The embattled Magnolia Park Merchants Association responded today to a letter from an irate merchant on Magnolia Boulevard, posted here on Media City Groove, which has drawn more than two dozen comments and fired-up a smoldering controversy in that business area of trendy shops, eateries, and retro stores in Burbank. Last summer, a dispute among merchants over parking on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard blew-up into a major issue.
At the center of the controversy Romancing the Bean , a coffeehouse and cafe at 3413 Magnolia Boulevard. The majority of its neighbors fought for and won a change of the two-hour street parking to one-hour. Despite a period of peace, the controversy erupted again with more complaints and nasty charges of bullying and harassment.
Here’s part of the response from the MPMA:
“The newly elected Board of Directors of the Magnolia Park Merchants Association (MPMA) would like to address the frustrations recently aired in a letter to the Media City Groove blog by a merchant on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd.
In short, the letter was concerning MPMA’s handling of parking disputes on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. Last year, both MPMA and non-MPMA members on the block began noticing a change in customers’ parking habits that neighbors believed were due to activity at Romancing the Bean. At the time the dispute started, parking on the block was two hour and the impacted merchants on the block were seeking one-hour restricted parking. In support of the merchants on that block, the MPMA Board voted to take a survey of the businesses on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. 11 out of the 13 businesses surveyed on that block voted in favor of one hour parking. The MPMA Board recommended to the Traffic Commission and the City Council that parking be limited to one hour. The MPMA Board still supports the one hour parking and believe that it should be enforced.
In light of the allegations listed on this blog, the MPMA Board believes that all merchants should behave in a professional manner, and that bullying has no place in Magnolia Park. The MPMA Board would also like to communicate that it’s main interest trying to resolve the parking issue was to try and bring peace to the block. We are hoping that the newly elected Board can make a fresh start and move forward in a positive direction.
MPMA will continue to listen to all of the merchants on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. The new Board has used these recent events as a catalyst to establish an agenda to review board member guidelines, to clearly define its role in parking and other inter-merchant issues.Most importantly, the board intends to keep the focus on our most valued constituency: Magnolia Park merchants and their valued customers.
The New MPMA Board would like to apologize to the merchants of the 3400 Block of Magnolia Blvd for any missteps of the past.”
Read the full statement here.