City Denies Appeal of Mixed-Use Project

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A plan to build hundreds of apartment units at the former Fry’s Electronics site will move forward, Burbank officials decided this week, despite opposition to the development.
The Burbank Aero Crossings project, located at 3211 N. Hollywood Way, will feature a total of 862 housing units, two restaurants and office space. Those units include 80 homes that will be designated for very low-income households.
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City Attorney Reflects on 10-Year Tenure

First published in the Nov. 13 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The airport’s replacement terminal. Police department lawsuits. Coronavirus pandemic policies.
After spending a decade as Burbank’s city attorney, Amy Albano has seen it all. But after a year in which, she said, she worked the hardest she has ever worked, city hall’s top lawyer retired Friday. The first woman to serve as city attorney in Burbank, Albano’s departure capped a legal career spanning more than 30 years. Joe McDougall, until recently the chief assistant city attorney, succeeded Albano following last week’s unanimous City Council vote.
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City Discusses Rockhaven Redo

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Glendale officials are once again mulling what to do with the Rockhaven Sanitarium property, more than a dozen years after the city acquired the historic site and tried thrice to develop it.
This time around, they have $8 million in state funding to help grease the wheel, a grant secured in June by state Sen. Anthony Portantino during Sacramento’s budgeting process. Though there is a catch that whatever happens on the property must include a museum, the city is otherwise free to explore other uses for the site’s buildings and park-like space.
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Foothill Blvd. Project Elicits More Debate on Scope, Scale

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Four former La Cañada Flintridge mayors have weighed in on the development proposed at 600 Foothill Blvd. with a formal letter submitted to the City Council that echoes similar concerns previously raised by local stakeholders.
Donald Voss called in during the public comments portion of a virtual City Council meeting on Tuesday urging the panel to deny the proposed three-story structure — which would include 47 senior housing units, 12 hotel units, underground parking and 7,600 square feet for office use — when it comes before the council. The letter Voss submitted to council members was co-signed by former city leaders Gregory Brown, Stephen Del Guercio and Laura Olhasso.
Voss told the council that the plan “undermines the [Downtown Village Specific Plan’s] concept” with its size, density and traffic.
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City Council Considers Joe McDougall for Next Top Attorney

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council will consider appointing Joseph McDougall as the next city attorney during its next meeting on Tuesday. McDougall currently serves as Burbank’s chief assistant city attorney.
Upon approval, he would replace the current city attorney, Amy Albano, who is retiring from the city on Nov. 13. She has held her position for just over 10 years.
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City to Align Purchases With Sustainability Goals

First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The city plans to beef up its sustainability endeavors by crafting a new policy of environmentally preferable purchasing that will ostensibly set a course for more earth-friendly procurements that also are fiscally prudent.
Building upon policies adopted in the 1990s, the city will shape the enhanced EPP policy and take input from the Sustainability Commission before bringing the document back to the City Council. All five council members agreed to move forward with the update this week.
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City Attorney Albano to Retire in November

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Amy Albano

Amy Albano, the city of Burbank’s lead attorney for the past decade and the first woman to hold that position, confirmed this week that she will retire in November.
Albano told the Leader in an interview that her last day as Burbank’s city attorney is Nov. 10. Since being hired to the role in October 2011, Albano has served as the top legal adviser to the City Council and, along with her staff, represented the municipality in court. The city has not made an announcement regarding Albano’s successor, who will be selected by the council (city attorney and city manager are the only two positions that the group appoints directly).
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Scrutiny of Proposed Structure Resumes Today at Meeting

The saga of the proposed development at 600 Foothill Boulevard — a three-story, mixed-use structure that would include 47 active senior housing units, 12-non-serviced hotel units, 7,600 square feet of office uses and one level of underground parking containing 107 spaces — will resume at a special meeting today at 6 p.m.

The La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission will continue its deliberation about the controversial project from a previous virtual meeting that lasted nearly five hours. The panel closed that June 24 session with requests for its staff and the applicants, Garret Weyand and Alexandra Hack of 600 Foothill Owner LP, to follow up on issues that included parking spaces and the mitigation declaration’s traffic study.

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At Last, Community Gardens Project Takes Root Today

After more than a decade of discussion and false starts, two empty sites in Burbank are showing early signs of blooming into community gardens, with a nonprofit holding a public planning meeting this morning.

The Los Angeles Community Garden Council is hosting the kickoff event from 9-11 a.m. at 3705 W. Clark Ave. There, council representatives will explain plans for cultivating that site, as well as one at 1141 N. Pass Ave., into community spaces at which residents will be able to rent plots to grow crops, flowers and other plants.

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City Council Approves 2021-22 Budget

The City Council unanimously approved the municipal budget for fiscal year 2021-22 on Tuesday, projecting optimism that Burbank’s finances are beginning to recover from the pandemic.

With businesses reopening and the number of total vaccinations increasing across the county, city officials said they expect tax revenue to recover next fiscal year, which begins in July. Despite that, General Fund recurring revenues are still projected to be nearly $9 million below pre-pandemic expectations.

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