Voicing some frustration that they hadn’t been consulted, Burbank City Council members voted this week to send a letter to Los Angeles officials to state their opposition to a potential Griffith Park project that could adversely affect local equestrians.
The neighboring city is studying the feasibility of a closed-loop gondola system that would allow tourist access to the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park. Though the possible project is meant to decrease traffic congestion in the area and the system would not cross Burbank’s borders, council members expressed concern that it would scare horses on the trails of the park.
“An overhead gondola traveling only a few feet above a horse is a predator in the mind of a horse,” Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, who rides horses herself, said during the Tuesday meeting.
In a report for an Aug. 28 study session with community members, L.A. representatives said there is not an equestrian-specific analysis in the feasibility study, though issues related to horseback riding could be included if the city decides to move forward with the project. Tower and cable heights would also be determined if the city approves the project.
Council members at first considered asking only that L.A. officials take Burbank residents into consideration when studying the potential project, which is also opposed by the nonprofit group Friends of Griffith Park.
But after Councilman Timothy Murphy noted that he was completely against the project, saying it would hurt what is to Burbank residents their “Central Park,” his peers quickly agreed to take a stronger position.
“I just feel it’s a theme park ride over a wonderful public amenity,” Mayor Sharon Springer said.
Vice Mayor Bob Frutos and Councilman Jess Talamantes also expressed interest in keeping Glendale’s City Council updated on the project, suggesting the representatives might want to take a stance of their own since the city also borders Griffith Park.