Staff’s obviously not telling the council members the whole story here — or getting it from the property owner.
In June of 1968 a parking covenant was recorded against the property at 4315 W. Riverside Drive (Exhibit B). The covenant provided additional parking for the proposed Greene’s Department Store located approximately 400 feet away at 4201 W. Alameda (Alameda). The covenant was recorded, but it appears that a copy of the covenant was never provided to the City. For reasons unknown to current City staff the property owners at Alameda and Riverside signed an agreement on October 21, 1969 which they thought released the parking covenant (Exhibit C). However, City Council action is required to release the covenant. The owners of both the Riverside and Alameda properties are now requesting that the parking covenant be removed (Exhibit A) to eliminate the cloud on the title represented by the covenant.
Sounds fishy. It gets worse:
The purpose of the original parking covenant recorded in 1968 against the property at 4315 W. Riverside was to provide five additional parking spaces so that the owner of the property at 4201 W. Alameda could expand the building. The covenant specifically states that it remains in force “unless this restriction is removed by a resolution of the Council of the City of Burbank, or unless and until other real property of a size sufficient for the parking of five automobiles is substituted therefore. . .” The Greene’s Department store did open at that location, but the respective property owners mutually agreed to release the covenant in 1969. The existence of the covenant was then lost to memory in Burbank.
Funny choice of words there. It wouldn’t be the only thing forgotten. How about a sense of community sanity?
The parking covenant was associated with the expansion of Greene’s Department Store. Other uses have since been established on the property. In 1995 a Conditional Use Permit was approved for food service at the Alameda address without reference to the parking on Riverside. That CUP was appealed to City Council and the decision of the Planning Board was upheld with a modification in 1996. There is no reference in either the 1995 or 1996 public hearings nor in the staff report to the previous parking covenant, nor was there a copy in the file. Currently a juice bar is located at 4201 W. Alameda as shown below…
The upshot? Sounds like another staff favor for developers:
The original use which triggered the requirement for the shared parking agreement has long since ceased and the City has subsequently approved a new use with limited tandem parking in the rear. The current business tenants are not reliant on the 1968 shared parking covenant to meet parking requirements.
The City Council should adopt the resolution for the release of the parking covenant at 4315 W. Riverside.
Hold on there!
What matters here — even if you buy the fishy story that everything was agreed upon informally hunky dory like back in 1969 — is the question of what the property and adjacent property (where Greene’s was) is going to become. Staff’s deliberately gliding over the obvious conclusion here: that this choice Toluca Lake property (and possibly the other one) will soon be on the market, and that that’s why the owner wants this supposed “cloud” of a restriction lifted.
It won’t be staying a juice bar there for long, that’s for sure. This is why the city council needs to look very carefully at what’s going on in this neighborhood when it comes to necessary parking space, and the responsibility of the property owners in this regard, all of them, before it agrees to anything. This isn’t a simple record correction being proposed tomorrow night. It’s removal of previously allotted parking space for the neighborhood.
The owner or prospective owner obviously wants to get rid of that parking lot. It’s not just a technicality. Why doesn’t staff ever admit these things, or tell the city council members the whole story?
Even worse, aside from Gordon or occasionally Rogers, why don’t any of them ever figure these things out? Or ask?