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Disney day care site OKd

Some residents say environmentally friendly building won’t be amiable to area parking.

July 25, 2008|By Angela Hokanson

DOWNTOWN — Design Review Board No. 1 on Thursday approved the design for a private day care facility to be built for the children of Walt Disney Co. employees, moving another element in Disney’s Grand Central Creative Campus project in northwest Glendale closer to completion.

The company has proposed building a 23,426-square-foot day care facility on a 2.1-acre area bound by Flower Street, Paula Avenue, Davis Avenue and Truitt Street in northwest Glendale.

The site houses three Disney-owned buildings and a parking lot. The company will level those buildings to construct a five-building child care complex that will include two outdoor courtyards, as well as 53 surface parking spaces.

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The private day care can be used by children who have at least one parent employed by Disney.

After hearing from Disney officials, project architects and landscape designers about the goals and virtues of the project, as well as a handful of residents who voiced concerns about its impacts on neighborhood traffic and parking, the board voted 4 to 0 to approve the project with several conditions.

Board member Gio Aliano was absent from the meeting and did not vote.

The board members sung the praises of much of the facility’s design — such as lower-than-allowable building heights to blend in with the neighborhood and environmentally conscious features such as solar panels and a green roof.

“At the end of the day, it’s very sensitive to its context,” board member Art Simonian said.

Disney is seeking LEED — or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Gold certification for the building’s environmental friendliness. It would be the first building in Glendale to reach that standard, Disney officials said.

“It’s commendable that they’re trying to reach such a high standard,” senior planner Jeff Hamilton said.

Before the vote, several neighborhood residents voiced their concerns about how the development would affect traffic and parking in the area.

Margie Liu, who lives in the neighborhood where the day care facility will be, said Disney employees already use street parking rather than nearby Disney lots, and that the staff using the day care center might do the same.

“This hasn’t even happened yet, and they park in our neighborhood,” Liu said.

She said many in the neighborhood wanted to obtain preferential street parking for residents to avoid that problem.

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