Disney wants the city to grant them an extension on their 1992 studio expansion development agreement.
In the package’s section for outside comments, the Los Angeles Conservancy brought up a good point about why no one had bothered to update the agreement to reflect the later history of the lot:
Good points follow about why the historical significance of these new additions isn’t being considered:
So what was staff’s response to this legitimate concern?
They completely miss — or evade — the point of having a general historical review of the campus:
A letter from the L.A. Conservancy (Exhibit Q) was received on June 7th (which was 19 days after the end of the comment period on May 19, 2016). The letter offered comments on the status of historical buildings and updating the historical evaluation report. As the City is not required to prepare written responses to late comments, there is no response included in the Final SEIR. However, an updated historic evaluation is not necessary, as no other buildings are identified for removal other than the two previously identified buildings (which are the Cafeteria Building 47 and Personnel Building 51 from “Group 2” historical resources). The Cafeteria Building and Personnel Building currently remain on the studio lot. All buildings identified for removal in Groups 1 and 2 have previously been removed. Therefore, because no removal of any other structures is planned, and because Mitigation Measures 4.2.1 and 4.2.2 will continue to be required, there is no need for a new historical resources evaluation (i.e., there is no evaluation required for structures that will not be affected).
Things can easily change. Nothing’s stopping Disney from approaching the city during this 19-year period to try to amend the agreement — in which case there’d be no historical survey in hand that could help stop the demolition of these then “newer” buildings on the lot.
Disney did a complete historical survey prior to the granting of the 1992 DA, and on buildings that weren’t even pegged for demolition. They should be required to do the same for this extension.
And why do they even need an extension anyway? Wasn’t 25 years enough time to do what they originally wanted to do?
Skeptics back in 1992 were concerned that this company was going to be given a carte blanche amount of time to perform their expansion plan, which in effect would be granting them a perpetual DA on their property.
What if other things change in the next 10 years or so in Burbank that will help screw up the nearby neighborhoods — such as a big new transportation center and airport getting built, and with lots more traffic on B/V? Or tons of new “mixed use” apartment developments a couple of blocks away?