Saturday, May 25, 2013

Federal Budget Cuts Impact Glendale

The ten years of automatic, across-the-board budget cuts otherwise known as "Sequestration" started March 1st. Due to the inability of Congress to pass legislation on balanced deficit reduction to avoid sequestration, the President was required by law to issue a sequestration order on March 1, 2013. This order called for the canceling of approximately $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal government for the rest of the Federal fiscal year. 

Sequestration has wide spread effects on programs that get a large portion of their funding from the Federal government. One such program is the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. For the past 5 years, HCV, formerly known as the Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, has had inadequate and declining funding. Now these limited funds will have to suffer another fiscal blow triggered by the sequestration order.  

How does this affect Glendale? On a local level, housing authorities such as the City of Glendale Housing Authority have had to scramble to offset the potentially ill effects of this federal cost cutting method. Based on analysis, housing assistance funding for the HCV program would be cut significantly. These cuts come at a time when the number of low-income families in need of housing assistance has been rising substantially. Those in the affordable housing field and those who live in federally-assisted housing are being warned by HUD to prepare accordingly as housing authorities identify resources and methods to sustain current participants on the program.

For more information about Glendale's housing programs, please call (818) 548-3936.

Contractor Notifications

If you are a  contractor conducting business in Glendale, you are required to get a license from the City. But with similar requirements in other municipalities, it may be difficult to keep up with various license renewals. Glendale's Building and Safety Division has developed a new system for notifying Contractors of their  license’s expired status when performing work within the City of Glendale. 

As of April 2013, Contractors with active permits began to receive written notification that their City business licenses had expired. By alerting Contractors of their active permits and requirement for license renewal, Building and Safety staff ensures that no construction work is left unfinished in the community, while ensuring the work is performed in a legal and safe manner.

This new notification service for contractors is an extra tool in ensuring that all construction work in the City is completed properly and in a timely manner, by preventing permit inspection delays due to expired licenses.  These new yearly notices will be sent starting December 2013. 

For more information or to contact the Building and Safety Division, please call (818) 548-3200.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Arts & Entertainment District Update

Museum of Neon Art by Shimoda Design Group

The "Arts & Entertainment District" is a designated area where the clustering of theaters, music and comedy clubs, art galleries and other venues for live entertainment is encouraged, in addition to spin-off restaurants and bars. The "Special District Licenses of Entertainment and Operators and Entertainment Promoters" Ordinance is now in place which affects these type of businesses. 

This ordinance requires a licenses for business owners of nightclubs, taverns and indoor recreation establishments, as well as for managers of those establishments. Any outside promoter at a nightclub would also need a City license.  The license application review process investigates the individual's backgrounds, including live-scan fingerprinting, as well as the licensee’s history of previous licenses in Glendale and in other cities. The review of the licenses is conducted through the Community Development Department.  

The Downtown Arts and Entertainment District is located near the center of downtown Glendale.  The district is anchored by the Alex Theatre to the north and the Central Library and soon-to-be Museum of Neon Art (MONA) to the south. The District enforces uniform standards for the sale and service of alcohol in dining and entertainment venues, and streamlines the entitlement process for prospective businesses, a key aspect in attracting new investment.

For more information regarding the Special District Licenses of Entertainment and Operators and Entertainment Promoters ordinance in the Arts and Entertainment District please contact Sona Mooradian at (818)937-8178.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

25th Anniversary: Great American Clean Up

Approximately 200 volunteers participated in the Great American Clean Up (GAC) on Saturday, May 18th. This year marked the 25th Anniversary of Glendale's Great American Clean Up which started in 1988 as Glendale’s Great Graffiti Paint Out and Community Clean Up Day. This community service event was developed to engage the community in addressing the problem of graffiti throughout the city. Through the years, graffiti became less prolific and other beautification components were added such as weed abatement projects on remnant parcels which later evolved into the construction of community gardens on some of the same remnant parcels.  

In 2002, the city became a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Affiliate and changed the name of the National Great American Clean Up, when millions of volunteers across the United States conduct thousands of community services projects throughout the Nation. The Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale and the Community Development Department partner each year with local sponsors to host the event. This year's top level sponsors include The Walt Disney Company, Glendale Water and Power, Glendale Public Works and the Glendale Association of Realtors.