Staff calls them “limits,” but they’re really allowances

Make no mistake. What staff wants the council to do tonight is encourage mixed-use development in the commercial and manufacturing parts of town. There’s lots of valuable land going fallow out there, you know, cluttered up by all those ugly old muffler shops and nut and bolt places, and that Electronic City joint.

It’s just so Mad Men and “unsustainable” these days we know. And so they’re doing this by getting our city council scared of what some builders “could” do if we don’t get these new Burbank2035 general plan figures codified in law.

Staff’s making it seem as if huge projects can now somehow “sneak in” right next door to a residential area if we don’t get this passed. But then, 10 seconds later, they contradict themselves by saying that any such development would need a CUP– which has to be approved first! That would be quite a sneak attack, wouldn’t it– to get it by everyone without a required discretionary CUP? So it’s a bogus argument they’re making.

We’re hearing a lot too about “six story buildings” and “R4-like” complexes going in on Magnolia and other main drags if we don’t adopt this ASAP, and that the law now allows this. So be very afraid, and let’s get this thing passed pronto.

But that’s not true– because already, you can’t put R-4 within 500 feet of an R-1 residential. Which is what Magnolia is 10 feet off of the parallel alley. It’s houses! And this has been the law for eons. So there’s no way in hell these mega-buildings-on-Magnolia fears could ever become reality under current law.

Here’s what’s really going on. By enshrining RESIDENTIAL density limits into code for commercial and manufacturing zones, the City of Burbank is now telling developers to come on in and develop. They’re not limits per se, they’re codified allowances that didn’t exist before, and it’s a cynical misuse of language for staff to try to play them off tonight as precautionary restrictions. Instead, they’re blatant advertisements.

We can see it now. Someone wants to put in 30 “mixed use” units on Burbank Blvd., and so staff can now say: “But gee council, the ordinance you passed three years ago allows this type of density!” And in it goes. Mixed use is not R-4, so it can go in.

Also, the concern tonight is not that this “Plan” is too rushed. The concern is that Golonski has no business voting on these important issues any more, nor staff to get it in front of him before he leaves to make sure that he does. It was deliberate on their part.

You know what the funniest part of the hearing was? That staff said they’d had extensive meetings with “the Chamber” and “business groups” to see what they thought of the ideas, and that these groups had a substantial amount of input into the process.

Of course they did! And despite this admission, staff still tries to play this part of Burbank2035 off as a slow-growth document? A series of– what did they call them … new restrictions?

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29 Comments

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29 responses to “Staff calls them “limits,” but they’re really allowances

  1. Jeff

    Well every time city staff and Luddy say something will protect neighborhoods you can bet on the fact that in no time some developer friend of Golonski will come in and threaten some neighborhood and staff will say oh council approved this months ago.

    • semichorus

      That’s what will happen. These changes enshrine residential density into the M and C zones, so that if the issue ever comes up, it’s gonna be, “Well, as we can see by the ordinance, this use IS allowed…”

      That’s the whole idea here. As well as increasing downtown density, which is another story. It’s a deliberate opening up of Burbank for exploitation.

      I mean come on. This thing was by admission helped cooked up by the Chamber and realtor groups. It ain’t no document for slo-growth, that’s for sure.

  2. Anonymous 3

    Oh my god Kevin Harrop is talking about changing Victory Place because Walmart is coming to the Empire Center. Excuse me but Mr Harrop is part of the Burbank Democrat Club who is opposing Walmart in fact Harrop spoke at council against Walmart opening. He is also on this video with Mr Dobson throwing water and sticking his eyes into the camera. Is this Harrop on a city committee ? What an embarrassment for our city.

  3. Sharon

    Did Burbank police really sexually molest this man named Ed in the council meeting while Golonski watched it happen ?

    • semichorus

      Well, views differ. I have no doubt they roughed him up, and then got his landlord to evict him. He’d been coming down all the time and complaining about them.

      A few years go the city installed a bullet-proof dais because some of the council people were afraid of him.

  4. BurbankBuddy

    He also made a reference to Dorner,probably not best to do these days in a council meeting

  5. Jim

    Ed has come to council meetings for a long time talking about how Golonski and his police goons assaulted him. I believe Ed about it especially with allI have heard about police misconduct with the iinvestigation and lawsuits with the police department. I don’t doubt that Golonski would watch the man be molested and even in courage it.

  6. Tim

    That guy has said a bunch of times that the Golonski dude and the cops did a sex molestation on him. Didn’t Burbank cops get in trouble for all kinds of excessive force and sexual harassment ? So why wouldn’t they also harass and molest him.

  7. Muddy sounds like Obama. It sounds good, but the overall results will be very bad. I don’t trust anything she says.

  8. chad

    Semi, this is an important, critical analysis of what went on last night. Thank you.

    • semichorus

      Thanks. I usually feel like this in this town– it’s always one damned thing after another with these people:

      There’s such a huge tradition of glib bad faith that’s built up over the years.

      I mean, just the fact that this staff member could say with a straight face– and absolutely no sense of irony — that the “business community” had been the ones who checked out the proposals during the process and said they were ok is astounding.

  9. chad

    Agreed. Love that episode BTW. “This house sure gone CRAZY!”

  10. BurbankBuddy

    Staff also said sheepishly that they hadn’t notified that the residents on Hollywood Way,who don’t have driveways, will lose their parking space on the street when the curb is red-striped… bad …Of course only Gordon bothered to ask if the affected residents were notified.. All those staff dudes look like weasels in suits

    • semichorus

      Yeah, and it’s not like they didn’t know any better. They just refused to do so.

      Case in point– they DID notify Verdugo residents a few years ago about taking away spaces. But that was ONLY after the council had intervened and made such a big deal about that bikeway.

      So their rule is– if the council doesn’t say anything, we’ll just do what we want. And if they say it about THAT, then we can still do what we want to on THIS.

      Then, if the council has to get repeatedly involved in these specifics because staff refuses to develop a routine policy after being prompted about one incident, the CM and the CA accuse them of micro-managing!

      • DixieFlyer

        …..and of course we can recall the “overnite” Red Zones installed in front of established businesses at Victory&Alameda!!

        Ken Johnson argued that the MediaCenter down by NBC “required” that they stay in!!??!!

        Notice how quickly was able to identify the precise uses affected and the size of the lots along with the uses???

        Dr. Gordon pays attention, notices these things while the others simply “bob&weave”.

        Special letters were mailed out TWICE over the trees at Memorial Field??

        Wondering who or whom recruited the “red kerchief” and just what has been her contribution??

        • semichorus

          What they did on Ala. and SF was atrocious. They also did the same thing in front of TJs. We lost about 15 spaces total.

          And for what? They were going to put in a two-lane left on Alameda– which never happened!

  11. BurbankBuddy

    Believe me , if the red-striping was gonna happen in the Rancho, Luddy Fuddy would make a HUGE deal over it .So Golonski mentioned squeezing more $$$ for street repair,citing Buena VIst and Hollywood Way as needing fiixing.. WHat about Verdugo, it is like driving in a Third World country

    • Terri

      Golonski has spent lots of money for years on every hair brained green idea but he let our streets go to hell. Now he says squeeze out money for streets ? Hell no stop wasting the money on all the green shit that does nothing but cost money. Look at that stupid Eco campus at the electric caste and the big raise Golonski gave that electric king Davis. All a waste of money while our streets went to shit.

  12. Tom

    We need more councilmembers like Gordon because the other council members let staff push them around. The council 4 never represents the interets of the residents so it’s only Gordon who asks if anyone talked to the residents who will lose their parking and the fan 4 just sat their like complete idiots. Thanks Gordon for remembering the residents.

    • semichorus

      Yes. Traditionally, three of them will take staff’s word on an issue, because they’re gullible and lazy– and they don’t want to think too hard.

      But Golonski– the fourth– goes out of his way to justify and explain staff’s action.

      That’s been the scenario here for about the last dozen years. Over and over again. The fifth is a lone dissenter– a Gordon, a McConkey, or a Kramer.

      I suspect that in his absence, Gabel-Luddy will assume the Golonski role.

      • Tom

        Well if Luddy tries to assume the Golonski roll of defending staff no matter how lazy or arrogant they are we will send her packing just like we sent Golonski packing. We pay the staff a lot of money and they need to leave the attitude and laziness at home because many of us are tired of paying for it.

      • BurbankBuddy

        oh so true Semi. especially Bric, who doesnt seem remotely curious , and just sits looking bored . I agree about Luddy Duddy, she will lecture in that annoying, affected voice about what Staff means, etc . I’m sure Frutos will be in more of the Gordon line

  13. chad

    I heard Luddy say “y’all” the other night and I almost fell of my bar stool. Affected to say the least. I agree with Tom. If Luddy assumes that role then the voters should respond. I got a sense from the Council the other night that some were a tad contrite so let’s be hopeful.

    • Guest Pass

      I thought I was the only one who caught that. I also laughed. This must be her attempt to ingratiate herself with us common folk.

  14. Sharon

    I think when people talk about council crazies they are referring to Miss Rosati and nothing about her involves luck or being lucky.

    • Guest Pass

      I was referring to residents like Piroli, Nolan and others. Although I would never try to keep Rizzotti from speaking, she adds little to no value to the public dialogue.

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