Voters Back Measure to Slow Growth in Burbank

Times Staff Writer

Burbank voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure Tuesday to slow new apartment and residential development and assured business executive Thomas Flavin, vice chairman of the city Planning Board, a seat on the City Council.

Flavin was one of 14 candidates vying for three seats on the five-member council.

Mayor Al F. Dossin and Councilman Michael R. Hastings will defend their council seats in an April 11 runoff against two newcomers to city politics, Timothy Murphy and George Bonney.

Councilwoman Mary E. Kelsey, running for a second term, was defeated.


In addition, Burbank Board of Education President Audrey P. Hanson and board Vice President Vivian Kaufman defeated two challengers, Denise Wilcox and S. Michael Stavropoulos.

City Treasurer Jack B. Whitney, running for his fifth term, was cast into the April runoff with Jim Rogers. City Clerk Merle Woodburn ran unopposed for a second four-year term.

The planned growth ordinance, Measure 1 on the ballot, will prohibit property owners from building more units on their land than allowed by city code. The law also prevents the City Council from making any changes in the city’s master plan that would increase the number of residential units in Burbank.

Public Hearing


The ordinance would also require any property owner who wants to put more than a single-family home on the land to apply for a conditional-use permit. The process would require a project to be scrutinized in a public hearing.

The ordinance was proposed by Councilwoman Mary Lou Howard, who is in the middle of her four-year term. Howard contends that Burbank’s single-family neighborhoods are being overrun by noise and pollution from increased development.

The measure, which will become effective immediately, was favored by all of the council candidates headed for the runoff. It was opposed by developers, who said it would place unfair limits on property owners.

Flavin attributed his victory to hard work and grass-roots support.

“What this means is it’s time to roll up our sleeves and really go at the issues which are bothering this community,” he said.

Flavin was backed by Howard, one of the city’s most influential politicians, and was endorsed by several unions representing city employees, including the Burbank Fire Fighters Local 778.

Hastings, who finished second, said he had been able to overcome negative mailings from Howard and two unions--including the firefighters local--that had circulated during the past few days. “I took everything that they threw at me, but it didn’t knock me down.”

Union Concerns


Kelsey was not endorsed by Howard or the union officials, who maintained that she had not fulfilled her promise to help slow development in the city.

Stavropoulos, 50, a neurosurgeon who had been locked in a bitter battle for a school board seat, finished last in the four-candidate race. The board ruled last week that Stavropoulos had been maintaining a phony residence in the city in order to send his son to junior high school in Burbank.

Wilcox and Stavropoulos attacked board incumbents on their records on school repairs, improving the quality of education and on a plan to establish middle schools.

Wilcox said Tuesday that she is considering a lawsuit against the city for deleting the school board portion of a candidates’ debate that was broadcast Sunday. The broadcast was a rerun of a candidates’ forum broadcast live from City Hall on Thursday.

“The city had no right to cut that portion,” Wilcox said. “It did irreparable damage to me. Lots of voters could have had a chance to see me.”


Burbank 45 of 45 precincts

Winners in bold, runoffs in italics (*). CITY COUNCIL 3 vacancies


Vote Thomas E. Flavin 7,015 Michael R. Hastings* 6,108 Tim Murphy* 6,056 Al F. Dossin* 3,902 George Bonney* 2,286 Mary E. Kelsey 2,221 Morris (Morey) Goodstein 1,908 Lee Paysinger 1,019 Thomas Kaptain 968 Dianne Adams 852 Jules Kimmett 828 Thomas Milstead 774 Lud Grande 572 Melvin Perlitsh 236


Vote % John B. (Jack) Whitney* 5,130 43.3 Jim Rogers* 3,808 32.1 Joe H. Adams 1,845 15.6 Dianne Maritt 1,069 9.0

City Clerk Merle Woodburn was unopposed. BALLOT MEASURE Should the city adopt restrictions and limits on new residential construction?

Vote % Yes 8,512 74.2 No 2,959 23.8

SCHOOL BOARD 2 vacancies

Vote Vivian Kaufman* 7,083 Audrey P. Hanson* 6,355 Denise L. Wilcox 4,800 S. Michael Stavropoulos 2,958

Voter turnout 27%