ASK THE CANDIDATES
PERSPECTIVES ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION:
RESPONSES FROM CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES
On Apr. 4, 2017, ten candidates are running for three seats on the Glendale City Council. The following candidates have qualified for the election: Vrej Agajanian, Richard Dinger, Mark MacCarley, Onnik A. Mehrabian, Grant Michals, Mike Mohill*, Ara James Najarian (Incumbent), Zareh John Sinanyan (Incumbent), Michael Joseph Van Gorder, and Susan T. Wolfson*. (Candidate name with asterisk indicates TGHS member.)
As a non-profit organization, TGHS cannot endorse candidates but can provide information to voters to help them make an informed decision. TGHS reached out to all the candidates asking their positions on important historic preservation issues affecting Glendale. Eight of the ten candidates responded to our questions by the deadline, and one provided responses afterwards. All of the responses we received are provided below.
What is your favorite historic building in Glendale and why?
What do you see as the most pressing historic preservation issue in Glendale today?
In 2016, at least 26 Craftsman houses were demolished, approved for demolition, or proposed for demolition, the vast majority in South Glendale. This number is up from 10 demolitions in 2015, and only a few annually in the seven previous years. Do you think development is impinging too much on our historic fabric? If so, what do you propose to do about it?
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?
On September 13, 2016, staff proposed that Council consider increasing penalties to deter unpermitted work, which has resulted in incompatible alterations to many older homes and neighborhoods that make our city special. Staff recommended that Council consider, among other options: a) eliminating staff discretion in charging double permit fees for unpermitted work; b) requiring any construction that receives a stop work or warning notice to prepare a new design application that automatically requires approval of the Design Review Board; c) implementing a procedure whereby, if the unpermitted work added square footage, demolition would be required and no increase in square footage would be allowed for five years. Would you support implementing these changes? Why or why not?
Many of our members perceive "mansionization" to be a problem in our older, established neighborhoods, whether through demolition and rebuilding or massive second-story additions. Other cities are taking steps to address this. How do you think Glendale should handle this issue?