I fully support a Walmart store in Burbank. I liked the fact that Walmart reached out to the residents with an open house, the agents answered all my questions. The store will increase the retail shopping choices for Burbank residents.
Before attending any of the scheduled city council meetings, I perused the staff reports and the project environmental impact report. At the council meetings, I overheard some of the people’s complaints that Walmart was not unionized, most of its products were made in China, that the traffic mitigations were not complete and that small businesses would be forced to close.
The majority of businesses in Burbank are not unionized; and the majority of products sold in retail stores are also made in China. As for the small-businesses owners, the majority of them would not be affected by Walmart’s store because they are small service, repair and media-related businesses.
The environmental impact report reviewed 24 intersections and identified 13 that warranted mitigation. One is complete and another eight have been modified within the available space. Construction should start within weeks at Buena Vista and Vanowen. The Empire I-5 interchange as well as the Buena Vista and San Fernando grade separation projects are a part of the currant I-5 widening project. It is evident that the city council has not been waiting for anything. They’ve been moving forward on the traffic circulation mitigations for years.
If those opposing Walmart were so concerned about traffic problems, why didn’t they sue the city years ago, when major changes occurred within the Empire Center and adjacent properties?