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Letter - Joanne Hedge

February 07, 2001

Joanne Hedge

Whether candidates are first-timers or run-agains, many Rancho

residents will be waiting to hear views regarding obvious issues such as

open space, water quality, traffic, and hillside and business

development. But they'll also be listening hard for some solid ideas that

address local issues, such as practical and democratic proposals for a

new frontyard fence ordinance to allow them within a fair set of city

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design guidelines (in the Rancho that probably means grandfathering in

existing fences regardless of setback placement but if necessary,

upgraded to meet approved designs and materials).

The Rancho nearly won a special "horse overlay" ordinance amendment

last year after months of study by a council-appointed Fence & Wall

Committee as well as advice from the Planning Commission, but staff's

omission of a means to deal with the existing fences caused the proposal

to hit a legal snag, according to Councilman Gus Gomez. Mayor Dave Weaver

urged proponents to return and win a revised ordinance this year after

the election, and sensibly emphasized its relevance to many other

Glendale neighborhoods as well.

As well, Rancho residents will seek support via city-Caltrans

collaboration for better sound walls or new ones where they are missing

on the two major freeways intersecting near their homes, a church and a

school; for greater advocacy with federal officials for reducing aircraft

noise above homes (mostly from helicopters both using and straying from

the FAA-mandated air corridors above the freeways); and for proposals for

zoning code revisions to protect the Rancho's residential, equestrian and

park amenities from being abutted by certain commercial developments such

as the car wash/lube going in at the already-busy intersection at

Victory, Riverside and Sonora Avenue.

Rancho residents will be looking for candidates who are familiar with

the recently certified Disney World Co. environmental impact report and

business agreement concerning the Grand Central Creative Campus that is

already impacting them with traffic, and will affect everyday life and

health, as well as property values. Candidates should support four major

directives to Disney in a final Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council

letter entered into the public record calling for the cleanup and removal

of ground and water toxics prior to excavation and construction with

special attention to airborne ground toxics at this Superfund site;

Sonora Avenue traffic-calming and streetscaping west of Lake Street akin

to Burbank's Riverside Drive near Disney's Buena Vista site; the

enhancement and enlargement of Griffith Manor Park, which lies within the

project and has a day-care center; and the restoration and reopening of

the historic Air Terminal to the public in the first development phase

not the third.

More recently, there is concern over the easing of environmental

regulations at the nearby Grayson Power Plant at which the city may

increase output for sale elsewhere. Increased revenues are salutary, but

getting state funds to upgrade the plant sounds more reasonable first.

Candidates may rest assured that the above issues affect many

residents beyond the Rancho as well.

Here's to a good race!

* Joanne Hedge is the president of the Glendale Rancho Homeowners

Assn.

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