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Long Oakmont road nears its end

December 18, 2002

Glendale was not a friendly place for hillside development anyway.

Based on community opposition to overbuilding on the hillsides, the

council in March 1990 instituted a two-year moratorium on hillside


After the moratorium was lifted in April 1992, the city passed a

hillside ordinance that imposed stringent regulations on developers.

The Greggs sued the city over the ordinance, contending Oakmont


View V was in the works before it was passed. The new regulations

would have allowed the Greggs to build fewer than 100 homes on the property.

A court ruled that the Gregg's project was exempt from the new


Fifteen residents banded together in 1997 to form VOICE, an

organization whose sole purpose initially was to fight Oakmont. As

awareness about the Oakmont project grew throughout the city, so did

the group: Today, there are about 5,000 supporters of VOICE and its

mission of protecting urban wilderness in Glendale and the Crescenta


Those who joined the crusade were not shy about letting the City

Council know what they thought. More than 700 residents showed up to

a hearing in March 2000 to protest the project. A petition of about

4,000 opponents of Oakmont View V -- a document that, end to end, was

about one-and-a-half football fields long -- was presented to the


Finally, in March 2002, about 450 residents filed into the

Glendale Civic Auditorium, where the City Council was to decide

whether to approve or deny the project. The 11-hour meeting ended

with the council voting to reject the 572-home project. The Greggs

responded with a lawsuit against the city. The lawsuit was one of

three filed against Glendale in the past two years, with the Greggs

suing the city in August 2000 and again in November 2001.

Both sides agreed to mediation over the litigation, and months of

negotiations ended when a deal was struck Dec. 6.

The Greggs will get to break about even on the costs they incurred

over the past 10 years, and the city will get another parcel of land

that can't be developed.

"It's such a relief," Councilman Dave Weaver said. "To just be

able to forget about that. It's preserved now. It could have gone on

for years ... so just to see that all end, it gives us the chance to

focus on different issues."

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