soullessness. The Barnes &Noble, Starbucks, Borders invasion has begun.
The new Glendale Avenue shopping center, featuring ever more impersonal
national chains like Staples and Longs Drugs, screams out in its orange
and red colors, sounds only deafened by the ugliness of its architecture.
It is more difficult, particularly on large streets like Brand, to find a
parking place on short notice, or to show up five minutes before the
movie starts and make the show. Traffic worsens, smog thickens, teenagers
die in gang violence.
THE FACE OF CHANGE
Enter Gregg Development, which seeks to proceed with its 572-home
development -- the largest in the city of Glendale -- in the Verdugo
Mountains. A large section of the beautiful hillsides, ripe with
vegetation and wildlife, would be bulldozed, backfilled, and then, over a
15-year period, developed into a massive housing project worthy of
The development company wants to focus on the facts but, sadly for
them, as the first environmental impact report revealed and second will
confirm, the facts hurt.
No one disputes that the project will damage the environment. The only
question is how much. How much school overcrowding can the community
tolerate? How much more smog, traffic, dust from the 15-year construction
project can it absorb? How much can its fire and police resources be
strained? How many ancient oak trees can it see destroyed? The facts
clearly require further discussion, but only in these specific terms:
Just how much damage can the community take?
Which is why serious consideration must be given to more subjective
factors like the impact of this project on the city's soul. So let's
consider emotion as well as facts. You take your children out for ice
cream in Montrose, look to the west, and become sickened at the sight of
the huge concrete gash into the hillsides. It pains you. You then drive
south to your home or apartment, frustrated, or maybe even furious, at
the increased traffic. You peer into air which is thicker than when the
project began. You go home, open the paper, and read of increased school
overcrowding and violence, and so on, and so on.
People that love Glendale love the feel of it. Of course they want a
larger tax base, good business support, and sufficient housing, but
Glendale already has enough of these. Further development, particularly
of the hillsides, will irrevocably harm that feel, that charm, that soul
of Glendale. For the sake of that very soul, please join VOICE, the
Sierra Club, and any number of other local organizations working
arduously to prevent this scar upon our hillsides, and indeed upon the
spirit of our community, from proceeding. Please help save the soul of