Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Angels Fly into the Glendale Transportation Center

The Glendale Wings exhibit, part of the Art from the Ashes (AFTA) Production "YOU ARE HERE" Art Series, has arrived at the Glendale Transportation Center (GTC) and will be on display until December 15, 2015. The wings will conclude their Glendale tour at the GTC after making stops at the Central Library, Cruise Night, Brand Library + Art Center and the Glendale Narrows.

YOU ARE HERE, is a temporary public art series created for the City of Glendale featuring creations by local artists and collectives. The exhibits are designed to engage residents and visitors, inviting them to become a part of the art. Glendale Wings was created by LA based artist Colette Miller "to remind people that we can be the angels of this earth." She hopes her wings will be a symbol of peace wherever they are exhibited. 

Visit Glendale Wings before they fly away (Glendale Transportation Center, 400 West Cerritos, Glendale CA 91204) and share your personal photos on social media using the hashtag #GlendaleWings.

The YOU ARE HERE Temporary Public Art Program is supported by the City of Glendale and the Glendale Arts & Culture Commission, with funding from the urban art plan.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pass Your Inspection: 25 Pitfalls to Avoid

Whether you're putting in a new water heater, replacing your windows or building a new office tower, a Building Inspector must ensure the work is completed properly. In order to make sure your inspection goes as smoothly as possible, we've put together a list of things to have completed prior to calling for inspection. These are common pitfalls that can hold up your project.

  1. Building location or height does not match approved plans. A licensed surveyor may be required to verify proper setbacks, building location and height.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Downtown Strategic Plan & Mobility Study Recognized by California APA

APA California Chapter President Hing Wong (left) presenting award to Mike Nilsson & Alan Loomis.
APA California recently presented the City of Glendale with the 2015 Implementation – Large Jurisdiction Award of Excellence for the Glendale Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) and Mobility Study.

The award was presented at the 2015 State Conference this Fall where Glendale was recognized for its accomplishment as an Award Winner.

Implementation of the DSP and Mobility Study has resulted in a mix of uses, creating a vibrant, urban center as intended in the City’s vision.

The DSP is the platform for growth in Glendale. Accomplishments include:
  • attracting private investments including 26 mixed-use and commercial projects totaling nearly 3000 residential units, absorbing 2/3 of the City’s housing growth goals

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Green Streets...What are they?

Green Streets...what are they and where can I find one?

Join us on Saturday, October 17th in front of the Glendale Central Library for the Harvard/Louise Green Streets Expo to get a behind the scenes look at what goes into planning a green streets project.

City staff will unveil plans and answer questions about the City's first Green Streets project during this free community festival featuring:
  • Fun for the Whole Family
  • Live Entertainment
  • The Kogi and Coolhaus Food Trucks
  • Chalk Art
  • The "Glendale Rocks" Climbing Wall
  • Prizes and Giveaways

What is the Greens Streets Demo Project?

The project is located along Harvard Street between Brand Boulevard and Isabel Street, and on Louise Street between Maple Avenue and Wilson Avenue in Downtown Glendale. It features greening and pedestrian safety improvements that include curb extensions, bioswales, mid-block crossings, sharrows or bike lanes and additional landscaping to the project area. 

The project will encourage people to walk and bike to Downtown Glendale destinations such as the Central Library, Adult recreation Center , Americana at Brand, Glendale Galleria, Central Park, the future Museum of Neon Art, Glendale High School and the YMCA. Overall , the project offers increased safety for all modes of transportation.

The Green Streets Demonstration Project is funded through a $997,900 Proposition 84, Urban Greening Grant.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Laemmle Project Breaks Ground

Laemmle Lofts, a mixed use development to be located on the corner of Wilson and Maryland Avenues, recently broke ground. The project will anchor Glendale's Arts & Entertainment District and will consist of a four-story mixed-use building, containing 42 residential units on three floors (with a mezzanine) above a ground floor containing a five-screen Laemmle Cinema and approximately 6000 sq.ft. of ground retail space.

Laemmle Cinemas are known for their independent, art house & foreign film theaters as well as for their motto "not afraid of subtitles."

Greener Glendale Plan Recognized with SCAG Award of Excellence

The City of Glendale’s Greener Glendale Plan was awarded the “Excellence in Green Region Initiative” by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). SCAG is the nation's largest metropolitan planning organization. It undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to encourage a more sustainable Southern California now and in the future.

The Greener Glendale Plan was recognized for three key achievements:
  1. Comprehensively addressing sustainability in Glendale, 
  2. Developing the plan with input and high participation from the community and all City Departments, and 
  3. For being actively implemented through other City policy documents including the North Glendale Community Plan, Housing Element, and the South Glendale Community Plan.
Development of the Greener Glendale Plan was funded by the Glendale Water and Power Department (via the Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant) and staff work was conducted by the Community Development Department. The City used the international Urban Environmental Accords as a framework to outline how sustainability would be addressed in Glendale, and it received technical support from Local Governments for Sustainability, a non-profit, to develop the document. 

The Greener Glendale Plan addresses many sustainability concepts including:

APA LA Recognizes Glendale at the Alex

The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recognized the City of Glendale with the Implementation Award of Excellence for the Glendale Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) & Mobility Study. The award was presented to the City at the Annual APA Los Angeles Awards Gala, which will took place on Thursday, June 25th at 6pm at the Historic Alex Theater in Downtown Glendale.

The Implementation Award recognizes the DSP and Mobility Study’s Originality & Innovation, Effectiveness, Ability to Overcome Challenges, and Participation. Together, the Downtown Specific Plan and Mobility Study create an optimum transit- and pedestrian-oriented environment intended to reduce auto congestion. The Plans implement a city-wide policy to focus development away from established neighborhoods into locations where growth can best be managed. This focus beyond the City’s downtown has enabled Glendale to plan for improved open space and transportation connections to the surrounding region.

The implementation of policies in the DSP and Mobility Study, have resulted in substantial progress throughout the City:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

CDD Bids Farewell to Hassan Haghani

In May, community stakeholders and Community Development staff bid farewell to CDD Director Hassan Haghani, as he concluded a 12-year career in Glendale and embarked upon new responsibilities with the City of Santa Ana.

Hassan Haghani was hired as Glendale's Planning Administrator in 2003, and served as the City's Director of Community Development since 2010. During this time, the has City transformed through Hassan’s vision to make Glendale a better place in which to live, work and play. Under his leadership, the Department and the City of Glendale have been recognized by many professional organizations including the American Planning Association - Los Angeles and California Chapters, the California Building Officials (CALBO), HUD, the Southern California Association of Governments and others. 

His energy and enthusiasm has bred a unique culture of teamwork and camaraderie within the Department; his absence will be felt within the entire organization. His staff wish him much success in his new endeavor as the Executive Director for the Planning & Building Agency in the City of Santa Ana. 

Economic Development Director, Philip Lanzafame has been appointed Interim Director of Community Development until a new director is named. 

Affordable Housing Update: New Habitat for Humanity Project

Plans for a 6-unit affordable home ownership development in Glendale are moving forward following the Housing Authority's approval for the appropriation of $1.4 million in federal HOME funds to support the project. The project will be built on 634 and 700 East Lomita Avenue in partnership with San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity.  Priority will be given to low income, first time homebuyer households that live and/or work in Glendale.

The estimated cost of the entire project is $2.8 million. The Housing Authority will provide $1.4 million which will include the land purchase of $980,000. The project will consist of 6 attached townhouse style 1,300 square foot condominiums. Each unit will have three bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms and an attached two-car garage. Each affordable housing unit will be sold to qualified low-income first time homebuyers for an estimated total value of $425,444, of which approximately $194,000 will be a monthly mortgage  payable to Habitat at 0% interest. The balance will consist of deferred nonpayment loans on the units that will help ensure long time affordability to all future buyers. Additionally, each selected family must complete 500 hours of “sweat equity” by working on the project.

The Glendale Housing Authority is committed to developing new affordable housing opportunities in the City. Habitat has completed seven ownership projects and is in construction on its eighth in Glendale. This project will be their ninth project in Glendale, providing a total of 43 units of affordable home ownership housing.

Sign Up for Affordable Housing Updates.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

CDD Profiles: Mark Newman

Mark Newman is a "jack of all trades," 20 different trades to be exact. As a Building Inspector with the City's Building & Safety Division, Mark applies his extensive knowledge and expertise on a daily basis. Although he has been employed by the City for only 3 years, Glendale has gained a substantial number of new building assets as a result of his contributions.   

The Nuts & Bolts
One might ask, “What exactly does a building inspector do?” When a developer, property owner or builder wants to do some building construction, they get a set of construction plans (drawings and specifications) approved by a plan checker at the Permit Services Center.  who makes sure the plans conform to state building codes that ensure the safety of future occupants. 

With a building permit now in hand, a builder may begin construction on a project. At certain milestones throughout the project, the builder must get their work inspected to ensure all construction is being done in compliance with the approved plans. This is when they make an appointment to have the building inspector visit the construction site.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Glendale Beeline Welcomes Special Olympics!

The Special Olympics World Summer Games are coming to Los Angeles this summer. Over 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will compete in the games which open on July 25, 2015. In addition to the athletes, over 30,000 volunteers will participate behind the scenes to make sure this year's games are a big success.  

Glendale Beeline, in partnership with Metro, is supporting the Special Olympics this summer by providing free 9-day passes to the volunteers who are helping out at the sports venues all over LA County. Special Olympics organizers will receive regular blue TAP cards with the 9-day calendar-based pass that will be good throughout the Special Olympics event on participating transit agencies, including Glendale Beeline. The Special Olympic volunteers will also receive information on how to use the card, how to access trip planning information and a list of participating transit agencies. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fresh Plans for Historic Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple (234-238 S. Brand Blvd.) was added
to the Glendale Register of Historic Resources in 1997.
The life of the Masonic Temple has taken many unexpected twists and turns since it was built on the cusp of the Great Depression. Its latest chapter promises to breath new life into one of Glendale's most prominent landmarks. 

The Masonic Temple was built in 1928 for the Unity Lodge. As fortune would have it, they only owned the building until 1934 when it was lost to foreclosure. Although the building continued to be occupied by several Masonic groups in the decades to follow, its lack of windows and unusual floor plan made it difficult to occupy. Its last tenant, A Noise Within Theater Company, occupied the lower floors of the building from 1991 to 2011. In 2013, the building owner obtained approval for several alterations and upgrades that were started but never completed. 

The recent acquisition of the Masonic Temple by Caruso Affiliated will revitalize this historic landmark by allowing the unusually configured interior spaces to meet the needs of a modern office environment, while retaining its historic character and eligibility to continue listing on Glendale's Register of Historic Resource.

The Historic Preservation Commission has reviewed and approved Caruso Affiliated's rehabilitation proposal (Commission meetings held on 04/16/15 & 05/21/15). Highlights of the proposed renovations include: 
  • Restoration of the entry facade and its related features including entry arch, ironwork, the window above the primary door, black granite cladding at the base of the entire south facade, the two arches a the sides of the entry and the storefronts at the north and south side of the main entrance,
  • the installation of an open steel frame stair tower adjacent to the southwest corner of the building, 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

CDD Profiles: Anahid Arakelian

Anahid Arakelian welcomes challenges with open arms. 
Anahid Arakelian is an Office Services Specialist in the Community Development Department. She is one of those employees that form the backbone of the City of Glendale. She provides administrative services to the CDD and is seen as an employee that exemplifies loyalty and dependability, with a reputation for being conscientious and caring.

Anahid began working at the City of Glendale 15 years ago in the Redevelopment Department. She provided administrative assistance and acted as a Project Manager overseeing over 22 facade improvement grants totaling $1 million  to local businesses. When the grant program was later audited, Anahid’s grant administration files were flawless. When a State Law mandated the dissolution of Redevelopment, Anahids duties changed and she was given more responsibility. She rose to the challenge and after receiving limited training, successfully took on her new duties. Anahid is always looking for ways to grow professionally and welcomes the opportunity to take on new responsibilities. 

Today, her work involves processing virtually every kind of payment type used in the City, including invoices, credit card statements, petty cash reimbursements, payroll, and deposits. She also processes purchase orders, manages contracts, and maintains over 160 vendor insurance requirements. She provides numerous secretarial services including scheduling meetings and maintaining filing systems. She also acts as an Emergency Operations Center liaison, by helping to coordinate evacuations, trainings and ensuring that staff is prepared for emergencies.

Anahid’s work philosophy is to listen, be respectful, and inject love into her work, which she believes positively impacts her interactions with the public and fellow employees. She believes in treating the public with dignity, and goes home happy about the fact that she works with good people and that she is able to make her Department better. She believes in the saying, “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today” by Elbert Hubbard.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Meet the Permit Services Center

May is around the corner and the Permit Services Center is busy preparing for Building Safety Month. As a prelude to Building Safety Month, we'd like to introduce you to the Permit Services Center and tell you a little bit about what we do. 

Meet the PSC
City’s Permit Services Center or as we call it, the PSC is a one-stop center for the community to receive a variety of services.  It is the central point of contact for citizens looking to make changes to their homes or start businesses in Glendale.  The City has brought together the key sections that review plans and applications needed in obtaining building permits that alter buildings or authorize new buildings. We work with a variety of people from homeowners to contractors and developers; and we oversee a wide range of projects from simple remodels to high rise developments.

Who We Are
The Permit Services Center is a part of the Community Development Department (CDD).  Representatives from CDD’s Building & Safety, Design Review, Zoning and Code Enforcement staff are available at the PSC.  Staff from the Glendale Fire Department and the Public Works’ Engineering and Traffic & Transportation Sections are also represented. Everyone works together to review plans and proposals for their specific area of expertise.  Our goal is to make your interaction with the City as efficient as possible while ensuring that your project meets the minimum levels of safety, accessibility and energy conservation.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Request a Permit Inspection Online

Making permit inspection requests with the Building & Safety Division is easier than ever. We are now accepting online requests for inspections.  

Here is how to do it:
    1. Go to the City of Glendale web page at glendaleca.gov
  1. Select: “How do I”
  2. Select: “Request Permit Inspection”
  3. Complete the form and enter “Submit”

    If you are making a request for a next day inspection, please submit the online request form before 3:00 pm.  Inspections are conducted Monday through Friday (except on Holidays).

If you have any questions please contact the Permit Services Center at (818) 548-3200. 

Also, for your convenience, you can go online to schedule your next appointment to the Permit Services Center using your smart phone, tablet or personal computer. Learn more about our online appointment scheduling service in our previous article: 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Good News for Transit Riders!

Getting around Glendale just got easier! Two new user friendly tools are now available to help transit riders in Glendale plan trips and save time.

The NextBus app for Android allows you to access real-time information about bus arrivals on your mobile Android device. Riders may now view bus schedules and arrival times. NextBus is free and easy to use, accessing get both Beeline and Metro bus arrivals. The technology will tell you exactly when your next bus will arrive at your stop. With NextBus, you can determine exactly when to leave school, home or the office in order to meet the bus, virtually eliminating waiting time.

Another great tool for Beeline riders is Google Maps. Beeline riders can now use Google Maps/Transit to find bus routes, stops, and plan trips. Although this is similar to NextBus, Google Transit also estimates travel time and arrivals.

Users can access the convenient interface Google offers to make transit use a breeze. Users can also access Google Transit through Google Maps by simply clicking the little bus icon at the top left of the screen.

It doesn't matter if you're a seasoned transit rider or a novice. Now, even the most inexperienced transit users can take the bus and successfully reach their destinations hassle free!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bach at the Train Station-March 21st

The historic Glendale Transportation Center. 
Celebrate Johann Sebastian Bach's 330th Birthday with a free concert at the Glendale Transportation Center.

Bach at the Train Station

Glendale Transportation Center
400 West Cerritos Avenue
Glendale, CA 91201
Saturday, March 21st.
1:00- PM - 2:15 PM

The Pasadena Conservatory of Music's Cello Ensemble directed by Rebecca Merblum, will join musicians from around the world for Bach in the Subways Day. The concert, which will take place on the Glendale train station platform, is free and open to all; please bring your own chair.

Bach in the Subways is an international movement with events in subways, train stations, and other public spaces in 129 cities in 39 countries. Performances sow the seeds for future generations of classical music lovers by fostering public interest and excitement for the art form. The music is given freely as a gift and as an invitation to further explore classical music. 

For more information about Bach in the Subways Day, please visit www.backinthesubways.com.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Affordable Housing Opportunity-Camden Glendale

The Housing Authority of the City of Glendale is announcing a new affordable rental housing opportunity in Glendale.  Applications for the Camden Glendale Affordable Housing Lottery will be available March 1st through March 21st

Information on the 22 affordable units (a mix of studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units) and how to apply can be found in the flyers and at a special Camden Glendale website – www.CamdenGlendaleAH.com.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Glendale Arts Colony Begins Construction

Rendering by Meta Housing Corporation. View along Kenwood Ave. looking north.
Another new affordable housing development, in conjunction with the Glendale YMCA, began construction in December 2014 at 121 N. Kenwood Street. The apartment building with art gallery will be an asset to the growing Entertainment District in downtown Glendale. Lease up of the new apartments is projected for June 2016.

Known as the Glendale Arts Colony, the development will provide 69 affordable live/work housing units for low and very low income households with a preference for those households in the creative workforce industry (working artists) who currently live and/or work in Glendale. It will also have a 1,000 square foot art gallery to be used by residents of the project, as well as the greater Glendale arts community. 

If there are not a sufficient number of Glendale or other artists to fill the units, the development will accept other low income households.

Sign up to receive affordable housing updates.

Parking Downtown Gets Easier

Downtown Glendale is bustling with world class shopping, dining and entertainment. It's about to get even better thanks to an upcoming public parking way-finding improvement project funded by an Advanced Wayfinding and Guidance System Grant.

New signs showing real-time parking space availability will be installed at key intersections in downtown Glendale and at the entrances to the Orange Street, Exchange and Marketplace public parking structures, taking the guesswork out of finding the best place to park. 

Expect to see these improvements sometime in late 2015 to early 2016. 

About the Advanced Wayfinding and Guidance System Grant

A comprehensive wayfinding and parking sign program for Downtown Glendale was approved by Council in 2011.  This program was to be funded by the City’s Redevelopment Agency, but because the State of California dissolved the Redevelopment Agency in 2012 the funding was lost.  Since then, staff sought alternate resources to fund individual components of the program and was awarded the Advanced Wayfinding and Guidance System Grant through Metro’s Call for Projects Grant program.

The grant awards $694,026 for the installation of a comprehensive system of parking signs in downtown Glendale.  It will include installing directional signs to downtown parking facilities and updating identification signs for public parking lots.  However, the most significant part of the program will be the installation of signs containing real-time availability of parking spaces at key intersections in downtown Glendale and at the entrances to the Orange Street, Exchange, and Marketplace public parking structures.

Please contact Mike Nilsson, Senior Mobility Planner, for additional information at (818) 937-8164.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CDD Profiles: Fred Zohrehvand

Welcome to the inaugural issue of CDD Profiles. Today we highlight Fred Zohrehvand, Senior Transportation Planner. Fred plays a pivotal role in the planning and programming of transportation projects in Glendale including acquiring transportation funding, implementing pedestrian & bicycle safety plans and more.

The transportation projects he plans and programs include anything that helps provide safe and efficient travel for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and public transportation riders of all ages. Transportation projects range from education and outreach programs to engineering and building road improvements. Fred plans, programs and secures funding for these projects that are ultimately implemented or built by other branches of the City, such as the Public Works Engineering team.

The Nuts & Bolts

Grants & Compliance
Fred actively seeks, secures, and manages transportation funding from federal, state, and local sources to implement related projects and oversees their regulatory compliance.  He applies for funding including writing grant applications, and manages ongoing reporting, compliance and audits. Fred was instrumental in the City receiving its fair share of Measure R funds of  $98 Million for various transportation projects to be implemented over the 30-year span of Measure R life.