News, entertainment, opinion, and whatever sparks interest in Burbank the Media City

Burbank City Council approves moratorium on McMansions

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank City Council  meeting  at City Hall (l-r) Emily Gabel-Luddy, vice-mayor Bob Frutos, mayor Dr. David Gordon, Jess Talamantes, and Gary Bric March 10, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Burbank City Council meeting at City Hall (l-r) Emily Gabel-Luddy, vice-mayor Bob Frutos, mayor Dr. David Gordon, Jess Talamantes, and Gary Bric March 10, 2015

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.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Burbank city council member Emily Gabel-Luddy at council meeting on March 10, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Burbank city council member Emily Gabel-Luddy at council meeting on 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.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Jim Casey, realtor and member of Preserve Burbank, gave a presentation during first public comment period at Burbank City Council meeting March 10, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Jim Casey, realtor and member of Preserve Burbank, gave a presentation during first public comment period at Burbank City Council meeting March 10, 2015

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.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to Burbank City Council approves moratorium on McMansions

  1. Al in SoCal Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    Will Rogers had a great take on this at a “meet the candidate” meeting and basically said the lack of action on these mansions during the last 10 years was a lack of leadership.

    I’d have to agree since a clear majority if not, every councilmember agrees that it is a problem. All they needed was someone to spell it out in a code review, etc to take action on.

  2. Fronnie Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Al,

    Yes I agree, McMansions have been an obvious problem for a number of years in Burbank. The city council shares the blame for the delayed action — along with the residents/voters for not turning up the heat on the issue.

Comments are closed.