Residents Debate Over Sports Complex

Helen Galvin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Fifteen disgruntled Glendale citizens sat for hours at the Glendale City Council meeting Tuesday in the hopes of resolving a 2 ´-year problem stemming from the construction of the Glendale Sports Complex.

The residents of Glendale’s Fern Lane sat patiently as the city council went slowly through its agenda – presenting awards and hearing laborious five-minute discussions on topics ranging from a complaint from a homeless woman who said that the city’s resources were bogus, to a plea from the superintendent of the humane society requesting available funds for the society so that they could pay its bills.

Finally, agenda item No. 9, Status Report of Potential Traffic Calming on Fern Lane was brought to the council floor.

Ken Stelle, who lives on Fern Lane, spoke first, giving the details of a report from a company the block association hired to measure the noise level created by vehicles driving to and from the sports complex. Stelle said that the once-quiet neighborhood now had a noise level far above the city limit.

Tom Mitchell, the director of city planning, reported on the history of the sports complex and a Fern Lane residents working agreement. Mitchell noted that while there was a problem, many attempts had been made to satisfy the residents. The residents could never come to an agreement with the planning department from the four plans presented to them.

Dale Christensen, who lives on the middle of Fern Lane, said, “When the city brought the sports complex idea to us, they promised us there would be a freeway off ramp so there would be no change in [neighborhood] traffic. We never got that off ramp.”

Mayor Gus Gomez questioned Nello Iacono, director of parks recreation and community services, about the total hours the sports complex is used during the week, operational hours and what groups use the sports complex. Iacono said that events varied based on the season and what sport was played. Because money from Prop. A Safe Neighborhood Park Bond Act was used to help in the construction of the sports complex, a non-discrimination clause was signed by the city of Glendale.