that homeowners hoped to preserve as open space.
The initial dispute ballooned into a full-fledged crusade by
homeowners, and finally ended on the City Council dais last week,
when Glendale agreed to purchase 238 acres of hillside land to
protect it from development. Glendale, along with the Santa Monica
Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation
Authority will, pay Gregg's Artistic Homes $25.25 million for the
By Tuesday afternoon, city officials were still finalizing the
Meanwhile, homeowners were breathing long-held sighs of relief.
"I think we will all look back on the 5 1/2 years and all the work
we did and be able to say -- when someone asks 'What did you ever do
to make a difference?' -- that we saved this beautiful hillside,"
said Marc Stirdivant, president of the Glendale-Crescenta Volunteers
Organized in Conserving the Environment (VOICE).
The road to a resolution for Oakmont was a long and rocky one,
pockmarked by expensive legal battles, community petitions and
extensive discussions by several different City Councils.
Problems first began when John Gregg and Salvatore Gangi,
developers who built the first four phases of Oakmont (about 311
homes), submitted plans for Oakmont V to the city Dec. 4, 1992. The
proposal was to build 572 single-family homes, or 623 single-family
homes, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, on 238 acres of the
"We've always thought that this project would be good for
Glendale," Lee Gregg said Tuesday. "There's a terrible shortage of
owner-occupied homes in Glendale. Glendale's completely stopped the
development of them."
But the project was poorly received by the public. Residents and
council members said Oakmont View V would be too big and too dense,
and would compromise Glendale's hillsides.
"It was the most environmentally insensitive project ever proposed
for Glendale," Stirdivant said, adding the project would have
destroyed 2,300 trees and hillside ridgelines and negatively affected
air quality, traffic and schools in the area.
At the time Oakmont View V's plans were submitted to the city,