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Burbank Planning Board Says ‘No’ to 33 Hillside Homes

Times Staff Writer

The Burbank Planning Board has voted to deny a proposal by developer Sherman Whitmore to build 33 luxury homes on the northwestern hills of the city.

The proposal will be put before the City Council in about three weeks for a final decision, officials said.

The 4-0 vote marked the second time that Whitmore’s development plans for the 60-acre site have been rejected by city officials. An almost identical plan was rejected unanimously by the City Council 1 1/2 years ago, after residents complained about the potential for mud slides and destruction of wildlife.

In voting against the development, the commission followed the recommendations of city planners, who said “several significant unavoidable adverse environmental impacts” would be caused by the project.

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Aesthetic Change Cited

The planners specified the damage to wildlife and “the aesthetic change involved in changing a portion of the hillside from a natural to a man-made state.”

Whitmore had submitted an alternative plan for the same site, which called for six fewer houses and which he said conformed more to city standards. But Rick Pruetz, acting city planner, said the alternative plan still involved considerable environmental hazard.

Whitmore did not attend the Monday meeting at which the commission voted against the proposal. His attorney, Brian Bird, did not comment on the decision at the board’s meeting and could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Whitmore had said previously that he would take legal action if not allowed to develop his property.

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