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.

Lately I have been receiving a lot of email regarding the proposed development of the property located at the southwest corner of 75th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Let’s review what surrounds it. Across Bethany on the northwest corner is a residential subdivision. On the northeast corner Beezer Homes is currently building a residential subdivision. On the southeast corner sits a CVS Pharmacy. Immediately to the west of the site is a Glendale Elementary School building. The district closed it as a school and has turned it into a community resource center for those in need of social services. To the immediate south of the site is the dearly beloved and iconic Tolmachoff Farm. It is a treasure and loved by all. Who hasn’t purchased fresh produce there or visited during the Halloween season?

The 3.7-acre site is currently zoned for Commercial Office and has been for many years. I would note that for many years the CVS site was also zoned for Commercial Office and its zoning was changed to C-1 to allow for the pharmacy.

Residents in the area are upset because the site has been sold to a developer who wishes to construct up to 4 retail uses on the site. Let’s dig a little deeper into the situation. The land was owned for many, many years by members of the Tolmachoff clan. Did the Tolmachoff farm owners reach out to the Tolmachoff property owners and make an offer to buy the parcel? Were they unable to come to terms? Who knows? I don’t but I would think that it existed as an option. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen.

So, the parcel was sold as is, current zoning as a Commercial Office site. Think about it, it is certainly not an ideal location for an insurance office or a doctor’s office. These kinds of offices rely in part on foot traffic generated on a commercially zoned retail site. It is logical that the developer would ask for a retail zoning designation.

The community fear is, will this be the nail in the coffin for Tolmachoff Farm? I hope not and I think not. It remains a very popular and viable operation. I have had no recent conversations with Tolmachoff Farm but I suspect they are feeling the pressure of urban encroachment.

Would they sell? I would think ‘yes’ at some point but here’s their dilemma. Right now their land is zoned Agriculture. If they were to sell it would be contingent upon a buyer getting approved rezoning. What’s the most expensive land to sell? Land for multi-family. I suspect if the Tolmachoff farm is ever sold it will be contingent upon the buyer getting the land rezoned for multi-family. The community would be up in arms and fight such a request tooth and nail. If the Farm ever leaves, the only option is to build a residential subdivision on that land. There is no other option.

© Joyce Clark, 2023     


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