Because the specific language of Measure B was written to be so brilliantly inclusive (it was, actually); and that it was written to apply to any “expanded” or “replacement” terminal proposal, the airport crowd has a potentially big problem right now that they’re not going to be talking about soon. So keep this fact in mind as well as a handy reminder:
If the Airport Authority needs any kind of discretionary approvals from the City of Burbank to build on their current site, or on the so-called “Southwest Quadrant,” the City of Burbank must also follow Measure B and submit such approvals to a public vote.
Now the Authority may very well not need any discretionary approvals there because the property is already owned by them and is zoned for an existing airport facility. They may not need anything extra if they also plan it correctly or frugally. The same is not the case for the B-6 adjacent site of course, and which is what all the screaming is about. That site very much requires a broad array of city approvals, which of course is the purpose of that big negotiated draft agreement.
It may also be the case that the Courts would deem such discretionary approvals unnecessary at the current site. That may or may not happen. But any approvals that are discretionary from the City or end up being so must follow the Measure B routine. And you know there will be at least a few, such as parking.
In short, the Authority has a lot more leeway on their own current property and facility than B-6. But they don’t have TOTAL leeway on everything they might need or desire there, and that’s where Measure B would still kick in.
The boosters and their attorneys know this reality, which is why they’re currently trying to exclude the existing Authority property and facility from any kind of city review as part of the negotiated deal. That’s what this current “vested” guarantee on the site appears to be all about. Unfortunately though, any staff or council effort to exclude or waive certain replacement terminal considerations from potential voter review seriously violates Measure B.
In other words, the current city council can’t pick and choose what airport projects are covered by an ordinance that was placed into law by the voters in 2001. The language of the ordinance is clear and compelling– it includes both a replacement and “expanded” terminal. No one in the City can change, alter, or minimize the scope of application of Measure B. Only the courts or Burbank voters can.
Keep in mind too that the city clerk and city council can’t just say anything they want on the November ballot statement either in order to induce a “Yes” vote on this upcoming referendum. They can lobby for its passage by assuring certain specifics (just like what our school board does with their bond measures). But they can’t actually threaten the voters with specific negative consequences if they don’t vote in a certain way. And they certainly can’t blackmail them.
What this means is that the ballot referendum description itself cannot tell the voters that the Authority will build a replacement terminal somewhere else without city control unless they vote “Yes” on the Measure. We can hear it now– this they’ll try to do as a certainty. They’ve already started!
Our point here? Although we’re sure that the powers-that-be will come up with some kind of 800-word ballot description in order to PR the hell out of the thing, they can’t just say anything they want. They can’t threaten the Burbank voters with negative consequences by not voting a certain way. You can’t use threatening or coercive or blackmailing language in an official ballot description.
You know of course that they’re going to try!
And again, don’t believe all the propaganda. The Authority is not going to build on the Southwest Quadrant. It would be untenable for them, with the proof being that it ALREADY would have happened by now.
Now they might re-do the current terminal, which would actually be a good thing. That’s always been our option here. They also can’t do much damage at that smaller and cosier location.