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City Buzz: Progress in Mag Park parking dispute

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- One hour parking signs are up on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — One-hour parking signs are up on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank October 11, 2014

Progress is being made in that bitter parking dispute among some merchants on Magnolia Boulevard in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank. The two-hour parking signs were replaced by one-hour signs on the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia last Friday. When I dropped by the block the day after, Burbank Antiques owner, Ralph Persinger, told me visitors are following the new parking restrictions: “It’s great! We’re getting a lot of turnover.”

The one-hour parking signs are controversial. For the past several months, the majority of the merchants on the north side of Magnolia have been fighting for the one-hour restriction as part of a solution to a parking issue related to Romancing the Bean. The coffee-house/cafe ,3413 West Magnolia Boulevard, got permits to open WITHOUT providing any parking for its customers. The other merchants have complained some of the Bean customers were parking in front of their shops for much longer than the two hours allowed, especially after the eatery began offering free WiFi. The owner of the Bean, Kerry Krull, fought back with denial, accusations, and even a nasty cease and desist letter to some of her neighbor stores.

On September 18, the Burbank Traffic Commission approved a 60-day test for the one-hour parking signs. The commission reportedly will provide some recommendations to the city council to solve a number of parking problems in this section of Magnolia Boulevard. The 60-day test moved forward with Burbank Police Traffic Bureau notifying merchants of the change on September 25. The next morning the one-hour signs went up, but then were quickly taken down by the order of city manager, Mark Scott.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- City Manager Mark Scott at Burbank City Council meeting September 30, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — City Manager Mark Scott at Burbank City Council meeting September 30, 2014

A major blunder and one that caused an uproar. Scott apologized for what appears to have been a miscommunication at city hall. Scott  apparently wanted merchants on both sides of the 3400 block notified before the one-hour signs went up. So city officials had to back-up, make the notifications again and then post the new one-hour signs again on October 10.

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Sign on the front of Romancing the Bean in Magnolia Park restrictiing Internet use October 11, 2014

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Sign on the front of Romancing the Bean in Magnolia Park restrictiing Internet use October 11, 2014

There’s another sign that progress is being made in this parking dispute. On my walk along the sidewalk of the north side of the 3400 block of Magnolia last Saturday, I noticed a new posting on the front of the Bean that says “After careful consideration and being mindful of our Neighbors concerns,” Internet services between noon and 3 p.m. would no longer be available.  Krull appears to be demonstrating a willingness to work with her neighbors in resolving parking problems. That’s definitely a good sign. However, city officials need to look beyond the Bean.

As the stretch of Magnolia Boulevard between Hollywood Way and Buena Vista continues to grow and develop into a trendy spot to visit, it will attract other eateries. The Bean’s parking snafu should not become a precedent. The city council should take steps to correct the flawed or outdated ordinance or the code loophole, which allowed the Bean to open without adequate parking for its customers. Let’s not have a repeat of this ugly dispute.


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10 Responses to City Buzz: Progress in Mag Park parking dispute

  1. Sonia Rasmarian Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    As a longtime resident of Burbank this is the first time I’ve seen so much animosity amongst the small business owners particularly on the 3400 block of Magnolia Blvd. The owner of Romancing the Bean developed over the years a reputation of being rude with both customers (see Yelp feedback) as well as her neighbors. Since the opening of her new venture, Romancing the Bean, she ‘donated’ her time to creating an atmosphere of hater and takes pleasure in creating small groups with the idea of “divide and conquer”.
    I have the habit of going at least once a week to various stores and sometimes I end up buying something in support of the community. While it is true that over the years the old Magnolia Antiques Row became more of a Magnolia Vintage Clothing Row, the business owners used to have a good relationship often helping each other. Now, when I go into a store on Magnolia Blvd. I see sad faces and business owners concerned with their state of affairs. No longer the smiling people I used to know but a new group afraid of being reprimanded. Many antique dealers expressed major concerns regarding their business or lack off while wondering how one person was able to obtain the approval to open a restaurant of 2,000 square feet with only three parking spots. This number doesn’t address her employees since some if not all of them also require a parking spot. Why did the City Council approve this when earlier, many other prospective restaurant owners were turned down? What makes Kerry Krull so powerful to even send people letters of Cease and Desist? Who is this Kerry Krull besides being a manipulative person, ruthless and with no conscience?
    I must confess that I went to her restaurant couple of times in the past and I was surprised of her outrageous prices for this neighborhood. The quality of the food is OK but the coffee is by far worse than the one sold in the little coffee shop on Lima Street.
    Bottom line, I am hoping that all merchants on Magnolia Blvd. will get along and put aside their personal issues. Everyone wants to survive in this tough economy and we as customers, must encourage them and support them by buying from them. Most importantly, let’s make sure to go to elections on November and change the aphetic City Council with a more dynamic group with whom Mr. Gordon can make a difference in our city.
    As far as the City Manager is concerned, he is a real joke, but an expensive one for the tax payers.

  2. Fronnie Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm #


    I agree with you, this has been an unusual situation — one that I hope will not be repeated. Also, I too hope that “all the merchants on Magnolia Blvd. will get along and put aside their personal issues.” That would benefit their businesses and their customers.

  3. michael p. Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    fronnie I also agree , Sonia nailed it ! Every detail mentioned sounds accurate . Kerry Kroll walks up and down the street like she owns it. I got involved accidentally in this saga. Watching her belittle some lady on the sidewalk. Who says she’s in charge of that block? I was shocked at how many people are upset with this establishment! II’ve read a lot “on – line” and am suprised by how much power the city gave one person. KUDOS to Sonia Rasmarion!

  4. CG Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Kerry Krull has always been very friendly to me whenever I have been at the cafe. As for the staff, they are no different than baristas at any of the other cafes I have gone to in Burbank and NoHo. I just chalk it up to “barista hipster” attitude; I don’t take it personally.

    I find it quite silly the way Ms Krull is demeaned for being able to open her cafe without having to jump through the hoops that others have had to in their attempts to open cafes along the boulevard. She has been able to have a successful business IN SPITE OF the lack of parking in the area. This difficulty in parking applies to her customers too!

  5. fred Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Fronnie Why are the merchants expecting the owner of this restaurant to be civil and work things out? The city gave her permission to take over without rules and she gladly accepted. More thought should have been given to this decision. The city is resposible to oversee guidelines to be fair to all involved. This situation is very unusual in Burbank. I’m still tryinng to figure it out.

  6. BB Monday, October 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    The city fails on so many levels, no need to punish one merchant for benefitting from a city screw up. What NO ONE addressed was the lack of enforcement of existing rules. The meter maids have no problem ticketing parents near schools, but vanish on this strip of Magnolia. This part of town has far too many vacancies in too many storefronts. We dont need anymore Halloween shops or second hand this or that. 1 hour parking is silly for any business or retailer. No one gains from that.

  7. BIG AL Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    fronnie The one hour parking is WORKING. For the first time coming to the 3400 block on Magnolia Blvd., to visit the vintage antique and collectibles stores. I found a parking spot without having to circle the block a couple of times.This street is great! You would have to search hard to find a better selection of Quality Stores on one block!

  8. Steve Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Sonia and Fronnie,

    I moved from a small one horse town to get away from this kind of petty crap but i guess there are petty people everywhere.

    First, I can’t believe I’m wasting my time responding to this blog. There’s no journalism here, this is a sad little blog to spread a specific point of view, not deliver news. Pathetic.

    My wife and I recently moved to this neighborhood and love the area. Our Saturday mornings include a stroll down the street to Romancing the Bean where I happily pay top dollar for what I consider to be quality food and atmosphere. To bash on their prices and coffee quality is just poor form, the best you mental midgets could come up with. Fact is Romancing the Bean seems to have a successful business. If your business is failing, maybe look at your business model before blaming a store on your block that doesn’t even sell antiques or vintage items. If anything you should be happy that the Bean is doing well. I see numerous people walk in, order a cup of coffee and then stroll down the boulevard window shopping.

    If you want to address a real problem, let’s talk about restricting the parking on our residential streets that get filled up with shoppers.

    My advice, quit hating and get a life. You guys sound like the pathetic small town losers I thought I had moved away from.

    Go Bean!

  9. DixieFlyer Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Dear Mrs. Fronnie,

    Can’t tell how long BB has been following this issue.

    Nor can I fathom Steve’s advice re: hating.

    In fact, they probably never bothered to read the file at City Hall either.

    The issue of Lack of Enforcement of Parking issues was brought to the attention of our Police Commission over two years ago and not just in Magnolia Park.

    The Lack of Enforcement in the 3400 Block was brought up at TWO monthly meetings of the our Traffic Commission.

    A review of YELP comments demonstrates the various communities customers hail from.

    Most reports refer to the “under parked” premises.

    Several Police comments question the table & chair arrangements and proximity to the vehicular traffic.

    Steve’s comment reveals simple ignorance.
    As a newbie he may need more time before judging others’ mental capacity or “size”.

    Over the years we’ve welcomed many folks from many places around the Globe.

    Some try to fit, others choose to pick sides and disregard readily available Public Information while they rely upon gossip from a coffee shop.

    We’re a Great City of Great People, have been for over 100 years.

    Some fit in, others move to Greener Pastures–and Moo at the Moon.

    As for Journalism, Steve should check Fronnie’s “pedigree” as it’s on this site.

  10. BIG AL Friday, October 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Fronnie Steve It appears you were in a small town for too long ! Tt’s normal to swing the other direction when something turns you off. We do agree on one thing. This is not the forum to talk about Romancing The Bean’s price and food. Parking is where we totally disagree. You’re a newcomer to Burbank so possibly you are not aware that ” ALL” restaurants must have sufficient parking. This is unfair to neighboring businesses that count on some available parking. It’s my understanding that the lack of parking has affected these businesses in a major way. Your Saturday outing to the Restaurant shows that possibly you are a little bias? It’s all understandable were all human but the city needs to consider all businesses when making decisions. I’ll bet if your business was on that block you’d be singing another tune. You noted that a REAL PROBLEM is restricted parking on your street that gets filled up with SHOPPERS . How can you even compare these merchants income seriously affected to cars parked in front of your homes? sorry_ You lost me.

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