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Royal Canyon Property Owners Association

Looking Back At RCPOA — Highlights of History in the Canyon


  1. January

    (Pre-history)  A group of residents formed a loosely knit organization to protest the development of Royal Canyon.  Effort successful.

  2. Royal Canyon Property Owners Association (RCPOA) is formed to represent the neighborhoods adjacent to Deadhorse and Royal Canyons when Glendale Builders proposed the development of Greenbriar Road.  Robert Springer was elected as the first President and Carl Johnston as Vice President.  Carl Johnston was made acting President when Robert Springer moved away later.

  3. After the completion of Greenbriar Road the Association was fairly inactive until January 1968 when Glendale Builders proposed a 75 lot tract at the west end of Royal Boulevard.

    Incorporation papers were filed and an application made for tax-exempt status.

    The Association became part of the Glendale Hills Coordinating Council at its formation in July.  The umbrella Coordinating Council formed in order to cooperate and act with other property owner groups in matters of mutual interest and to preserve the natural beauty of the Verdugo Mountains.  This was the beginning of efforts to approach hillside development from a citywide viewpoint.

  4. Received notification of tax-free status from the Franchise Tax Board.

    Traffic lights were installed at Ethel Street and Mountain Street.

    Earth moving starts on the tract at the end of Royal Boulevard.

  5. The first brochure listing Association objectives, meetings and officers was mailed out to all residents along with a dues notice and an invitation to join the voluntary Association.

  6. RCPOA lends its support to candidates night sponsored by the Glendale Board of Realtors and the Glendale Hills Coordinating Council.

    There were studies and discussions regarding the city-proposed scenic highway and mountain top community.  The coalition group S.A.V.E. (Stop Attacks on Verdugo Environment) was formed.

  7. The Association board unanimously supported the Planning Commission recommendation to retain R1 and R1R zoning (rather than PUD) on 304 acres of Hensler-MacDonald tract behind the Glendale College, thereby “opposing row oriented multi-story cluster type development”.  RCPOA urged the City Council to take no action, which would result in alteration of the natural ridgeline.  This resulted in the rejection of the Hensler-MacDonald tract by the City Council.

    The first annual summer party was held.

  8. Changes were proposed to the Moorside tract to add one more lot.  The John Henry tract, adjacent to Deadhorse Canyon, was rejected by the City Council.  The Flintridge Terrace tract was proposed and also denied.  The Association directors supported other associations in their opposition to hilltop condominium development above Oakmont Country Club.  Delegates attended the Planning Commission and City Council meetings appealing for preservation of the ridgelines, reduced earth moving, better access and adherence to R1R development criteria.

  9. Members of the Association participated in citizens committee meetings concerned with three bond measures on the April ballot.  The bond measures authorized the City to purchase certain hilltop lands for open space purposes to preserve the ridges in their natural state.  All of the bond measures failed. 

    RCPOA joined other Associations in the Glendale Hills Coordinating Council in achieving repeal of the Planned Residential Development (PRD) ordinance.  RCPOA supported the re-zoning of 2,797 acres of the Verdugo Mountains from R1 and R1R to SR (Special Recreation) zoning for orderly conservation of open spaces in the hills.

  10. A citizens committee of 19 was formed by the city to study PRD.

    S.W.A.P. (Small Wilderness Area Preservation) was explained and discussed at the RCPOA annual meeting.  Matching federal funds were to be used to purchase lands, which will be owned by the city.

    The development of lower Greenbriar Road was proposed for which the Association established goals to upgrade the proposal.

    Greenbriar was added to Royal Canyon for informal use of the name of the Association.

    A 144-lot sub-division on 83 acres was proposed for Royal Canyon.

  11. A developer met with representatives of RCPOA and the Glenview Property Owners Association (representing the Sunshine Drive area) regarding the planned sub-division in Royal Canyon covering the area from Old Phillips Road to Arboles Drive.  Additional development of Moorside Drive was also proposed.  A committee was named to study both proposals and to submit concerns and questions to the Planning Commission.

  12. As the Moorside Drive development is taking place the board continues to watch the drainage system, reporting any problems to the city so the safety and esthetics of our area will be maintained.

    The Association followed the progress of the Hillside Development Ordinance and made recommendations to the City Council for this far-reaching legislation.  It also reviewed the proposed city charter changes and the effects they would have upon the city.  The sub-division committee continued to emphasize slope protection, adequate access and minimum impact upon existing residents during the development above Royal Canyon.

    The Association vigorously opposed the proposed recreation center for reasons of excess noise, light and traffic congestion.  A request for a variance was withdrawn by the developer.

  13. Due to the expected increase in traffic on Royal Boulevard by the addition of new homes above Old Phillips Road, an appeal was made to the City Traffic Department to perform the necessary investigation for future control of this thoroughfare.

    RCPOA also opposed the declaration of college owned land at the east end of Mountain Street as surplus property because it would enable the destruction of the ridgeline and could provide access to a major sub-division entailing major changes in the ridgeline and traffic patterns.

  14. A Neighborhood Watch Program was established in the area.

    Drainage for the second stage of the Royal Canyon sub-division was completed and became operational.

    Consideration was given to purchasing the remaining undeveloped land in Royal Canyon but was found to be economically unfeasible for the Association.

  15. Due to the increasing incidence of crime, several private guard services were interviewed about patrolling the neighborhood.  However, the costs of this service were prohibitive.

    The Association established an “Area Beautification” contest for the year.

  16. The first annual meeting champagne brunch was held at the Oakmont Country Club.

  17. A 17-lot gated development was proposed for upper Deadhorse Canyon.  An Association sub-division committee studied the plans and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  The committee made comments at Planning Commission and City Council meetings.  The proposal was denied by the City Council.

    A request was sent to the Police Chief, City Traffic Engineer and the City Council for STOP signs to be installed on Royal Boulevard and Imperial Drive for both eastbound and westbound traffic to slow speeding on Royal Boulevard.  Instead, the City installed STOP signs on all streets feeding into Royal Boulevard, thus compounding the problem.

  18. The city installed Neighborhood Watch signs in the area.

    New Land Use and Zoning Consistency programs were proposed by the city.

    The Board of Directors of RCPOA acted to recognize all past presidents, presenting them with plaques and life memberships.

  19. The 4th Annual Meeting of the Association was held at the Oakmont Country Club with City Council candidates giving short presentations on their platforms.

    The Association conducted its first study on future plans for the Civic Auditorium.

    The Neighborhood Watch groups were expanded.

  20. The Association Annual Meeting was held at the Verdugo Club with City Council members in attendance to answer questions.  Revisions to the By-laws were approved by the membership: To increase the annual dues from $5 to $6, with future increases to be set by the Board of Directors as they deem necessary; To provide overlapping terms for Directors to insure continuity; and To reimburse Directors for expenses.

    Membership lists were computerized.

    The city installed 1-hour parking on lower Royal Boulevard and Del Monte Drive to ease the college-parking problem.

    STOP signs were installed on Royal Boulevard at Princess Drive and upper Imperial Drive.

  21. The Association Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club.  A logo was adopted for the RCPOA and the boundaries of the Association were expanded.  The Board of Directors committed to a program of increased activity.  An airport committee was established to monitor developments.

    A developer presented a proposal to build 24 homes on 11 acres extending to Balmoral Drive.

    The City Council voted not to proceed with an architectural study for the renovation of the Civic Auditorium.  The RCPOA submitted a policy statement to the city favoring renovation.  It also circulated a Petition and sponsored a Town Meeting at the Civic Center.

    The Board of Directors established a Nominating Committee.

  22. The RCPOA continued pressure for the renovation of the Civic Auditorium.  It distributed 1,500 questionnaires regarding member’s opinions on the present and future of Glendale.  The Association then held a news conference to present the results of the survey.

    The city enacted a building moratorium.

    The Glendale Community College opened a new parking lot at the top of Mountain Street.

    Grading and construction began at the Hensler-MacDonald tract (now Rancho San Rafael), a master planned community encompassing 550 homes on 120 acres of the property with approximately 180 acres of open space.

  23. Eleven of thirteen candidates for 3 seats on the City Council present their platforms at the Association Annual Meeting held at the Oakmont Country Club.

    The City Council unanimously approved the renovation of the Civic Auditorium including the construction of a new parking garage.

    The Glendale Hills Coordinating Council changed its name to the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council to reflect the membership of new homeowners groups in other areas of the city.

    The Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association was organized in response to the phenomena of “mansionization” occurring in their neighborhood.

    The city enacted an interim ordinance to limit the size, height and lot coverage of single-family homes.

    Association membership dues were increased from $6 to $15 annually.  Membership cards were designed and distributed.  A membership drive was launched with Board members personally contacting all residents who are not members, resulting in 375 households (out of 665) or 56% of area residents becoming dues paying members — the highest percentage in Association history.

    RCPOA purchased a new computer program to give greater flexibility in accessing and maintaining membership records.

    A Board committee recommended major changes to the By-Laws for submission to members for approval at the next annual meeting.  The new By-Laws established Associate memberships. 

    The Glen Knolls Homeowners Association declined an invitation to join with the RCPOA.

    Some Board members served on the Mayor’s Solid Waste Management and Civic Auditorium Renovation committees.

  24. The ninth Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club where members approved the new By-Laws.

    The city enacted a growth control ordinance approving building caps, and reducing the number of multi-family dwelling units by down zoning.  The city then enacted an 18-month hillside development moratorium.

    Homeowners groups began a feasibility study for placing a hillside bond issue on the ballot.  Due to a technicality, citizens groups failed to qualify an initiative to change the City Charter to provide for electing City Council members by districts.

    The Board established honorary memberships for: Dr. Stan Phillips, Carl and Lynne Johnston, and Dolores Payne in recognition of their many years of dedicated service to the Association.

    The City Council rejected a proposal to develop a parcel of land at the Esmeralda Drive cul-de-sac.

    The Association contributed funds to develop Mayor’s Park near the Glendale Freeway (2).

    The RCPOA participated in City Planning Division sessions to revise ordinances governing single-family homes.

    A disastrous fire destroyed 64 homes in the College Hills.  The city enacted a new brush clearance ordinance.

    The Association held a contest to “Name That Newsletter”, which was won by Bea Wojtyla with: “The Sentinel — A Newsletter for Residents of Royal Canyon, Greenbriar and Adjacent Areas”.

  25. The Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club with City Council candidates presenting their platforms.

    The city enacted a new zoning ordinance to protect the character of neighborhoods by requiring that re-models and new construction is compatible with existing properties.

    RCPOA joins the Chamber of Commerce.

[The history of the Association from incorporation to 1991 was compiled and presented to members at the Summer Party celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Association.]
  1. June

    The RCPOA assisted the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association’s Candidate forum with a $500 contribution.

  2. February

    The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club where the traditional City Council Candidate forum was hosted.

    May

    The RCPOA provided a list of concerns to the City on zoning matters.  The City of Glendale subsequently enacted a wide-reaching Hillside Ordinance.

    June

    The RCPOA voted to support The Friends of the Glendale Public Library with an annual donation of $250.

  3. February

    The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club.

  4. February

    The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club with the traditional City Council Candidate forum.

    June

    The RCPOA held a disaster preparedness day event at the home of past president Dr. Stan & Jane Phillips.  The Fire Department presented an outstanding program that benefited all who attended.

    August

    The RCPOA voted to sponsor a deserving high school graduate with a $500 scholarship to the Glendale College.

    September

    The RCPOA voiced concerns to the Glendale Design Review Board about the proposed over-development of a home at 984 Kirkton Place that would have added a second floor addition, which would have been incompatible with the immediate neighborhood.  The problem was resolved by arrangement with the owner that resulted in a significant reduction in square footage.

    October

    The RCPOA supported the adjoining Glen Knolls Homeowners Association to resolve the crime and loitering problems on Sunshine Drive.

  5. January

    The RCPOA supported the newly constructed Veterans War Memorial, built adjacent to the City Hall, with a contribution of $100.  The RCPOA also assisted the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Association's Candidate forum with a donation of $500.  The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club where the guest speaker was local columnist Will Rogers.

    October

    Development and over-development projects were monitored by the RCPOA including: the El Tovar mansion, the Polygon project and the Freeway Sports Complex.  Each posed concerns to the area and environment, which RCPOA voiced to the appropriate City officials.

  6. February

    The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club with the traditional City Council Candidate forum.

  7. August

    Marked the first year the RCPOA provided a dumpster for Royal Canyon residents to encourage the clean out of garages.

  8. August

    The RCPOA conducted the first walking tour of Royal Canyon with a Naturalist.

  9. August

    The RCPOA voted to sponsor 2 deserving high school graduates with a $500 scholarship each to the Glendale College.

  10. June

    The RCPOA assisted V.O.I.C.E., a volunteer organization formed to monitor the proposed Oakmont V housing development, with a $500 donation.  The City Council ultimately decided to deny permits for the Oakmont V development.  Subsequently, the City and The Santa Monica Conservancy purchased the property from the Gregg Development Company to maintain it as a wilderness park.

  11. August

    The RCPOA conducted a second walking tour of Royal Canyon with a Naturalist.

  12. February

    The RCPOA Annual Meeting was held at the Oakmont Country Club with the traditional City Council Candidate forum.

  13. February

    Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams was the guest speaker at the RCPOA Annual Meeting held at Oakmont Country Club.

    June

    The RCPOA supported the Chevy Chase Canyon Homeowners Association in requesting the City Council to make the hillside-building ordinance more restrictive.

  14. RCPOA establishes an E-Mail address (board@rcpoa.net) and website (http://rcpoa.net) to facilitate access to the Board by the membership and to reduce costs of communication.

    The first Annual Family Picnic is scheduled for July in Verdugo Park.