space. Developers had proposed building 572 homes on the site.
"What we're going to do tonight is one of the right things to do,"
Councilman Bob Yousefian said before the vote. "It took me 12 years
to get here, and for this vote alone, it was worth it."
The city will not foot the $25.2-million bill alone. Glendale will
be responsible for $13.2 million, with $3 million of that sum being
paid to Gregg's Artistic Homes within the next 72 hours. The
Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a state agency that
helps protect open space, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
will take care of the remaining $12 million, using $8 million secured
by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) and Assemblyman Dario Frommer
The sale is to be completed by April 30, when the Santa Monica
Mountains Conservancy receives the title for the land. The sale could
include six more acres than the site's original 238, officials said.
"We often hear complaints of how government does not work to solve
problems," Frommer said at the meeting. "Tonight, you have before you
an unprecedented example of government that does work to solve
problems in a bold and innovative fashion."
The council's decision was applauded raucously by attendants of a
packed council chambers, many of whom gave the council a standing
ovation. Homeowners, environmentalists, elected officials from La
Canada Flintridge and La Crescenta, state Sen. Jack Scott
(D-Glendale), a representative for Schiff and former Assemblyman
Scott Wildman (D-Glendale) all threw their support behind the
purchase Tuesday night.
"In the 33 years I've lived in Glendale, I have never seen broader
community support for an issue," said Max Hobbs, vice president of
Glendale-Crescenta Volunteers Organized in Conserving the
Environment. "Your vote tonight can save a treasure ... for the
enjoyment of future generations."
Tuesday night's decision also promises to end legal troubles
between city and developer. Glendale had paid nearly $725,000 between
1999 and May on outside legal counsel.
Three lawsuits filed against Glendale by Gregg's Artistic Homes
between August 2000 and April will be dismissed with the sale of the
Councilman Frank Quintero warned future developers that Glendale's
hillsides were off limits.
"The overwhelming majority of the citizens of Glendale don't want
it," he said. "The era of uncontrolled growth is over."
Lee and John Gregg of Gregg's Artistic Homes did not attend
Tuesday's meeting. In addition to the city's $3 million, the state
must pay the Greggs $5 million in the next 72 hours.