CommercialObserver.com - Full Article
BY ALISON STATEMAN AUGUST 27, 2018 12:51 PM
It seemed at first like a painfully mismatched fight: A showdown between a local developer and the horse-loving communities of Glendale and Burbank, Calif.
The conflict in the Glendale Riverside Rancho district of Los Angeles was ignited this February when Art Simonian, the founder of Metro Investments, and Thomas Bell, the owner of Silver Spur Stables located at 1900 West Riverside Drive, filed an application with the City of Glendale to change the stables’ zoning from commercial equestrian to multifamily residential. They didn’t know what they were getting into.
Simonian and Bell were hoping to demolish the stables, currently housing 80 horses, to make way for 21 townhouses in six three-story buildings on the one-acre parcel on which the stable, built in the 1930s, sits. It would also call for the removal of a 30-feet width of Allen Avenue, an access route to the trail system and Griffith Park. The two hoped to have the project completed by August 2019. Both Simonian and Bell declined to comment on their plans.
The move became the opening volley, which would be met by stringent opposition from Glendale and Burbank residents who feared the change would threaten the area’s equine heritage and historic character, and remove valuable open space providing riders with reasonable access to Griffith Park and local bridle trails. It would also, in their opinion, put a low-density single-family zone at risk for future zone changes and decimate equestrian businesses serving horse owners and working stables...
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