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Showdown over “McMansions” in Burbank gets TV news coverage

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- McMansion size home next to average house in 900 block of East Elmwood Avenue in Burbank March 9, 2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — McMansion size home next to average house in 900 block of East Elmwood Avenue in Burbank March 9, 2015

A showdown over the proliferation of “McMansion” size homes in Burbank is set for tonight at the Burbank City Council meeting. Last week, the city council heard from a number of  residents who spoke out about McMansions sprouting up in Burbank neighborhoods. Some told painful stories about an oversized home being built next door that either damaged their property, or robbed them of the basics like privacy and sunlight. The common refrain, these McMansions exploited loopholes in the code to exceed the building standards and do not fit in with the character of the neighborhoods.

Most of the residents who complained about the McMansions, many of them members of the tenacious Save Burbank Neighborhoods group, urged the council to approve a nearly $120,000 professional services agreement with Dyett & Bhatia with John Kaliski Architects to prepare single-family design guidelines and zoning code changes. The council did just that with a unanimous vote of 5-0.

Tonight, the council with be discussing another step to slow the McMansion craze, an interim development control ordinance or IDCO. This type of ordinance would, “… control the development of future uses that may otherwise conflict with a contemplated General Plan or Zoning Ordinance amendment until time for study and public hearings on the amendment can occur,” according to the staff report. An IDCO  reportedly does not require a second reading and becomes effective immediately upon adoption by at least a 4-5 vote of the city council. It would remain in effect for a maximum of 45 days, after which time, the council would be required to take further action to keep the IDCO in effect.

Save Burbank Neighborhoods is rallying its members to show up at city council  to support what amounts to a temporary moratorium on McMansions. They expect opposition to come from realtors and developers. Last night, ABC-7 covered the McMansion debate in Burbank. PIO Drew Sugars told reporter Miriam Hernandez, city officials have to be cautious “We, again, are weighing what the community wants and also the rights of property owners. That’s a very fine balance, we have to make sure we get right.” Check out that ABC-7 report here.

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