Glendale, California

Glendale's Building and Safety Department was recognized as the best in the state at the California Building Official's Annual Business Meeting. (Bing Maps / July 11, 2014)

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Glendale's Building and Safety Department was recently named the best in the state at the California Building Official's Annual Business Meeting.

The group said the department deserved the recognition because of several initiatives, including the Back to Business program, which allows businesses to prequalify to perform their own damage assessments with private engineers.

Allowing businesses to provide their own damage assessments will help them get up and running again sooner after a disaster like an earthquake, said City Building Official Stuart Tom.

The American Planning Assn. also recently named the city's Community Development Department the best in the region and bestowed three additional honors.

Specifically, the association honored the department's work with Space 134, is a concept study for a potential 25-acre freeway cap park over the Ventura (134) Freeway from Central Avenue to Glendale Avenue.

The community development department also received the Public Outreach Award of Merit for the South Glendale Community Plan, which entailed a food and film event at the Historic Glendale Train Station last year. The event was billed as a way of getting surveys filled out by residents who don't typically attend public meetings.