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New Public Storage facility in Glendale approved

City Council votes 3-2 in support of project.

January 23, 2014|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • The Glendale City Council approved a a 174,266-square -foot Public Storage facility to be built in the 5500 block of San Fernando Road.
The Glendale City Council approved a a 174,266-square… (Courtesy of the…)

A four-story Public Storage facility has been approved for a corner considered a city gateway, despite opposition from some City Council members who said the development wasn’t the right fit for the entryway to Glendale’s Creative Corridor.

In addition, the owner of a nearby business who said the proposed building would block the sun, and negatively impact his fireproofing business, reversed his stance and publicly supported the project.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman, who voted for the 174,266-square-foot facility, said although she’d prefer a more artistic use, the site at 5500 San Fernando Road has sat vacant for too long due to unattractive conditions, including a nearby railroad.

“Everybody’s passed on this site,” Friedman said, noting that she would like to see a company such as Disney or Google buy the 1.39-acre area, but waiting for those opportunities may be fruitless.

The Creative Corridor is a section of San Fernando Road where city officials have been trying to attract digital and media businesses.

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Councilman Frank Quintero laid blame on city nitpicking as to why other more exciting uses have shied away from the location in the past.

“We’re creating a dead zone,” Quintero said. “We could have done a lot more for that corner and a lot more for the Creative Corridor, including a use that could lead to more employment.”

While the city can’t block a storage facility outright because the use is permitted in the city’s zoning code, the City Council could have rejected the Public Storage proposal because the company asked for a parking variance. The company wants to install 35 parking spaces, below the 174 required by city code. A study paid for by Public Storage found that much parking was unnecessary.

The Public Storage building, which would be about a mile from the Fortune 500 company headquarters in Glendale, was approved by a 3-2 vote.

Councilman Ara Najarian said he approved the 50-foot building because the company agreed to reduce the use of orange coloring in its design and erect a monument sign welcoming drivers to Glendale.

Mayor Dave Weaver said he reluctantly approved the project because he couldn’t find a logical reason not to. He said he was upset about the storage facility because it won’t generate as much taxes as other land uses. Retail projects are one of the major tax-generating land uses.

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