Burbank historian Mike McDaniel wrote this in 2004.
The developer’s business is not to help the housing crisis but to profit from it. It has nothing to do with helping a neighborhood or the City of Burbank a better place in which to live; it is a business with one goal: making a buck! Who are these people? Do they live in the apartment area? Do they even live in Burbank? Because if they do, they have no concern at all for what this town was or is, or what the quality of life should be in those areas they have destroyed by their over-building (which city councils have allowed to be done in the name of “progress”). School overcrowding is a direct result of this over-building.
Is the city willing to pay for this? More teachers, new buildings, school supplies? Past Councils’ short-sightedness has created your current problem for you, the current city council. If the apartments and multifamily dwellings are not curtailed, what problems are this Council going to cause for future councils? More police are needed to handle increase in crime and gang issues in the apartment zones – will city funds increase to handle this? With departments looking at scenarios for 2% cuts and 4% cuts for FY 2004-2005, future staff increases are not likely. Multifamily dwellings decay after the current owners/developers sell off holdings and the differed maintenance eats up any profits from rents. (The building behind me has had many problems to this effect already and is not even twenty years old yet).
In summary, do not fool yourselves by thinking that a project, because it is within code, is a quality project. No multifamily project brings quality to Burbank, as was indicated by the developers and their supporters. Their motives are in question. All such projects will have a negative impact on the city, if not now, in the future. That future will be better for everyone with less, not more, overbuilding. I have seen and lived through the destruction of my neighborhood. It was a warm, neighborly place. Now it’s a cold, tall, heartless, profit-driven business area where the term “neighborhood” simply does not apply anymore. If anyone says different they were not there. I was and am still there, and history is on my side for 47 years.
I love this city. I was born here and went through all Burbank schools, as have my children. I have been in the same house for all my life. I have given back to this city many times over and would gladly do it again. My best friend maintains two websites that cover what it was like in the 1960’s and 1970’s here in Burbank. It’s a celebration of what Burbank was. The other is about little known Burbank facts; the things are what we as a city are known for and why people wanted to live here back then. Take a look and enjoy: Burbankia and Wes Clark’s Avocado Memories.
This city has quite a few big decisions to make in the near future, and with the wrong people making them. Expect the worst.