Burbank residents opposed to the “McMansion” trend are breathing a little easier today. Last Tuesday night, the Burbank City Council handed them a major victory by voting unanimously to ask staff to draft an Interim Development Control Ordinance or IDCO, aimed at temporarily stopping over-sized home projects until loopholes in the building codes can be closed and new design standards established. The IDCO is retroactive to March 10, 2015.
There had been some speculation Gabel-Luddy would vote against the IDCO because of pro-development views, which have dogged her re-election campaign. However, that did not happen.
Before the vote, more than 20 people gave opinions on the IDCO to the council during the first public comment period. Most speakers were residents who passionately argued that “mansionization” was a threat to the city by creating enormous boxy houses, which do not fit in with the surrounding homes. Some spoke of the shoddy workmanship and reckless construction crews that they say damaged neighbor properties and put lives in danger. Community groups like Preserve Burbank and Save Burbank Neighborhoods were well represented.
Jim Casey, a realtor and resident with a degree in architecture, gave an impressive presentation of a home of 5,000 square feet, which should be built on a 12, 500 square foot lot. Due to Burbank loopholes, Casey says this size home is being built on a much smaller ”8,600 square foot lot.” Also, speaking for the IDCO, city council candidate, Juan Guillen and former council contender Sharon Springer.
Burbank Association of Realtors led the charge to block the IDCO. President of that association, Alisa Cunningham, told the council, “we want to address the problem… we don’t want to create a new problem.” The council members decided the temporary ordinance was worth the effort and a valuable part of the solution by voting 5-0 in favorite of it.
After the cheers and applause died down, vice-mayor, Bob Frutos, expressed gratitude to the speakers: “this was a very long and drawn out process, but your voices were heard… most important, thank you for coming up to the podium and giving us your thoughts.Thank you very much.”
The staff is required to come back to council with a draft of the IDCO by March 31, 2015.