Burbank Reiterates High-Speed Rail Concerns

First published in the Jan. 15 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank representatives will continue to press the California High-Speed Rail Authority on their apprehensions regarding the project, the City Council decided this week.
Council members voted 4-0 Tuesday to approve a comment letter to the authority ahead of its Wednesday, Jan. 19, meeting. The letter lists multiple issues city officials have with the state’s high-speed “bullet train” project, most of which are reiterated concerns they say the authority has failed to fully address.
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Council OKs Greater Oversight on Housing

First published in the Jan. 8 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council adopted a policy that gives itself a supervisory role over residential projects that are potentially eligible for a streamlined process.
The council’s 3-2 decision Tuesday comes after months of discussions regarding the body’s potential review authority over housing proposals submitted through California Senate Bill 35. The law prevents cities and other jurisdictions from denying certain residential applications as long as they comply with objective municipal development standards, such as density limits.
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After Delays, Raising Cane’s Plans March Opening

First published in the Jan. 1 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Despite being a source of some controversy in a nearby neighborhood, a Raising Cane’s location is slated to open in Burbank sometime in March, a representative confirmed.
The fast food restaurant, known for its chicken fingers and Texas toast, will begin operating at 1750 W. Olive Ave, in mid- to late-March, Raising Cane’s community liaison Marice Pesquale told the Leader. Burbank officials said in June that the eatery was scheduled to open in September 2021.
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City Discusses Increasing Development Fees

First published in the Dec. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council this week moved toward raising the fees charged for new development, a change that would boost funding for public improvements.
Burbank has not updated its development impact fees — or DIFs — since 1993, though they rise annually with the cost of inflation. Cities can set DIFs, a Community Development Department official told council members on Tuesday, to compensate for the burden a project has on their systems. For example, Burbank used DIF funds to pay for designs for a new central library, which representatives said is needed to accommodate the city’s projected population and job growth.
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Officials Discuss Speeding Prevention Measures, Plans

First published in the Dec. 11 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The City Council recently directed city staff members to adjust the traffic signal timing on Glenoaks Boulevard, one idea out of many raised to control reckless driving.
The change, which Public Works Director Ken Berkman told council members Tuesday will take a few weeks, could effectively cause motorists driving faster than Glenoaks’ speed limit during non-peak hours to encounter red lights more frequently.
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Council Wants Final Say on SB 35 Housing

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The Burbank City Council appears poised to give itself final review authority over housing applications that, through state law, must be approved if they meet city standards.
Council members voted, 4-1, on Tuesday to introduce an ordinance that would give itself final review authority over residential project applications submitted under Senate Bill 35 provisions. The California law, enacted in 2017, allows multifamily housing developments to pursue a review process that effectively bars cities from denying the project unless it conflicts with existing municipal regulations.
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City Still Pushes Against Metro Bus Lane

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank officials reiterated their opposition this week to a portion of a potential bus corridor that would remove either street parking or travel lanes on Olive Avenue.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority project would connect North Hollywood to Pasadena with a bus route weaving through cities along the 134 Freeway. Metro officials have said that a dedicated bus lane would allow for quicker and more reliable service than a traditional route.
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City Pursues Protections for Area Near Restaurant

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Among the Burbank City Council’s decisions this week was a move to update a neighborhood protection plan for an area near an incoming Raising Cane’s restaurant and a state-mandated zoning code change.

The Burbank City Council voted this week to direct staff to update protective policies for a local neighborhood in response to the imminent arrival of a Raising Cane’s restaurant.

Residents of the Rancho Providencia neighborhood, located south of Olive Avenue near Orchard Drive, addressed the council in March regarding their concerns with the fast food eatery’s potential impact on their community. Many said they feared the restaurant drive-thru would introduce traffic, noise and trash issues in the area.

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Proposal Would Permit Supportive Housing in Single-Family Zones

The Burbank City Council recently voted to move toward updating the local zoning code to allow the construction of service-supported housing in single-family zones — a change officials emphasized was required by state law.

Council members voted 3-2 on Tuesday to introduce the proposed ordinance. If it is adopted during the council’s June 22 meeting, the zoning code would state that supportive and transitional housing — affordable units accompanied by services for participants in private social agencies’ programs — can come to neighborhoods zoned for single-family residences. 

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