One-Family Homes Come 1st, Burbank Planners Say

Times Staff Writer

Burbank officials planning the city's future say their priorities include protecting the integrity of single-family-home neighborhoods and controlling the development of apartment buildings.

At the same time, they propose allowing more construction of apartments in some deteriorating neighborhoods of single-family homes.

Officials of the city's Community Development Department outlined their vision of Burbank at a three-hour meeting Monday with the City Council and the city's planning division.

The meeting was designed to bring the other city officials up to date on progress in drafting the Land Use Element of the city's General Plan, which will revise the zoning of some neighborhoods.

The final draft of the plan will come before the council later this year for adoption.

Community Development Director Larry J. Kosmont said Burbank citizens are especially concerned about the need to limit population growth and the effect of high-density development on residential areas.

"It is feared that that kind of development may alter and change the suburban character of the city," he said.

"What's really at issue is the quality of life," Councilman Michael R. Hastings said.

Kosmont recommended that the council adopt a plan allowing for an annual population growth of .25% in the city of 85,000. To accommodate such growth, he said, the city should zone enough areas, including those with "obsolete" or deteriorating housing, for multifamily residences.

Kosmont said Burbank's population declined from 1970 to 1980, in part because of a decrease in family size, and that from 160 to 200 multifamily units could be added per year without increasing the population significantly.

Recommendations Favored

But to restrict the density of the residential development, city officials also favored several recommendations of a citizens committee assigned to study Burbank's horse-oriented Rancho area.

Those recommendations include a requirement that landscaped areas separate apartment buildings from single-family homes, and increased off-street parking for apartment-dwellers.

The community development department proposed several limits for the height of an apartment building, ranging from 25 feet if it is within 99 feet of a single-family home, to 70 feet if it is more than 250 feet from one.

The city officials also proposed limiting development in the Verdugo Mountain reserve areas above Burbank to one dwelling unit per acre. They said they want the city to acquire as much of the mountain property as possible and maintain it in its natural state.

Of 26,000 acres in the Burbank mountain reserve, 265 acres are privately owned. Officials said it is the only major undeveloped area in the city.

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