which the council agreed Tuesday should be paid out of the
general-fund balance, is due to developers John and Lee Gregg by
"I'm very confident taking the $3 million out the general-fund
balance," said City Manager Jim Starbird, who recommended that the
council approve the expenditure. "Oakmont is an expense that is only
going to happen once, it's an investment you make forever, and it's a
high priority for the community. That's exactly what you save the
money in the general-fund balance for."
Glendale had $59 million available in its general-fund balance at
the end of the 2001-02 fiscal year. The money, which was left over
after revenues and expenditures were calculated, is saved over the
years. The general-fund balance has jumped $20 million over the past
three years through savings, lowered expenditures and increased
revenues, Starbird said.
Where the city will get the remaining $10.25 million has not been
determined. Starbird said he will examine options and present them to
the council in January. Although the city could pay off its entire
portion of the purchase using general-fund money, Starbird said he
would look into using capital-improvement funds for parks and bond
and grant programs.
"I'd like to find a way to do this project without impeding the
parks projects we have in the pipeline right now," he said.
Councilman Dave Weaver said he thought the benefits of spending
$13.25 million on the 238-acre property, which residents fought for
10 years to keep from being developed into a 572-unit housing
project, far outweighed the costs.
"On the surface, $13.25 million is a big amount," he said. "But
you have to look at it in an overall context. There's hundreds of
thousands of people who did not want that subdivision up there. The
impacts on the environment and the schools would have been
devastating. And we have a chance to get almost 50% of the money from
the state of California, so you take it."
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains
Recreation and Conservation Authority will help the city by chipping
in $12 million for the Oakmont property.
Bob McMurray, attorney for the developers, said they thought the
property was worth much more than $25.25 million. A property
appraisal in 1990 valued the site at $46 million.
"It's not as much as we think the property is worth," he said.
"Compared to going to trial with all the uncertainties of litigation
and another year of fighting with attorneys and courts, it seemed
like a good compromise."
Three lawsuits filed by the Greggs against the city between August
2000 and April will be dismissed with the property's sale.