Whenever you see the city council timorously concerned enough to “meet” with “our residents” over some upcoming issue on the docket, always remember where their political concern really lies, at least with the majority of the membership.
It’s always with the impacted business class in town, and nine times out of ten the purpose of these supposedly fact-finding get-togethers is to revise the impinging rules. (Our favorite on this was quite a few years back, perhaps 10 or 12, when Dennis Barlow wanted to set up a possible lobbyist-registration ordinance in Burbank. Guess who the “concerned” residents were? That’s right — it was the city’s potential lobbyist class itself, such as the Cusumanos and the various studio interests. They of course didn’t see the need for such a silly and confusing new rule, and so there wasn’t one).
Attached to this weekend’s Leader article about the council’s upcoming
meeting revisit on the home-monstrosity issue is this reader response. He also later on tries to tie pro-mansionization in with somehow fighting the homeless, like the first one’s better than having homeless people in local encampments. That was beyond our power to figure out.
Wow, this issue again? It was an issue back in 2003 and it just seems to be something that will keep coming up over and over until all the folks who paid $50,000 for their Burbank homes move away. This is not 1950 folks! A 1500 sq ft house on the hillside costs $800,000 today. Wow, crazy right?!? Did you know that? If you did then it would be disingenuous of you to prevent folks who are paying said $800k+ from building the largest structures possible so that they can preserve their equity in the property. I can’t believe I am having to write this same argument for at least the third time. This is not and will never be about “preserving the aesthetic of the small town city of Burbank.” It is all about economics. If anyone wants to preserve the aw-shucks Mayberry aesthetic then they should start a fund and put in an extra $200,000 in property taxes every year that would be necessary to offset the loss that new buyers would take if they only kept the same 1500 sq ft footprint when they buy their homes in 2016. This is an ad nauseum argument that will never be resolved until people who aren’t paying $800k+ for their properties move away. Please do the rest of us ne’er-do-wells a favor and sell out while the market has peaked so that you can live a swell life off of the awesome equity we helped to provide for you (you are welcome) and the rest of us who stay behind can continue to build houses that retain and build equity.
Needless to say about this jumble of Rotary Club/Ayn Randian nonsense, but if your 1500 sq ft home is worth $800,000+ in Burbank and that that’s what it sold for, you don’t need to triple its size in order to maintain the same value. It’s still worth $800,000. If the house becomes reassessed at that new value the tax coffers will also start to fill, just as much as if it was reassessed for improvements alone — like mansionizing. By logical extension then (according to this guy), if we all mansionized together just think how much revenue the city would gain in property taxes. And if we don’t, just think how much it will lose.
So see, by not doing so, we’ve lost out already! What a disservice we’ve done to each other by not cramming 8,000 sq ft of dwelling space on our little hillside and Flatland lots. Apparently too these mansions increase the wealth around them, which would be news to the realtors in town who have to sell right next door.
This is what happens when you see the world as “all about economics.” Some of us try to leave this sick obsession outside our doorways, and hopefully way, way down the street. But a form of this cheap and expedient philosophy now rules Burbank, all homey sentiment from this same crowd notwithstanding. The comment writer was just being more genuinely honest about it in his obtuseness.