Peace in the 3400 block of West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank has been short-lived. What boiled over last summer as a dispute among the merchants there over parking and The Romancing the Bean restaurant has blown up again.
After all the battles with parking on the 3400 block of W. Magnolia Blvd. we can only do SO much.
I think most of the merchants are sadly adjusting to their decreased revenue due to lack of parking.
My wife was in our store on March 17th when she saw a car keep backing up & and pulling forward (to erase the chalk mark on tires). This is illegal. The car ended up staying in the same spot (one hour parking) for approximately FOUR hours. When my wife went out to get the license number to call it in to parking enforcement, the manager of Romancing The Bean started sarcastically laughing. Then, he yelled out to my wife “You’re an ugly old bitch! The entire block will party when you die! ” This time my wife called the police. Two police cars showed up. My wife filed a police report, then the police visited Romancing The Bean! Can’t anyone see what’s going on here???? Clearly we are being harassed.
The Magnolia Park Merchants Association (M.P.M.A.) is in the middle of an election for new board members. Eight members are running for seven positions. Only one person will be voted down. An enlightened caring group would NOT have an election with eight people running for seven positions.
We have tried to address issues with the City, but they’ve referred us back to M.P.M.A. Guess who was on the board all year? YES – That’s right: the owner of Romancing The Bean, Kerry Krull whose business has impacted all of us (other business owners on 3400 Magnolia Blvd.) the most.
She not only didn’t jump in to help, she sent out the well-known “THEATENING LETTER” to two merchants on the block accusing us of things which we hadn’t even done or were necessary to do to try to create parking. Also, Kerry sent this letter to THE MAYOR AND EVERYONE AT CITY HALL! Then a M.P.M.A. board member tried to convince us not to talk about it.This organization did help us get the one hour parking out front even though Kerry Krull confronted my wife with a huge smirk on her face (with another M.P.M.A. with her) when she said “You’re trying to get your little petition signed? You’re not going to get your way!” Then the other member added her two cents and said “Get a life!” Well, my wife has arranged for store owners on the block to sign the petition and the one hour parking signs went up. Kerry followed my wife down the street and told her she was “a loser.” This is a M.P.M.A. Board Member. Very unprofessional of her. We’re all forced to put up with this daily. (This is harassment and a form of bullying!) Now her Manager is following suit with more harassment!
I’m surprised at all the stores who are so turned off and are afraid to speak up. Almost all the M.P.M.A. meetings are held at Romancing The Bean. This is unbelievable and very upsetting! What are these board members THINKING? They seem to be totally out of touch. I am a proud Burbank resident and business owner. I will not be silenced. How can the fellow M.P.M.A. board members sit quietly and watch the way this board member treats others?
As for the monthly Ladies Night Out event (last Friday of the month) – I understand that a few businesses do well (financially) on that night. The majority do not at all. M.P.M.A. please re-think the strategy in planning this night! I have no problem if some do well and the food trucks come. However, we need more regulation and control! In addition, please respect the fact that this actually impacts sales in our store negatively!
The M.P.M.A.is out for their members only and they don’t ultimately respect all of the other people’s businesses. Their agendas do not help some businesses. In fact, it often causes loss of revenue for others. A small example of their endeavors to try new events on SATURDAYS. This day is very challenging in regards to parking. There is only “ONE” parking enforcement vehicle operating on Saturday for the ENTIRE city of BURBANK! Parking gridlock is up to four hours (or longer!) without fear of being ticketed. We lose sale after sale from inability for our customers to park! Once again, a few people are deciding the fate and destiny for many people’s businesses. If you’re not on “their page,” you’re deemed a trouble-maker.
Many businesses are very upset about all of this activity created by the M.P.M.A. Most are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. The city allowed a RESTAURANT on our block with only “TWO” parking spots (please note – one is for “Handicap only” drivers) to set up shop. I was at re-development meetings where the City knew that we were having parking problems on the 3400 block of W. MAGNOLIA BLVD. I heard them turn down a yogurt store on the (S.E.) CORNER of Lima and Magnolia with a huge parking lot – yet Romancing The Bean has been allowed to set up shop and maintain in business. What were they thinking? Now we are left to fight for our businesses.
How could a restaurant with virtually no parking be allowed on a block with a parking crisis also be allowed to have additional seating outside? There are three tables outside with a dozen chairs equals even more gridlock!I This makes me think it simply comes down to who you know at city hall!!
Are we expected to keep confronting then City about getting our needs met after “TWO POOR DECISIONS” BY CITY OFFICIALS. first THE RESTAURANT, THEN THE OUTSIDE SEATING! What else can they give this RESTAURANT?
A SOLUTION re ROMANCING THE BEAN : Cancel the outside seating, disconnect the Wi-Fi and check her city license for TAKE-OUT only (limit customers time to 1 hour stay – MAXIMUM)! (That is what the other businesses on the block originally proposed!).