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Glendale City Council awaits solar impact study for proposed Public Storage building

Proposed storage facility may block sun from reaching business next door.

December 11, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Public Storage has proposed a 174,266 square foot facility that would in the 5500 block of San Fernando Road, Glendale.
Public Storage has proposed a 174,266 square foot facility… (Courtesy of the…)

The City Council postponed consideration of a four-story Public Storage facility until next week, awaiting a report on how the 174,266-square-foot facility would impact an adjacent business that relies on the sun.

City officials described the proposed development at 5500 San Fernando Road as an enhancement to an otherwise undesirable area along the city's edge. Rather than a traditional stucco, boxy look, the project is set to include multiple colors and areas of clear and opaque glass on an undeveloped, 1.39-acre site, according to a city report.

But the height of the project may block the sun from reaching 835 Milford Street, the longtime home of Fabric Flameproofing Co., which uses the sunlight to dry fabric after applying chemicals. City leaders on Tuesday decided to hold their vote on the proposed development until a solar impact study is complete.

"If we have no sunlight it will effectively kill our business," said Fabric Flameproofing Co. owner Jonathan Curtsinger at the afternoon council meeting. "It will be financially devastating to me to have my business destroyed."

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Jim Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of development at Public Storage, said his consultants could complete a solar impact study before next week. Although an environmental review was done, solar impact was not analyzed because of the industrial location.

Fitzpatrick said it will be difficult to shift the building further away from the adjacent property due to electrical lines on the west. Cutting down the height of the building may make the project economically unfeasible, he said.

Although Councilwoman Laura Friedman welcomed the study, she added she was weary of telling a new business it can't open if it affects another.

"You really open up a Pandora's Box," she said.

In addition to the impact on the adjacent business, which has been open since the 1940s, some council members had other concerns, including the proposed number of parking spaces and the overall general use of the area.

Councilmen Ara Najarian and Frank Quintero questioned the storage facility's placement in the so-called "Creative Corridor," but City Attorney Mike Garcia said the council couldn't block a storage facility outright because the land use is permitted by city code.

But that doesn't mean the council should drop certain requirements to make Public Storage's transition easier, Quintero said.

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