Under the false claim that the City of Burbank somehow needs to create development standards for the kind of big new “mixed use” apartment buildings that no one except the developers and a couple of Chamber of Commerce people might want or need, staff is trying to get the city council tomorrow night to work up a checklist of desirable or sought-after project characteristics so as to make it seem like it will be almost an imperative for any or all of these same developers and their friends to help fulfill them.
Check out the agenda item. This is like your teenage kids responding to a “no” or “what the hell?” answer on a new car deciding to then bring the dealer paperwork home for you to look at and possibly add to. Like who’s in charge of the store here, and why are they being so pushy about an (at best) indeterminate need? Where did all this big talk come from?
Built into this upcoming review of course is the arrogant presumption that we both need and want a lot of new mixed-use apartment projects in town, and so let’s get cracking on the details. Shall we have third-floor balconies next to all of those adjacent R-4 homes on Magnolia and Burbank Blvd. or not? If we don’t, will that then make them ok for the neighbors? How about the ideal retail component? Now’s the time to work it out, council!
Not so fast. Our council members all need to immediately quash this obvious community treadmill to oblivion. There’s no reason for us to even abide more big apartment buildings in town, let alone create for these outside developer clowns a paint-by-numbers instruction manual on how to best go about getting them in as some kind of mandate-fulfillment.
Remember, this is the same city staff that once tried to slip in a big new apartment complex on Third Street by claiming that a tiny nail salon-sized retail space on the ground floor made it all mixed use, and thus worthy of the sorts of special allowances and considerations that are granted to these kind of currently fashionable projects. The council wisely rejected that old scam of a plan, and they should bear the exact same approach to this perfectly obvious expansionist scheme as well.
In no way should Burbank encourage more mixed-use development in town, and it should also keep a real lid on any other kind of apartment growth. Burbank has no moral, legal, economic, or ethical obligation to add to its vast amount of multi-residential housing stock, and it’s total cant for the Big Growthers to somehow claim otherwise in their phony attempt to get these things through for big profits. Think how many apartments we have already!
Who trains these staff people to have interests and values so alien to that of most Burbankers? Who hires them?