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QUESTIONS


Q5 of 6:
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?

(Candidate name with asterisk indicates TGHS member.)

Vrej Agajanian

AGAJANIAN
Yes. All residents should be treated equally under the law. Staff discretion can leave an impression of unfair treatment or bias on behalf of the city.

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DINGER
I generally support these ideas and more in an effort to maintain adherence to our rules and way of neighborhood planning – we have rules for a reason, and we need to make sure property owners abide by them. Glendale is special, it is why I live here and chose to raise my family here, and we cannot allow unpermitted construction going on. It has a negative effect on our neighborhoods and is something to be taken seriously.


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MACCARLEY
No. I would retain the existing provisions and I would further enhance the role of the DRB as the reasoned arbitrator of development of any type and size in the City. The composition of the DRB must be expanded to include a representative(s) of the acknowledged homeowners’ associations in Glendale and a representative of the Historical Society.


MEHRABIAN
No Response.


Grant Michals

MICHALS
I attended that Council meeting and spoke on that issue as a member of the Planning Process Task Force that advised the initial streamlining procedures adopted by the City in December of 2013. My efforts and those of the five others representing the neighborhoods focused on the preservation of the Design Review process, opposing overdevelopment, protecting the character and historic resources of our neighborhoods and improving the notice requirements of projects. I supported increasing penalties designed to deter violations and support the staff recommendations now. While I support the staff having discretion in bringing past violations into compliance, I favor a strong deterrent against unpermitted projects or work that exceeds the approvals. I continue to seek the reformation of that task force to review the results and develop improvements to the procedures. Improving the efficacy of the notice process and public outreach is a primary goal.


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MOHILL*
Yes, I would definitely support this. It will put on notice any people who do illegal work on their homes. It will be a strong deterrent and will give notice to the public that business as usual will no longer be accepted.


NAJARIAN
I strongly support the increased penalties for illegal and unpermitted work. This has gone on far too long in Glendale and the current penalties serve as no deterrent to the contractor and owners who break the law. The laws regarding permits and construction must be severe enough to scare any thought of unpermitted work away.


SINANYAN
Compliance with codes and requirements is and should be the desired effect. Our residents are not the enemy and their elected government’s approach should not be a punitive one. An approach that achieves compliance without punishing for previous non-compliance is certainly preferable to draconian punishments. We should also not increase the already stringent and expensive administrative processes that our residents have to undergo when engaging in construction. However, repeat offenders or individuals who appear to have intentionally engaged in actions contrary to the process and requirements in place should have to face the consequences of their actions.


VAN GORDER
A) People moving forward with unpermitted work should feel the full weight of these fees and costs – if they are willing to go rogue against the Review Board and the neighborhood, they can afford to pay more than their fair share towards the many needs of our city.  

B) This seems obvious – if you break the rules, you must immediately submit a new effort to comply.

C) The statute requiring demolition seems brutal, but I do recognize the need to ‘return to zero’ at the cost of the rule breaker. This is an actual punishment that seems suited to the infraction but I would prefer to allow its execution to be discretionary with the Review Board having the final decision.


WOLFSON*
I support implementing these changes for cases of unpermitted work. It is an uphill battle to prevent unpermitted and improper work from taking place. We all must be eyes and ears in making staff aware of these situations, particularly in our historic districts. Some penalties, such as those proposed by staff, would aid in preventing these incidents. Additionally I would advocate for use of social media and any other resources available to continue informing and educating the public about the City’s requirements, particularly as they pertain to historic architectural resources.