Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

While the applicants attempt to sell you on their proposed changes to the originally approved plan their focus has been on  their investment in Glendale. The issues that should be important and thoroughly vetted are the specifics of the proposed changes such as traffic impacts. Below is a comparison of current daily trips on the 3 major arterials bounding the site to daily counts with and without a completed Bethany Home Road.

                                 CURRENT*          STONEHAVEN                   STONEHAVEN

                                                            W/OUT BETHANY                 WITH BETHANY

Camelback

83-91 Ave                   25,561***              54,000                             41,000

 

83rd Ave

Camelback-

Bethany                       15,104***             33,000                            27,000

 

91st Ave

Camelback-

Bethany                        11,044***            28,000                           23,000

                      

 

*     Current daily traffic count figures dated November of 2015 and provided by the City of Glendale

**   Stonehaven figures with and without Bethany provided by applicants and distributed at a neighborhood meeting

*** Combined total of AM and PM daily traffic counts provided by the City, Nov, 2015

Even with a completed Bethany Home Road, Stonehaven with its 1,392 new homes will increase estimated daily traffic counts by:

  • 15,439 daily trips on Camelback Road between 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue
  • 15,105 daily trips on 83rd Avenue between Camelback Road and Bethany Home Road
  • 7,044 daily trips on 91st Avenue between Camelback Road and Bethany Home Road

85th Avenue looking north

However, the greatest traffic impact will fall on Camelback Park subdivision. It is a subdivision of approximately 180 homes on the north side of Camelback Road, sandwiched between 85th Avenue and 87th Avenue. They use those two streets to get into their neighborhood.

Currently what makes it worse for those residents is that 85th and 87th Avenues meld to the right into Missouri Avenue where Sunset Ridge Elementary School is located at 8490 W. Missouri Avenue. During the school year they already deal with morning and afternoon parental school traffic as the parents either drop off or pick up their children. Many locals turn left from Camelback onto 87th Avenue or 85th Avenue and cut through up to the traffic light at Missouri and 83rd Avenue to avoid the major intersection at Camelback Road and 83rd Avenue.

87th Avenue

One of the two major access points into Stonehaven is off of 91st Avenue eastward onto Montebello Avenue. The other major access point is off an eventually completed Bethany Home Road southward onto 87th Avenue.  Both of these major accesses into Stonehaven meld onto south bound 87th Avenue – the same current access for Camelback Park. Even with the proposed widening of 87th Avenue by Stonehaven’s proponents, this subdivision will receive the double whammy of Stonehaven traffic from 91st Avenue and Montebello and Bethany Home Road and 87th Avenue. I really feel sorry for these residents. They are about to get hammered. Here is the Open Space Master Plan. It depicts the Stonehaven system of roads about as well as any of their other exhibits.

 

Open Space Master Plan

Proponents say that these changes must be approved in order for the completion of Bethany Home Road. There is a Development Agreement by and between the City of Glendale (COG) and Jacob Long, Trustee of the John F. Long Family Revocable Living Trust (JFLT) dated February 26, 2008. Under the Recitals on page 1 of the agreement it states in Section B, “JFLT has filed with the City a General Plan Amendment application in Case GPA-13-06 and a companion PAD Zoning application in case ZON-13-09 (‘Entitlement’), in connection with the proposed development of mixed-use project (‘Stonehaven’) upon the PAD parcel.” GPA-13-06 and ZON 13-09 represent the original Stonehaven plan approved by city council in April of 2016. This agreement rests upon the original Stonehaven plan, not the changes proposed in the new Stonehaven plan.

Under Scope of Work, 1.2 the agreement states, “The parties acknowledge that the Bethany Home Road Extension will be completed and accepted on or before January 1, 2022.” That is the drop dead date for completion of Bethany using the originally approved Stonehaven of 2016 as its framework. Within this section it goes on to say, “…in the event that JFLT fails to deliver final plans and specifications for the Bethany Home Road Extension by the deadline specified in Section 3.4 (‘Design Deadline’), then as the City’s sole remedy, this Agreement will automatically expire and have no further effect, and the City will have no further financial obligations to JFLT…”

Under Section 2, Land Transfers, 2.2, it states, “On the Transfer Date, JFLT will also convey to the City the following land: (a) the land north of the centerline of the Bethany Home Road alignment, comprising the north portion of the right-of-way for the Bethany Home Road Extension (the “North “ROW’), and (b) certain undevelopable remnant parcels lying north of the north ROW that will be created by the final roadway configuration described in Section 3.1 (collectively the “Remnant Parcel’). The North ROW and the Remnant Parcel, which total approximately 11.85 acres are legally described in…” It goes on to say in this section, “As the fair market consideration for the North ROW and the Remnant Parcel, the City will pay JFLT a purchase price (‘Purchase Price’) of $One Million, Two Hundred Ninety-One Thousand Six Hundred Fifty Dollars ($1,291,650) (based upon the appraisal dated March 4, 2016)…” There are certainly questions that arise about this section. Why is it the city’s obligation to pay for “remnant parcels?” How much of the 11.85 acres make up the remnant parcels? Why if this Agreement was signed and recorded back in 2008 are they using an appraisal date of March 4, 2016? This date is just a little over a month before the city council approved the original Stonehaven plan in April of 2016?

Section 3, Design, 3.4 states, “JFLT will have final plans and specifications for the Bethany Home Road Extension completed by the civil engineer and approved by the Parties prior to the City’s issuance of the 275th building permit for the Residential Development Parcel)…” It is clear that the design is not due to be approved by the city until 275 homes are built.

Section 4, Construction, 4.2 says, “JFLT will cause the general contractor to commence construction of the Bethany Home Road Extension prior to the City’s issuance of the 400th home building permit.”  It certainly appears that it will be a couple of years before a shovel-full of dirt is turned on the construction of Bethany Home Road.

Section 5, City Payments, 5.1.b states, “After deducting all amounts paid by the City in satisfaction of those obligations, including the Final City Costs Payment, the City will pay to JFLT the remainder of the Transportation Development Impact Fees applicable to Residential Development Parcel collected by the City, but in no event more than the balance of the total Purchase Price.” This section seems to confirm that Development Impact Fees (DIF) are indeed used to pay for the north Bethany Home Road ROW.

Section 9, Assignment, 9.1 states, “JFLT reserves the right to assign the applicable rights and delegate the applicable obligations under this Agreement to any party to whom JFLT conveys all or any portion of the Residential Development Parcel for purposes of developing the residential communities at Stonehaven, whereupon JFLT will be relieved of any further liabilities with respect to such matters.” This appears to give JFLT the right to assign its obligations to Pulte Homes but it apparently does not grant the $1,291,650 to Pulte to offset the cost of construction of the road.

What do we have?

  • A traffic mess in the making with an extraordinary impact on the Camelback Park subdivision.
  • We have increased daily traffic counts with or without Bethany Home Road. The only difference is that the daily traffic counts are higher without Bethany Home Road connecting from 83rd Avenue to 91st Avenue. Just think of the number of cars that will leave and return to Stonehaven every day.
  • We have the city paying $1,291,650 for the north ROW for Bethany Home Road. Historically the city has never done this before and it sets precedent.
  • Part of the payment for the Bethany ROW comes from Transportation Development Impact Fees (DIF).
  • We have an agreement signed in 2008 yet appraisal for the land in question was not done until 2016.
  • We have a road whose design does not have to be submitted and approved until the 275th home is built.
  • We have a road whose construction does not begin until the 400th home is sold.

Is there any good news about Stonehaven? Well, yes sort of. If city council denies the proposed changes and retains the original plan at least it will be a fair and balanced approach to one of the last, major residential parcels in Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2017               

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