff is for the council to terminate exclusive negotiations with Glendale Arts, which has managed and operated the venue since 2008, and engage a different operator in a contract. Although the city and Glendale Arts have been in negotiations since April, the council itself earlier this month decided that talks had stalled, hence the possible change.

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Hotel’s Vouchers for Homeless Would Continue Under Proposal

The City Council seems poised to enact an urgency ordinance on Tuesday to essentially enter into a contract with a local hotel developer that would involve committing the operation to temporary homeless housing vouchers.

Under the general terms of the proposed ordinance, which was discussed this past Tuesday, the Vagabond Inn on West Colorado Street would continue to accept vouchers for the homeless tenants through the remainder of the year and would consider six-month renewals after that until the site is demolished. In exchange, developer Vista Investments LLC, which owns the inn, will be granted a contractual development agreement with the city that allows Vista additional time to complete the approved project with its variances. The Glendale Youth Alliance would administer the voucher program, with assistance from the city, and hotel stays would be capped at 28 days per client.

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City Strives to Attract Landlords to Section 8 Program

City housing officials plan to roll out a series of incentive grants meant to draw more residential landlords into the federal Section 8 program as it affects Glendale, with help from a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Additionally, the Glendale Housing Division will employ a portion of the funds to design and implement an online portal for those in the program to use, with the goal of improving service rendered to the landlords and their tenants. The initiatives were prepared after the city received $384,357 in a second round of HUD funding stemming from the CARES Act.
The Glendale City Council approved the measures during a meeting with the city’s Housing Authority on Tuesday. The four grants are designed to either spur new landlords to enter into Section 8 contracts, return to the program — aimed at serving lower-income renters — after past participation or reward their continuing participation.

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Assembly Candidates Stick to Point at Forum

In contrast to some of the larger-scale debates voters have recently seen, this week’s forum featuring District 43 Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and challenger Mike Graves harked back to the wholesome, issue-focused sessions of yore.
The forum, among many hosted recently by the League of Women Voters of Glendale/ Burbank, provided a virtual window to the district’s voters. They will decide in November on all levels of leadership to continue moving the nation through the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic, cultural upheavals with regard to enforcement and emergency services and the gloomy reality of environmental damage. Candidates at the forum spoke from the comfort of their homes, using Zoom to “meet” with their moderator and be broadcast throughout the area.

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City Council Deems Bike Trail Proposal Worth Studying

The proposed Verdugo Wash bike trail and linear park are a step closer to reality after the Glendale City Council this week showed enthusiasm for the idea and approved opening a bidding process for a design firm to help determine its feasibility.
This year’s budget allocates $250,000 in Measure S sales tax money to fund the visioning study, which will solicit input about the proposal from community members and identify cost estimates and potential issues to navigate. The trail would begin in Crescenta Highlands and follow the natural Verdugo Wash along 17 other Glendale neighborhoods all the way to where it meets the Los Angeles River, which itself has a bike and pedestrian trail.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to connect to several neighborhoods, several communities and offer another mode of transportation,” said Bradley Calvert, assistant director of community development, at Tuesday’s council meeting.

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City Council Extends Moratorium on Rent Hikes, Resident Evictions

The city’s moratorium on eviction for residential tenants, as well as its freeze on residential rent hikes, was extended a month by unanimous vote at this week’s City Council meeting.
The City Council also renewed its broad requirement that people wear face coverings while out in public, and allowed its moratorium on commercial evictions to expire. Those officials expect to revisit the three ongoing policies again before they’re scheduled to sunset, as it customarily has done since implementing the pandemic-related responses.
However, Councilman Ardy Kassakhian warned that the city will face “a serious reckoning” in the near future if no solution is uncovered to meet the financial needs of those landlords who have missed out on months of their income.
“It cannot continue indefinitely,” Kassakhian said, suggesting that city officials bridge meetings between tenants and landlords groups. “I don’t know what the county is going to do. I can’t predict it. But I can only imagine what would happen if this situation continued.” Continue reading “City Council Extends Moratorium on Rent Hikes, Resident Evictions”

City Plots Course to Help Residents, Businesses Recover

When the Glendale City Council starts to truly grind out its 2020-21 budget next month, it will draw out what could be a wide-reaching recovery program for residents and businesses whose livelihoods have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body decided at its final budget study session on Tuesday morning to use $6.25 million as a starting point for renter and homeowner assistance and $3.65 million for commercial recovery when it meets on June 2 for formal budget talks. From there, the council will determine how much will be allocated where, and how the funds will be administered.
“That’ll be a longer discussion,” Councilman Ara Najarian said at the study session. “’Do we combine it all [into one program]? Do we split it all into categories?’ As long as we’ve got the chunk of money reserved for budget purposes this coming month, we can work on the details later.”
Philip Lanzafame, director of community development, outlined the proposed programs as part of the discussion of the upcoming fiscal year’s Measure S projects, so named for the voter-approved tax to fund essential services and quality of life improvements for residents. It is projected to generate around $20 million for the year.
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Adjemian Takes Over As City Clerk

Aram Adjemian

At the special meeting, the Glendale City Council appointed Aram Adjemian, records administration analyst, to the city clerk position, filling the vacancy created on March 31. He will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term of former City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian and until his successor is elected at the general municipal election in 2022.
Adjemian has been an employee of the city of Glendale for 19 years and has worked in the City Clerks’ Department for six years. During his tenure, he has overseen the City Clerks’ Office, the budget, public records and records management, council meetings, and agendas, and has assisted with various election operations. Prior to his position in the Continue reading “Adjemian Takes Over As City Clerk”