As Glendale’s building boom continues, the City Council took the first step on Tuesday to review rezoning a small industrial area near the city’s border with Los Angeles to permit mixed-use residential development.

Officials hope the proposed change will “create a small urban neighborhood,” according to a city report.

The council, on a 4-0 vote, directed staff to bring back an analysis of such a zone change for 10 properties in the 400 blocks of San Fernando Court and West Cypress Street. Councilman Frank Quintero was absent.

Councilman Ara Najarian said he was moving forward with the proposal cautiously. He asked staff to bring back a “worst-case scenario” figure showing how many residential units could come to the area if a rezoning took place.

“I want to know [the potential impact] beforehand,” he said after the meeting, noting that when the city rezoned the downtown core years ago to allow mixed-use residential properties, officials knew it would attract development.

Najarian, however, said he was shocked when the number of incoming units rolled into the thousands.

Currently, roughly 3,800 units in 21 multiunit developments are either completed, under construction or in the entitlement process south of the Ventura (134) Freeway. He said his support of the rezoning would depend on the density allowed by the new zoning.

“There’s a difference between a couple dozen units versus 3,000 units,” he said.

Community Development Director Hassan Haghani said after the meeting that if the rezoning is approved in the future, mixed-use residential projects in the targeted area will have to get a special conditional use permit. The extra layer of city oversight is meant to ensure the residential use will be compatible with the existing properties and not create friction, he said.

Current businesses in the area under review would continue to be permitted, but emergency shelters would not. There is currently a winter emergency shelter in the area, though that one would be grandfathered in if the zone change goes through, Haghani said.

He added that the zone change aims at creating a transition in the corridor, which has an area that is zoned for both residential and nonresidential areas.

Haghani expects to bring back a zoning change proposal to the council in coming months.

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